Latest exam updates

Performance Grades: Booking for June Performance Grades is open now until 13 May.

Performance Grade exams

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check our Dates and Fees page for details.

Grade 5 Music Theory waiver (not applicable in the UK & Ireland)

We are extending our Grade 5 Music Theory waiver until 23 May 2021. This means that candidates with a Grade 6 to 8 Performance Grade exam submission date up to and including 23 May can take their exam without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. We are making this exceptional arrangement to allow candidates who have been unable to take an exam in recent months to progress with their learning. From 24 May, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return. For exam dates/exam submission dates after 23 May, all candidates taking a Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical Grade must first pass Grade 5 Music Theory.

This exam was awarded a…

Distinction!
Hear commentary about Kaiden’s Grade 1 Piano performance from ABRSM’s Chief Examiner, John Holmes.


Marking criteria

Each piece/song is marked out of 30. We are assessing your control of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance.

Distinction

27-30

  • Highly accurate notes/pitch
  • Fluent and rhythmic
  • Musically shaped
  • Confident response

Merit

24-26

  • Largely accurate notes/pitch
  • Mostly regular flow
  • Mainly even tone
  • Secure response

Pass

20-23

  • Generally correct notes/pitch, despite errors
  • Continuity generally maintained
  • Generally reliable tone
  • Cautious response

Below Pass

  • Frequent errors in notes and/or pitch
  • Lacking continuity and/or some items incomplete
  • Unreliable tone
  • Uncertain response and/or some items not attempted

After the full programme has been completed, a mark out of 30 is awarded for the performance as a whole.

 

Communication

Interpretation

Delivery

Distinction

27-30

  • Consistently well-projected and involved, showing strong performance commitment and conviction
  • Effective sequence and pacing of chosen programme; consistently good performance awareness and control
  • Consistently effective stylistic characterisation; interpretative demands of the programme well met
  • Consistently good awareness and control of textures and ensemble, with effective blending and balancing
  • Consistently assured and controlled; technical challenges of the programme well met
  • Consistently effective instrument management, fully responsive to the performance situation

Merit

24-26

  • Mainly well-projected and involved, showing positive performance commitment
  • Largely effective sequence and pacing of chosen programme; mainly good performance awareness and control
  • Mostly effective stylistic realisation; interpretative demands of the programme largely well met
  • Mainly good awareness and control of textures and ensemble, with appropriate blending and balancing
  • Effectively controlled; most technical challenges of the programme well met
  • Mostly effective instrument management, mainly responsive to the performance situation

Pass

20-23

  • Projection and involvement sufficient to maintain an overall sense of performance
  • Sequence and pacing of chosen programme shows adequate performance awareness and control
  • Sufficient stylistic realisation to meet the interpretative demands of the programme
  • Adequate awareness and control of textures and ensemble, with sufficient blending and balancing
  • Generally controlled; technical challenges of the programme securely met overall
  • Sufficiently reliable instrument management to meet the demands of the performance situation

Below Pass

15-19

  • Insufficient projection or sense of involvement to maintain a sense of performance
  • Sequence and/or pacing of chosen programme shows inadequate performance awareness or control
  • Stylistic realisation not equal to the interpretative demands of the programme
  • Insufficient awareness or control of textures and ensemble, and/or unsuitable blending and balancing
  • Consistency of control insufficient to meet the technical challenges of the programme
  • Insufficiently reliable instrument management to meet the demands of the performance situation


Build performance skills with ABRSM Performance Grades

Available at Grades 1 to 8 for a wide range of instrumental and singing subjects, Performance Grades are 100% assessed from recordings.

Performance Grade exams provide opportunities for candidates to create their own performance, featuring music that is special to them, in a place of their choice.  And they provide recognition for the communication, interpretation and storytelling skills that sit at the heart of every successful musical performance.

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