Latest exam updates

Performance Grade exams

We are now offering Performance Grade exams every month. 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. Please also read our terms and conditions here.

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.

The Commonwealth Composition Challenge

This exciting new competition has been created by the Commonwealth Resounds charity to encourage young people around the world to compose a short piece of music in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Prizes and rewards

Young people taking part will have the opportunity to gain cash prizes and high-profile performance opportunities, as well as composition advice and tuition from some of the finest professional composers in the world.

What kind of music can I write?

  • Your piece must be written for at least one and no more than five performers and must last no more than 3 minutes.
  • You can make a video to show with your music.
  • You can use electronics in your composition.

Here are some ideas to help you get started. Your composition can:

  • be a tribute to a volunteer or professional who is helping people affected by COVID-19.
  • be for someone who has suffered from COVID-19.
  • be your own personal creative response to the pandemic.
  • include information about COVID-19

How to submit your composition

You should include either a notated or a graphic score of your piece, or a clear diagram. Commonwealth Resounds will share guidance on submitting compositions as soon as possible. Check their website for more information.

There will be three awards for young people entering this competition

  • The Audience Vote
  • Young Adjudicators’ Award
  • Overall Award for The Commonwealth

Conditions for entry

  1. You should be aged between 11 and 18 years old on April 1 2020.
  2. You should live in one of the 53 Commonwealth Countries, including the UK.
  3. UK students who attend specialist music schools or junior departments at music conservatoires may not enter.
  4. Your parent/carer must let Commonwealth Resounds know that they are happy for you to enter this competition.
  5. All entries must be submitted to Commonwealth Resounds on or before Wednesday 1 July.
  6. Any material submitted (including videos and electronics) must be entirely your own work.
  7. Your composition should last no more than 3 minutes.
  8. Commonwealth Resounds will ask you and your parents for permission to share selected information about you if you are a winner in this competition.

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