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. 

California - Los Angeles and San Diego


California - Monterey area


California - San Francisco area







North Carolina



Central California

Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina

New York & Connecticut


Oregon and SW Washington

San Francisco


Arizona & Colorado 

 Southern California (Los Angeles & San Diego) 



Key information

Introducing online exams: Grades 1 to 5

  • We are moving Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5 to an online assessment, instead of a paper-based one. These online exams will be available in a limited number of territories to begin with, starting with a Grade 5 live pilot exam on 26 August for candidates in the UK.
  • During 2021, we aim to introduce online assessment for all Grade 1 to 5 Music Theory exams worldwide.
  • Where online exams are available – paper-based exams will no longer be an option for Grades 1 to 5 (except in very limited special circumstances).
  • Where online exams are not yet available – we will offer paper-based exams for Grades 1 to 5 where we can do this safely and in line with government guidance. 

Find out more about online exam dates 

Find out more about taking an online exam

Updated questions & syllabus changes: Grades 1 to 5

  • We have updated some questions and made some small changes to the syllabus at these grades.
  • We have also adapted the style of some questions to fit the online exam format.
  • These updated questions and syllabus changes apply to online exams from 2020 in all territories where they are available.
  • Where online exams are not yet available and we are still offering paper-based exams, these updated questions and syllabus changes apply from 2021.

Find out more about updated questions and syllabus changes

Preparing for an online exam

  • To support teachers and learners working towards Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5, we are publishing a range of exciting new books and resources – available from October 2020.
  • We are also providing free Sample Papers and Model Answers for Grades 1 to 5. The Grade 5 Sample Paper and Model Answers are available now. Grades 1 to 4 will follow.
  • Once the booking period has closed, all candidates entered for an online Music Theory exam will be able to log in, experience the online exam platform and practise a small selection of sample questions before the exam. We will email the applicant with the relevant log in details and instructions.

Look out for more information about books, resources and preparation materials – coming soon!

Find out more about preparing for an exam

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.