Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st 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. Find out more: https://www.abrsm.org/en/latestupdates

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 candidate 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.

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Exact dates will be announced soon. Please check here for more information. 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.

New Initial Grade

What is Initial Grade?

Our new Initial Grade for Piano is a pre-Grade 1 assessment following the same structure, content and marking criteria as our other graded music exams (three pieces, scales, sight-reading and aural tests).

Initial Grade does not replace Prep Test, but it sits alongside it as an alternative assessment. It’s designed to allow pianists at the earliest stages of their musical journeys to celebrate their achievement, and is an ideal qualification for those who want a mark as well as helpful feedback. Initial Grade is available for Practical grades only.

What supporting resources are available?

Piano Initial Grade is supported with individual books of Piano Exam Pieces (available with or without CD), Piano Scales & Arpeggios and Specimen Piano Sight-reading Tests as well as a book of Specimen Aural Tests. Find out more.

Piano Star Skills Builder is a new book by David Blackwell and Karen Marshall in the popular Piano Star series. It will develop musicianship skills for young pianists who are working towards Initial Grade level and beyond, providing a firm foundation in scales, aural, and sight-reading skills, building essential techniques progressively. The varied material includes fun pieces to play, songs to sing, written and listening activities, composition games, and much more. Based on decades of proven teaching strategies, with all content tried out on – and approved! – by children, Piano Star Skills Builder will grow young pianists’ confidence and skill around all areas of musicianship, providing them with the underpinnings they need to succeed at ABRSM Initial Grade Piano and beyond, and develop their musical journey for many years to come. The book publishes on 3 September and is available to pre-order now!

Watch Konya Kanneh-Mason perform The Elephant Parade by Nikki Iles - a newly-commissioned piece on our Initial Grade Piano syllabus.

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.