Latest exam updates

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.

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.

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.

ABRSM’s Performance Grades

6 months ago


Take to the stage, share your musical story and discover an additional route to progress with our Performance Grades.

A message from Michael Elliott, Chief Executive

I am delighted to introduce you to ABRSM’s Performance Grades, an exciting addition to our trusted pathways of regulated assessments.

Why is this exciting?

  • Performing is about telling your musical story, communicating your own musical interpretation, engaging with your audience, and sharing your craft.
  • Our Performance Grades give you the opportunity to bring all of these essential skills to a regulated qualification, to showcase and be rewarded for them.
  • You have greater musical choice: you choose the pieces/songs, you choose how you arrange them into a programme, and you choose how you best put across your own musical interests, tastes, strengths and personality. You can also choose to switch between our Performance and Practical exams as you progress through the grades.
  • You have a wealth of rich and exciting music to draw on, in ABRSM syllabuses and beyond.
  • Performance Grades are flexible and accessible – because they are remotely assessed, your performance can take place at home, at school or in a community setting.
  • These regulated qualifications carry UCAS points at Grades 6, 7 & 8.

What next if I want to take a Performance Grade?

  • See Key information for the Qualification Specification, which provides the requirements and information teachers, candidates, parents and organisations need to begin preparing for Performance Grades. It also includes information on how the exams will be assessed, their learning outcomes and regulated qualification details.
  • Check Latest updates to find out when we aim to make Performance Grades available in your country.
  • Read our Guidelines for practical advice on how to book and take a remotely-assessed Performance Grade exam.

We will continue to update the information on these pages over the coming months as well as providing to answers to your Performance Grades questions in our FAQs.

Our mission at ABRSM is to inspire musical achievement. We believe everyone has the right to enjoy and excel at music. We also understand that everyone’s musical journey is different. This is why we’re committed to creating new opportunities for people to achieve their goals.

ABRSM Performance Grades offer an alternative way for learners to achieve a graded exam. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to them and to announce this additional pathway to support your musical journeys.

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