Latest exam updates

Practical Update 

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 due to COVID-19, we have made the decision to cancel all Practical exams in Macau until further notice. This decision affects all 2020 bookings for Graded Music Exams, ARSM, Diploma, Choral Singing and Ensemble exams, but does not currently affect any bookings for Music Theory exams. Following this decision, we will process 100% refunds for all existing Practical exam bookings and our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course.

We are sorry for the impact on teachers and candidates and thank you for your loyalty and support while these restrictions remain in place. We are continuing to review when live Practical exams can resume in Macau and will offer them again at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our new remotely-assessed Performance Grades provide an alternative progression route for students during this period of disruption. The Performance Grades are equivalent to our Practical Grades in demand, recognition and value. They are based on the same repertoire and syllabuses, assessment criteria and quality assurance measures as our existing exams and will be assessed by the same highly trained examiners. Booking will open in Macau before the end of the year and you can record your video submission any time from now on. Find out more here.

ABRSM’s Performance Grades

2 months ago


Take to the stage, share your musical story and discover an additional route to progress with our Performance Grades.

A message from Michael Elliott, Chief Executive

I am delighted to introduce you to ABRSM’s Performance Grades, an exciting addition to our trusted pathways of regulated assessments.

Why is this exciting?

  • Performing is about telling your musical story, communicating your own musical interpretation, engaging with your audience, and sharing your craft.
  • Our Performance Grades give you the opportunity to bring all of these essential skills to a regulated qualification, to showcase and be rewarded for them.
  • You have greater musical choice: you choose the pieces/songs, you choose how you arrange them into a programme, and you choose how you best put across your own musical interests, tastes, strengths and personality. You can also choose to switch between our Performance and Practical exams as you progress through the grades.
  • You have a wealth of rich and exciting music to draw on, in ABRSM syllabuses and beyond.
  • Performance Grades are flexible and accessible – because they are remotely assessed, your performance can take place at home, at school or in a community setting.
  • These regulated qualifications carry UCAS points at Grades 6, 7 & 8.

What next if I want to take a Performance Grade?

  • See Key information for the Qualification Specification, which provides the requirements and information teachers, candidates, parents and organisations need to begin preparing for Performance Grades. It also includes information on how the exams will be assessed, their learning outcomes and regulated qualification details.
  • Check Latest updates to find out when we aim to make Performance Grades available in your country.
  • Read our Guidelines for practical advice on how to book and take a remotely-assessed Performance Grade exam.

We will continue to update the information on these pages over the coming months as well as providing to answers to your Performance Grades questions in our FAQs.

Our mission at ABRSM is to inspire musical achievement. We believe everyone has the right to enjoy and excel at music. We also understand that everyone’s musical journey is different. This is why we’re committed to creating new opportunities for people to achieve their goals.

ABRSM Performance Grades offer an alternative way for learners to achieve a graded exam. It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to them and to announce this additional pathway to support your musical journeys.

Back to listing

Contact us

Any comments or questions about our news and articles? Get in touch using this form.

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.