- Read key information to help your students in their preparation and on the exam day
- Find out how to enter the ARSM
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Latest exam updates
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.
Performance Grade exams
We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check our Dates and Fees page for details.
This section outlines what your students need to know for the exam day.
Candidates need to make sure they have completed a programme form, which they should give to the examiner at the start of the exam.
Examiners may ask to look at the music before or after the performance of the whole programme. A separate copy of the music is not needed – examiners can use the candidate’s or accompanist’s copy.
Candidates who are performing from memory must also bring copies of their music.
Performing from unauthorized photocopies (or other kinds of copies) of copyright editions is not allowed. If ABRSM has evidence an illegal copy is being used, we may withhold the exam result.
In the UK, copies may be used in certain limited circumstances – for full details, see the MPA’s Code of Fair Practice at www.mpaonline.org.uk. In all other cases, application should be made to the copyright holder before any copy is made, and evidence of permission received should be brought to the exam.
A music stand will be available at ABRSM centres although candidates are welcome to bring their own if they prefer. A chair/stool will also be provided for those who need it, e.g cellists. Double bassists should provide their own stool if required.
Candidates aren’t allowed to bring any material or equipment (such as devices capable of recording) unconnected with their exam to the exam room. Mobile phones must be switched off during the exam.
In most cases there will be just one examiner in the exam room; however, for training and quality assurance purposes, a second examiner may sometimes be present.
ABRSM will send the applicant the mark form (and certificate for successful candidates) after the exam. Examiners will never give the result on the day, or comment on what it is.
Candidates are very welcome to test the acoustic of the room by briefly playing or singing before beginning their performance. Pianists, in particular, are encouraged to take a few moments to get used to the piano.