ARSM is for:
- Anyone seeking a challenge beyond Grade 8
- Musicians who want to get back into playing or singing after a break
- Students looking to enhance their performance skills before entering higher education
Latest exam updates
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
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.
ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) is a performance-only diploma. It's an opportunity for your students to demonstrate performance skills after Grade 8.
Candidates perform a 30-minute programme where they are assessed on their musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. There are no written or spoken elements and no scales, sight-reading or aural tests, making it a very accessible exam.
Exams are available worldwide with a new remote-assessment option available from October 2020 (initially in the UK and Ireland).
Please note that:
This meaningful goal provides the opportunity to your students to demonstrate their performance skills and to have their level of achievement recognised. It gives purpose and direction to post-Grade 8 learning and can also help bridge the gap between Grade 8 and DipABRSM.
ARSM is all about the performance!
ARSM also gives candidates the opportunity to create and perform their own programme of music for the first time.
Preparing to meet the challenges of a sustained 30-minute programme will help develop greater technical assurance and instrument control.
Successful candidates receive a certificate and can add letters (ARSM) after their name.
The exam is a performance of a 30-minute programme where:
Programmes should be balanced and varied.
The marks for ARSM are allocated as follows:
Performance as a whole
Out of the total of 50 marks available, 34 are required for a Pass, 40 for a Merit and 45 for a Distinction.
All candidates receive a mark form showing the examiner’s comments and the marks awarded.
ARSM is suitable for musicians, of any age, who would like something to work towards after Grade 8. Candidates must have already passed ABRSM Grade 8 Practical or Performance exam or a listed alternative in the instrument they want to take ARSM in.
Please note that:
We may ask candidates to send us their Grade 8 certificate or other supporting documentation.
ARSM is available for the following instruments:
This ARSM syllabus is valid from January 2017 until further notice.
We will post any minor updates at www.abrsm.org/syllabuscorrections. Advance notice of a revised syllabus containing significant changes will be provided on this page.