Latest exam updates

Practical Session 2 Update - USA

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners And we are working hard on solutions to ensure learners can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity.

However, on the basis of official and local advice we will be cancelling Session 2 Practical exams scheduled for October-December. Our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course. We are very sorry for the impact on teachers and candidates and we will continue to monitor the situation. Thank you for your loyalty and support while these restrictions remain in place.

We will be gradually rolling out remotely-assessed Performance Grades internationally starting before the end of 2020 and will share exam dates and booking periods soon.

Music Theory November Update - USA

We are still in the process of confirming with our Representatives whether Music Theory exams can take place in every area, based on local official advice. However, we can confirm that the Theory exams in the following areas below have been cancelled. All other areas are currently scheduled to hold a Music Theory exam, however we are monitoring the situation closely and will be in touch if anything changes.

North Carolina

Assessment delivery

Discover useful resources and guidance to get you set up and familiar with the system before your next Online Music Theory exam.

On this page you will find information about:

Online Music Theory exam guidelines  

To help you prepare for your exam, here are some guidelines that include important information for applicants, teachers, parents and candidates. The guidelines will take you through:

  • Booking an exam – using our online booking service
  • Where you can take the exam – including our requirements for the exam location and the equipment you will need
  • Candidate ID – needed for all candidates
  • The role of the responsible adult
  • Organising exams for multiple candidates in one location
  • The exam itself – including accessing the online exam platform
  • What candidates need to do at the start of the exam
  • The proctoring and security measures that will be place
  • Results and certificates

Get set up ahead of your exam

These two important videos talk you through the exam process – from logging onto the system and carrying out the room scan, to answering the exam questions.

Logging onto the system, ID check and room scan

  • If possible, the room candidates take the exam in should be free from notes, books of any kind, any depiction of musical notes and any representation of a piano keyboard. As shown in the demo. 
  • If a candidate is not able to access a room free of these items, then all books should remain closed and out of reach, and any depiction of musical notation or representation of a piano keyboard, including an actual piano, should be covered so they are not visible.

Navigating the online system and example online questions

How is ABRSM delivering this online assessment?

The exam platform, proctoring and test delivery are provided by a third-party supplier called PSI who deliver over 15 million assessments every year.

This policy provides information about the proctoring for our online Music Theory exams.

(Proctoring is a little like remote invigilation and ensures that individual candidates take their exams in accordance with our regulations and requirements.)

The candidate will be filmed for the duration of the exam via the webcam and exam software, and trained proctors will review each exam. The proctor is the person who views the video recording of the assessment and is responsible for alerting us to any suspicious activity

Get familiar with the exam format

Practice questions

Several Grade 5 example questions in the online format are now available. These sample questions are designed to show an example of the question types and question functionality included in the new exam.

We also have a reference sheet available which contains the exact sample question content you will see on the online system in a pdf format.

Candidates will also have the opportunity to test the full functionality within the online platform after they have registered for the exam.

In the meantime, we have some free sample papers and model answers to download at Grades 1-5 to help candidates become more familiar with the new question styles.

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