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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 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 ABPG15SG when you book using our online service. Please also read our discount information and terms and conditions here.

Singapore office

On government advice, we will be following a more flexible and hybrid way of working. Although working from home is still encouraged, from 12 April we will be able to answer a limited number of calls and applicants can contact us via the Local Contact - ABRSM: Local exam contacts. We will continue to update you when further information is published by Ministry of Manpower.

A message from our Chief Executive – our future plans

11 months ago

At ABRSM we appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected you and we’re working hard on solutions to ensure you gain your qualifications at the earliest opportunity.

On 6 May we announced that we would be making special arrangements to offer adapted exams to learners in the UK. These exams are available to learners in their final year of schooling who were expecting to take Grade 6 to 8 (Practical or Music Theory) by summer 2020, and to have their results in time to provide UCAS points for university entrance. The offer of an adapted exam is an exceptional and temporary measure for this specific group of learners. To ensure we can meet the needs of these learners we are restricting these exams to UK candidates to begin with. We will then consider offering them to other candidates and in other countries, and will provide an update on this as soon as we can.

We also announced that we will be offering online practical graded music exams, with a focus on performance, to learners in the UK from August. The exams will be for all instruments and grades (Grades 1-8 and ARSM) and will use our existing repertoire and resources. To begin with, these exams will be available in the UK only. We will then begin rolling them out in stages to learners in other countries later in the year.

The provision of online exams is a new and very exciting step for us and, we hope, for our community of teachers and learners too. I completely understand that many of you will be disappointed that you cannot use these online exams sooner. However, by launching them in the UK with a limited number of candidates, we can make sure that the processes and systems that support the exams are effective and run smoothly.

In the meantime, we are reviewing our Music Theory offer while continuing to plan for the resumption of face-to-face exams in appropriate venues and under strict management of social distancing requirements, once circumstances allow. Please continue to check our website for the latest information.

Whether you are a teacher, learner or parent, you matter to us, and we will continue to do everything we can to support your musical journeys.

Take care and stay safe!

Michael Elliott

Chief Executive, ABRSM

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