Latest exam updates

Performance Grade booking

Booking for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams opens on Tuesday 1 December and closes on Tuesday 8 December. This is when you can book submission dates during our 5 to 31 January exam session. We have a set number of exam slots available, so please book early for the widest choice of dates. Find out more about Performance Grades.

COVID updates

We will contact you if your exams have been affected by COVID. For the latest information, and to check which venues have closed, please visit our Latest updates page

Current Exam Session: Late Booking and Rescheduling Exams

Thank you to everyone who’s booked exams. To help you with your exam arrangements at this exceptionally busy time, please be aware that there are number of services available to you by logging in to your ABRSM account. Find out more.

ABRSM exams and COVID

Essential information for exams taking place before 31 December 2020

Last updated 5 November

Our commitment to safe progression

We are committed to providing learners with an opportunity to progress safely with their learning during these uncertain times, and to receive the qualifications they have worked hard for, and that are important for their future.  

Government and local restrictions are changing frequently, and could disrupt exams at short notice. We are following government and local rules and advice, and we are working with venues to ensure that our exams take place in a COVID-safe way. However, we recognise that ongoing disruption until the end of the year is very likely.

For the latest updates on our exams, please visit our Latest Updates page.

If we have to cancel exams due to COVID-19 or because our public venues are affected, we will notify you prior to your exam date. Our first priority will be to find an alternative way for anyone affected to take their exam. If we cannot offer an alternative, we will refund the exam fee.

Candidates may also be affected by COVID in ways that prevent them from taking their exam. The following information provides a guide to what you can expect and what to do if the exams you book are disrupted for COVID-related reasons.

Providing COVID-safe exams

The safety of candidates, accompanists, examiners and stewards is paramount. That is why we have adopted strict health and safety rules in line with government and public health guidance. These rules apply to everyone involved in the exam. Please read them before you book and share them with candidates, parents and accompanists where necessary. Everyone should also read them before attending an exam, as they could change at any time. You can find them here:

As an alternative to face-to-face practical exams, teachers, parents and candidates may prefer to consider a remotely-assessed Performance Grade or ARSM exam. These are assessed from a submitted video recording.

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams runs from 1 to 8 December, with the exam session in January 2021.

Before attending your exam

  • Please check our website and your email for any notice of cancellation.
  • If you are a Private Visit Organiser, please read our guidance for Private Visits.
  • For exams at our Public Venues, applicants, parents and candidates should read our COVID-19 candidate guidance for Practical exams (PDF)
  • At our Public Venues please be prepared for restricted parking, limitations on the number of visitors and waiting, and delays to exam appointments to allow us time to prepare the exam room between candidates.

If a candidate is due to take an exam at a Public Venue, but cannot attend due to COVID.

  • You can log in to your account and change an exam appointment up to 48 hours before an exam date. The exam applicant can do this or the candidate (parent/carer) if they have an ABRSM account. Please note that alternative appointments are subject to availability.
  • If you don’t find an alternative appointment within the current exam session dates, the exam can be cancelled for a full refund.
  • Cancellations can only be made by the person who made the booking (Applicant) using the online booking service, and by contacting us here to request a full refund.

  • Please note we cannot transfer exam appointments to a later exam session. By offering a refund, you will have the choice to book for a later exam session, or alternatively book a Performance Grade.

If you’ve booked exams at a Public Venue which cannot go ahead…

  • We will notify you directly and will help you find an alternative date and location for the affected exams.
  • For affected candidates due to take Practical Grades 6 to 8 in the UK and Ireland during Session 3, if no alternative can be found, candidates may be offered the opportunity to take an adapted exam in line with Ofqual extraordinary regulations on a specified date in January 2021.
  • If it’s not possible to find an alternative way for a candidate to take their exam, we will cancel your exam appointment and provide a 100% refund automatically. You can book for a later exam session, or alternatively book a Performance Grade exam in a future session.

If you’ve booked a Private Visit which cannot go ahead on the date(s) booked…

  • If you have to cancel a Private Visit, we will work with you to rearrange it.
  • If you have to cancel exams because candidates have COVID symptoms or are isolating, we will try to offer an alternative for them.

You can read our full Withdrawals, Non-attendance and Fee Refunds Policy here.

For information on booking exams, including how to change exam appointments, go to our exam booking pages.

Common questions

Will my venue be open?

From 5 November you will be able to consult a list of the status of venues on the Latest Updates page. If you’ve booked exams at a Public Venue which cannot go ahead, we will notify you directly and will help you find an alternative date and location for the affected exams. If we can’t find an alternative way for a candidate to take their exam, we will provide a 100% refund.

Can I change my booking to a remotely-assessed Performance Grade or ARSM exam?

If there are reasons why you can’t take your practical exam at a public venue, the exam can be cancelled for a full refund.

Cancellations can only be made by the person who made the booking (Applicant) using the online booking service, and by contacting us here to request a full refund.

You can then book a remotely-assessed Performance Grade or ARSM exam in the next available session. The next session for remotely-assessed Performance Grades and ARSM exams is in January 2021 with booking open from 1 December to 8 December 2020. You can find all our Performance Grade information, including a guide to booking exams here.

How do I register my interest for an adapted exam?

This will only be offered to Practical Grade 6 – 8 candidates at a public venue that has closed to due to COVID restrictions. We will contact the person who made the booking and will provide you with more information on registering for an adapted exam in January 2021.

Adapted exams will not be available for Music Theory Grades 6-8.

Can I just cancel my exam and get a refund?

We understand that COVID restrictions will affect people in different ways. If you can’t attend your scheduled exams due to circumstances related to COVID, the exam can be cancelled for a full refund.

Cancellations can only be made by the person who made the booking (Applicant) using the online booking service, and by contacting us here to request a full refund.

What do I do if my accompanist is unable to attend my exam?

Live accompaniment, as detailed in the relevant syllabuses, is normally required. However, while social-distancing requirements are in place, we are offering flexibility to singers and instrumentalists who must usually have an accompanist (or duet partner) on the day of their exam. We will accept unaccompanied performances in face-to-face exams until at least 31 January 2021. Arrangements beyond that are subject to review. Please see our COVID-19 arrangements for accompaniment in practical exams for full details.

 

 

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