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) 



Preparing for an exam

Grades 1 to 5

From 2020 - for online exams in all territories where they are available.

From 2021 - for paper-based exams in territories where online exams are not yet available

The core understanding candidates need to take an exam is staying the same and our existing books and resources still provide valuable preparation material. These include: Music Theory in Practice, Past Papers and Model Answers, the AB Guide to Music Theory and First Steps in Music Theory as well our music theory app.

Free Sample Papers and Model Answers

It’s important that candidates are familiar with the different style of exam questions they will be answering. To help, we are providing free Sample Papers and Model Answers – one set for each grade. The Grade 5 paper and answers are available now. Sample Papers and Model Answers for Grades 1 to 4 will follow.

Download the new Grade 5 Sample Paper

Download the new Grade 5 Model Answers

Other resources

Grade 5 Cadence Question Examples from 2020.

Updated Terms and Signs for Grades 1 to 5 from 2020

Online practice questions

All candidates who have been entered for an online Music Theory exam will have the opportunity to log in to the online exam platform to find out what it will be like on the day and practise some example questions.

New books and resources – coming soon

In October we are publishing specially designed learning resources which offer complete preparation for the updated Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5.  You can use these books to prepare for online exams at these grades from November 2020 onwards (where online exams are available) and paper-based exams from 2021 (where we are not providing online exams yet).

Look out for more information about these exciting new books and resources – coming soon!

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.