Latest exam updates

Performance Grades: Booking for June Performance Grades is open now until 13 May.

Performance Grade exams

We are now offering Performance Grade exams every month. Please check here for dates and fees. 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 ABPG15IN when you book. Please also read our terms and conditions here.

Performance Grades discount: system error

We currently have an error in our systems relating to discount codes. When you add the code your order summary will show that 15% has been added to the total, not taken away. However, the 15% discount will be applied to your booking and the correct total will appear at the top of the next screen before you pay. We're working to fix this and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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.

Every ABRSM examiner aims to provide each candidate with a welcoming, positive and fair exam experience. From the first day of an examiner’s training they are introduced to the maxim “I’ll do my best to help you do your best”, and this principle underpins the ABRSM examining approach.

We invest significantly in the training and ongoing monitoring of examiners, to ensure a friendly manner, together with efficient delivery and accurate marking of all exams, both practical and Theory. We hope that candidates and applicants will have no cause to complain about the quality of our exam service or the results which they receive, however we acknowledge that there may be rare occasions when this is not the case. Our Quality Assurance team is here to help with any examining-related concerns, including Result Reviews, where required.

For Practical exams, an audio recording is made using bespoke software on the examiner’s ABRSM iPad. The iPad automatically initiates each recording, which cannot be accessed by the examiner, and which is submitted digitally to ABRSM, together with the corresponding comments and marks. ABRSM’s Quality Assurance team has access by request to the audio recordings of Practical exams, making it possible to investigate any exam-related concerns which may have arisen on the exam day, and to offer a Result Review service. For Performance exams, examiners have access to the uploaded video recording whilst actually examining only, and not thereafter. The Result Review service is available also for Performance exams, and the Quality Assurance team has access by request to the uploaded video recordings. If you do have any concerns about exam delivery or results, please follow the Guidelines provided in the ‘Policies’ section below.

For Grade 1-5 Online Music Theory exams, the question-types used mean that there is only one correct answer to each question, and these exams are computer-marked. Online Music Theory exams are also video-recorded and reviewed, to ensure that they are conducted under full exam conditions. ABRSM’s Quality Assurance team has access to the video-recordings of all Theory exams, providing sight of the desktop and webcam, and including audio. This enables ABRSM to review the activity of each candidate during their exam, including aspects of exam technique, time taken to answer each question and sequence of working. Reviews can also confirm that candidates’ responses were correctly stored.

Grade 6-8 Theory exams are hand-marked by a team of Theory examiners, all of whom undergo rigorous training and ongoing monitoring, to ensure accuracy and consistency of marking.

Exam feedback policies 
Practical and Performance Grade Exams

You should submit any feedback or concerns through our online service. You can choose from the following options:

You can also access these options via the Help button at the top of the online service dashboard.

If you have any questions about how to submit your feedback or concerns, please use the contact us form.

Reasonable adjustments and special consideration appeals

We do all we can to ensure that candidates are provided with appropriate access arrangements and special considerations where they meet the requirements set out in our policies, so that exams taken are the most accurate reflection of their skills, knowledge and understanding.

If, however, you are unsatisfied with the outcome of an application for access arrangements or special consideration, then you can appeal this decision. Appeals must be received in writing within 14 days of receipt of the decision stating the grounds for your appeal and providing any supporting evidence. Appeals should be submitted using the Submit a complaint option on our online service. Once completed, any supplementary evidence should be sent to [email protected], with reference to the submitted appeal.

The appeal will be reviewed by a senior colleague who was not involved in the original decision. As part of the appeal, ABRSM will review all available evidence, including the information submitted by you. You should expect to receive an outcome within three weeks of submitting the appeal.

Malpractice and maladministration appeals

The integrity of the examinations we conduct and the qualifications we award is paramount. We therefore take any form of malpractice very seriously. We will issue penalties or sanctions where appropriate. 

If, however, you wish to appeal a malpractice penalty or sanction, you can appeal this decision. Appeals must be submitted in writing within 14 days of receipt of the decision, stating the grounds for your appeal and providing any supporting evidence. Appeals should be submitted using the Submit a complaint option on our online service. Once completed, any supplementary evidence should be sent to [email protected], with reference to the submitted appeal. 

The appeal will be reviewed by a senior colleague who was not involved in the original decision. As part of the appeal, ABRSM will review all available evidence, including the information submitted by you. You should expect to receive an outcome within three weeks of submitting the appeal.

Positive feedback

We love to hear about your positive exam day experiences. We pass on your feedback to examiners, stewards and invigilators wherever possible. Please let us know about anything they did that made a positive difference on your exam day. You can send your positive feedback through our online service: Submit positive feedback.

When to expect your results

Visit our section on results and certificates.

On-the-day concerns

If you have any concerns arising on the day of your exam, please contact us within seven days of the exam taking place. This will help us to investigate the matter before we issue results. You can submit concerns or feedback via the Help section of our the online service or via the links on this page. Please read the guidance on this page before submit your feedback.

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