Latest Exam News: Updated 22 July

Update 22 July 2021 – Online Service Unavailable

Our online booking service will be unavailable on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 July while we make some important updates. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please see below for how this might affect your exam booking and results:

Performance Grade Exam Submission

On Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 July you will not be able to submit an exam via the online service as the upload link will not be available.

Performance Grade Late Booking and Rescheduling

On Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 July you will not be able to make a Late Booking or Reschedule an exam using your online account. 

Results and Mark Forms

Customers will be unable to view results or download mark forms on their online account on Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28 July.

Update 23 June 2021 - Refunds for exams from April to September 2021

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for all ABRSM exams in all countries any absent candidate will automatically receive a full refund.

This includes Performance Grade exams where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video, and online Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you log in to your account and cancel the exam.

  • For Performance Grades we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session (not the exam date).
  • For online Music Theory (Grades 1 to 5) we will issue refunds within one month of the end of the exam session.

Exam type

Exam session

Refunds will be received by

Performance Grades

May

end of June

Performance Grades

June

end of July

Performance Grades

July

end of August

Performance Grades

August

end of September

Performance Grades

September

end of October

Online Music Theory (Grades 1 to 5)

May-June

end of July


Bowed Strings

Early learners playing the piano, violin, viola, cello or double bass will soon have the opportunity to take a new pre-Grade 1 exam. From August 2021 you will be able to book an Initial Performance Grade for these instruments with the first exam submission deadlines in September.

  • First booking period: August
  • First exam submission dates: September

We will be publishing the updated Performance Grades qualification specification and syllabuses in July.

To read more about our Initial Performance Grade click here.

Update June 2021 – Syllabus Extension

Due to COVID-19, we are happy to extend the overlap periods of the Bowed Strings 2016–2019 syllabus, and the Percussion 1990–2019 syllabus. Please read the Syllabus Overlap guidance carefully for the full requirements and arrangements for your syllabus.

Update – Exams in 2021

Face to Face Practical Exams

We will continue to publish planned dates for future face-to-face practical exams, however, we will need to keep these dates under review as we can only accept bookings if COVID-19 travel and government restrictions allow. Please continue to check the Dates and Fees page for the most up to date information.

Performance Grades

We are pleased to confirm that we will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021.  Confirmed dates up to September 2021 are available on our website and we will continue to run exams every month from October to December and beyond. Please check our Dates and Fees page for details. Our next Performance Grade booking period is open from 7 to 14 April, with exam submission dates in May. You can find all our Performance Grades information here. Our YouTube Performance Grades playlist is also a great place to find guidance, advice and tips. 

Update 17 June 2021 - Initial Performance Grade coming soon for Piano and Bowed Strings

Early learners playing the piano, violin, viola, cello or double bass will soon have the opportunity to take a new pre-Grade 1 exam. From August 2021 you will be able to book an Initial Performance Grade for these instruments with the first exam submission deadlines in September.

  • First booking period: August
  • First exam submission dates: September

We will be publishing the updated Performance Grades qualification specification and syllabuses in July.

To read more about our Initial Performance Grade click here.

Update 2 June 2021 – online Music Theory exam session

Don’t forget, the online Music Theory session is now open.  All grades are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week up to and including 23 June.

Please make all preparations well in advance of the planned exam day. This is particularly important for candidates taking their exam towards the end of the session.

Before the exam

  • Click here for important information about setting up for the exam, including our video guide.
  • Download the exam software - please only download the software from this link or the link available on our website.
  • Candidates can try out practice papers here and make sure their computer is compatible here.

Technical support

  • You can find out how to resolve common issues on here.
  • For further support with getting online and starting the exam, please contact PSI Customer Support.  Their telephone number is listed under ‘Customer Support and Technical Enquiries’ here.

03 February 2021

Face-to-face practical exams in 2021

We have published all planned dates for face-to-face practical exams in 2021. However, we will need to keep these dates under review as we can only accept bookings if COVID travel and government restrictions are lifted. Please continue to check the Dates and Fees page for the most up to date information.

2 November 2020

Syllabus Validity and Overlap Periods

Due to COVID-19, we are happy to extend the overlap periods of the Bowed Strings 2016–2019 syllabus, and the Percussion 1990–2009 syllabus. Please read the Syllabus Overlap guidance carefully for the full requirements and arrangements for your syllabus. Key dates are summarised below for reference but you will need to refer to the full published guidance for the complete details of how to prepare.

