Latest exam updates

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.

Remotely-assessed Performance Grades and ARSM 

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams is in February – for details see our dates and fees page.  

Doing their best to help candidates do their best

At ABRSM, we employ around 700 highly qualified and skilled generalist music examiners. Many are performers, teachers and conductors, and a lot of them have done exams themselves and are often on stage. In other words, they know exactly what it's like to be in a candidate's shoes.

Manner, method, marking

All our examiners are moderated and trained on three key things:

  1. Manner: It’s the little things in the exam room that make the difference. Our examiners welcome candidates into the room, help them adjust the height of the stand and give them the opportunity to warm up on their instrument.
  2. Method: Making the day run smoothly is vital to a great exam experience, so we train our examiners in managing the pace of the exam, the way the aural tests are conducted, and many other aspects of the exam day.
  3. Marking: Our exams are music exams first, rather than instrumental or singing exams. ABRSM examiners assess all instruments and singing as generalist musicians instead of instrumental or vocal specialists. They use the same universal marking criteria to assess the musical outcome, not the technique used to achieve it, which allows consistent marking across all instruments.

Individual experience is combined with comprehensive training, both before and after acceptance to the examiner team. Continuing professional development, moderation and monitoring means that we have a team of examiners that we trust and know to be impartial, objective and consistent.

 

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