Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1 January to 31 May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam.

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidates will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, Non-attendance and Fee Refunds Policy still applies.

Performance Grade booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees.

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) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • 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.

Face-to-face practical exams, session 1 - USA

Due to current COVID restrictions, we will not be opening our normal booking period in January for face-to-face practical exams in April-June. We hope to provide a practical session later in the year, but need to keep all dates under review as we can only accept bookings if COVID travel and government restrictions are lifted. We will provide an update nearer to the next booking period.


700 musicians aged 4-70 unite from around world for virtual performance of Disney track

8 months ago

ABRSM unites nations for June 21st Make Music Day

More than 700 musicians, from infant school pupils to retirees, will be united virtually from around the world this weekend for an online performance of the Disney song, ‘How Far I’ll Go’, to mark international Make Music Day 2020 on Sunday 21st June.

The novel performance has been created by music education charity, ABRSM, and will feature musicians from more than 20 countries including Jamaica, Malaysia, Nigeria, Switzerland and the UK.

The 712 musicians answered an appeal by ABRSM to create and submit recordings of the song, featured in the soundtrack of the Disney film, Moana, and performed the track on everything from traditional orchestral instruments to chime bars, ukuleles and bass guitar.

ABRSM chief executive Michael Elliott said: “We were only expecting a hundred or so people to send in recordings but we’ve been bowled over by the sheer number of submissions, their quality and the range of nations that they represent.

“The variety of ages, from four-years-old to over 70, is equally impressive. It just seems that the idea has really caught people’s imagination and provided a timely reminder of the power of music and music learning in bringing communities together.”

Make Music Day is the world’s biggest international celebration of music, taking place in 125 countries on 21 June every year. It is a DIY festival encouraging people to organise live streamed music events for their communities.

ABRSM itself works in more than 90 countries, delivering graded music exams and support for musicians to progress, and it provided a click track for musicians to play along to and a choice of 42 different parts all created by ABRSM Examiner Russell Hepplewhite.

Russell, a composer of musical theatre and opera, said: “"I created several parts for some of the most popular instruments to cater for different skill levels, but it's been wonderful to see how others have taken a flexible approach. 

“Some of the brass players used a mixture of the parts available to them to make their own brilliantly unique arrangements, and some of the Hong Kong submissions creatively adapted the percussion part to play it on the chime bars."

The 712 recordings have been edited together by ABRSM and will be available to watch online as a single performance part of Make Music Day on Sunday June 21st.

Michael Elliott said: “We’ve been supporting teachers, parents and learners with our Play On initiative over the past few months. The virtual ensemble is an extension of the same commitment to keep everyone playing and progressing.”

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