Syllabus

Published end date

Published overlap period (worldwide)

Special COVID-19 extension arrangements (worldwide)

Bowed Strings 2016–2019

31 December 2019

Until 31 December 2020

 

 

Please note, due to COVID-19 we are happy to extend this overlap to the first opportunity for candidates to take their exam in 2021. Special permission is no longer required. Candidates should inform the examiner, and/or indicate on the programme form, that they are playing pieces from the 2016–2019 syllabus.

Any candidate starting preparations for an exam in 2021 must use the new 2020–2023 syllabus.

Percussion

1990–2019

31 December 2019

Until 31 December 2020

 

 

Please note, due to COVID-19 we are happy to extend this overlap to the first opportunity for candidates to take their exam in 2021. Special permission is no longer required. Candidates should inform the examiner, and/or indicate on the programme form, that they are using the 1990–2019 syllabus.

Any candidate starting preparations for an exam in 2021 must use the new Percussion syllabus, available for four subjects – Snare Drum, Timpani, Tuned Percussion and Percussion (Combined). 

13 August 2020

Music Exams

Unfortunately, there is still uncertainty around how and when we can begin to offer face-to-face Practical Grade exams, including Grades 1-8, ARSM and Diplomas. We recognise that the worldwide response to the coronavirus pandemic will continue to disrupt travel and large gatherings of candidates. We are monitoring the situation and doing all we can to get these exams up and running again. However, everything we do must be in line with guidance from both your government and the UK government to ensure the safety of learners, teachers, examiners and staff. 

We’ve now published further information about our remotely-assessed Performance Grades. We will be gradually rolling out Performance Grades internationally, starting before the end of 2020, following their initial launch in the UK. We’ll let you know more about future exam dates as soon as we can.  In the meantime, you can find out more about these exams here.

Performance Grades

We will be gradually rolling out Performance Grades internationally, starting before the end of 2020, following their initial launch in the UK. We’ll let you know more about future exam dates as soon as we can.  You can find out more about these exams here. We are providing further details as and when we are able to, and you can now read the full guidance document, which includes information about how you should record and submit a remotely-assessed Performance Grade once theses exams are available.

Introducing online Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 – the headlines

What’s changing and at which grades?

We will be moving the assessment of Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 to an online exam. We are confident that the online format will provide a more learner-friendly experience for candidates. We have been working on these developments for some time, but in response to the Covid-19 pandemic we have accelerated this work.

At the same time, we have updated some of the Grade 1 to 5 questions to bring them in line with a style of assessment commonly used across the education sector. In addition, there are a few minor changes to the syllabus itself. These changes apply to online Music Theory exams from 2020 onwards. Where online exams are not yet available and we are still offering paper-based exams, there will be no changes to questions and the exams will be based on the ‘from 2018’ Music Theory syllabus.

Please see this page for further details, including a useful syllabus summary.

We have recently shared additional resources to help teachers and learners become familiar with the new online exams. These include:

  • Example Grade 5 exam questions in the online format
  • A step by step guide, taking you through the exam process
  • Video demos of how to set up the new exam, and what the new questions will look like

These new materials can be found on this page.

Please be aware that Music Theory exams at Grades 6 to 8 will continue as paper-based assessments for everyone worldwide. There are no changes to the questions or syllabus for these grades. We will offer these exams when we can do this safely and in line with government guidance.

When is it happening?

The first opportunity to take an online Music Theory exam varies across markets. All of the webpages have been updated with the relevant information, so please refer to our website for specific information for each country.

The following markets will have online Music Theory exams for Grades 1 to 5 in November or December:

  •  UK, Republic of Ireland, Singapore, India, Czech Republic, Russia, Slovakia, Malta

The international roll-out of the new online Music Theory exams for all other markets will take place during 2021, with preparations being made during the rest of 2020. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to ensure paper-based Music Theory exams for Grades 1 to 8 go ahead in all international markets this year where they can do so safely.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work out the best options for the safe delivery of our assessments. We will provide updates on the availability of all our exams and assessments as soon as we can. 

Useful Links

 

Where to find sheet music

Many retailers are continuing to provide sheet music, books, instruments and accessories through online or mail order services. View our shops list here.

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