Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1 January to 31 May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam.

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidates will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, Non-attendance and Fee Refunds Policy still applies.

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) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • 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. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

Performance Grade exams

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees. We are extending the introductory 15% discount for these exams so that it applies to all remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams in 2021. Just enter code ABPG15MO when you book using our online service. Please also read our discount information and terms and conditions here.

For all press and media enquiries please contact Jon Flinn on 07811 397122

or email [email protected]

Improving our Music Theory exams

3 years ago

We’re making some small changes to our Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5. Our aim is to create a better exam experience for candidates with more focus on the essential knowledge and understanding needed at this level.

Same syllabus, same standards

The revised exam papers are based on our existing Music Theory syllabus and will continue to assess the same broad areas of music theory to the same standards. The exams will still cover:

  • knowledge of western music notation, including common signs and terms
  • understanding of fundamental musical elements, such as intervals, keys, scales and chords.

What’s changing and when

Revised exam papers will be used in all countries from 1 January 2018, with no overlap period. There are no changes to questions at Grades 6 to 8. We’re introducing modernised questions and assessment methods in some parts of the exam at Grades 1 to 5. We are also removing rhythm-writing, word-setting, melody-writing and the Grade 5 SATB short/open score question at these grades. For all grades (1 to 8) we’re updating the design of the papers to ensure they are clear and easy to understand.

Practice materials – coming soon

In July, you’ll be able to find free practice materials for the refreshed papers on our website. These include two complete sets of Practice Papers to view, download and print, and an online resource for trying out some of the questions. From January 2018, you will also be able to buy new Printed Practice papers and Model Answers for the updated exams. In the meantime, you can find out more about the improvements to our Music Theory exams and check our FAQs here.

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