Our online booking service will be unavailable on Monday 19 April while we make some important updates. We will provide a new message here once the service is available again. If you have a Performance Grade exam booking this session, please see our Latest Updates page for important information on how this may affect you.

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.

Doing their best to help candidates do their best

At ABRSM, we employ around 700 highly qualified and skilled generalist music examiners. Many are performers, teachers and conductors, and a lot of them have done exams themselves and are often on stage. In other words, they know exactly what it's like to be in a candidate's shoes.

Manner, method, marking

All our examiners are moderated and trained on three key things:

  1. Manner: It’s the little things in the exam room that make the difference. Our examiners welcome candidates into the room, help them adjust the height of the stand and give them the opportunity to warm up on their instrument.
  2. Method: Making the day run smoothly is vital to a great exam experience, so we train our examiners in managing the pace of the exam, the way the aural tests are conducted, and many other aspects of the exam day.
  3. Marking: Our exams are music exams first, rather than instrumental or singing exams. ABRSM examiners assess all instruments and singing as generalist musicians instead of instrumental or vocal specialists. They use the same universal marking criteria to assess the musical outcome, not the technique used to achieve it, which allows consistent marking across all instruments.

Individual experience is combined with comprehensive training, both before and after acceptance to the examiner team. Continuing professional development, moderation and monitoring means that we have a team of examiners that we trust and know to be impartial, objective and consistent.

 

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