Latest exam updates

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – we will not be offering these exams in March. The next exams at Grades 6 to 8 will be in June 2021.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

 

Performance Grade booking

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams opens in February. For details, see our dates and fees page.

Focusing on all-round musicianship

 

We've designed our Practical graded music exams to motivate instrumental and singing students of all ages and a wide range of abilities. They're available at Grades 1 to 8, as well as a pre-Grade 1 Initial Grade for some subjects. They provide:

  • Progressive goals to aim for
  • Recognition for achievement
  • Carefully structured syllabus requirements
  • One-to-one assessment by an expert professional
  • An objective guide to a candidate’s skills and progress.

ABRSM exams are music exams rather than instrumental or singing exams. Examiners assess the quality of the music-making, not how it's achieved. For this reason, we don't restrict examiners to assessing only their own instrument but require them to examine all instruments.

There are no age restrictions and students can start with any grade or skip grades if they want to.

What's included in a Practical exam?

To succeed in our Practical exams, candidates need a combination of skills and understanding. Broadly, we assess:

  • Performance skills through pieces or songs
  • Technical skills through scales and arpeggios
  • Notation skills through a sight-reading test
  • Listening skills and musical perception through aural tests

How many marks are available?

Total marks in all individual Practical graded exams are 150.

  • 100 marks are required to pass
  • 120 marks are required to pass with merit
  • 130 marks are required to pass with distinction

Find out more about each part of the Practical graded exam

Other key exam information

 

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