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.

Chief Examiner John Holmes shares his practice tips

When it comes to music practice, reverse chaining is a great way to work on a piece. Reverse, or backward, chaining is used in a variety of educational settings and in music, it can transform longer more challenging pieces of music into manageable chunks. Chaining sounds complex, but is actually quite simple. You practise the very last bit first, and then when you’ve got that ‘perfected’, you practise the section that leads up to it, and so on. So you start at the end and work backwards.

Often it’s too easy to stay within the comfort of the familiar first few bars and avoid practising the more difficult end sections. Reversing this, from time to time, by beginning at the end means you spend enough time on the later sections. You are also moving towards the familiar rather than the unfamiliar, which in itself can help to build musical security and confidence.

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