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 booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees.


Between 1993 and 1999 ABRSM carried out three substantial programmes of research into the teaching, learning and playing of musical instruments in the UK. The ABRSM reports based on that research had a significant impact on the music education environment.

With the Wider Opportunities programme established, the publication of Darren Henley’s February 2011 report into music education in England, the November 2011 National Plan for Music Education and the setting up of the Music Education Hubs network in England – plus the deepest recession in the UK for many years – now seems an appropriate time to look again at what is happening to musical instrument teaching and learning.

This report, we believe, will be of huge significance in a changing music educational environment. Its significance has been enhanced by the willing cooperation of the many organisations that have helped ABRSM with this project.

I extend my thanks to them but also to those within ABRSM who have driven this project with such energy and determination, most notably our Director of Strategic Development, Lincoln Abbotts; our Business Development Director, Ben Selby; our Research Manager, Claire Milner and our communications team of Tony Pinkham and Tríona Doherty.

Leslie East

Leslie East
Chief Executive, ABRSM

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.