On 8 March 2023 we are introducing online programme forms for Performance Grades and digital ARSM diplomas. Instead of candidates showing a paper programme form to the camera at the start of the exam recording, the person submitting the video will enter the programme details online. Read our news story to find out how this will affect candidates and what you need to do. Find out more.
To find out when you can book and submit your exam, see our dates and fees page.
Our Performance Grades are not replacing our existing Practical Grades, they offer an additional route to musical progress.
You can also choose to switch between Performance Grades and Practical Grades as you progress through the grades.
The exams are equivalent in demand and value to our existing Practical Grades, but have a different emphasis with a focus on performance.
For the exam, candidates select and perform four pieces or songs, presented as a continuous programme: at least three pieces need to be from our existing syllabus (one from each list) and one is of the candidate’s own choice. Full programming requirements, including timings, are given in the relevant syllabus (available to download from this page).
Performance Grades are assessed digitally: choose your pieces/songs, practise your performance and - when you’re ready – record a video of your performance and send it to us for marking by our examiner panel.
As with our Practical Grades, a total of 150 marks will be available overall. The four pieces/songs will be marked individually with a maximum of 30 marks for each item. A further 30 marks are then available for the ‘performance as a whole’. Examiners will use our established criteria to mark the pieces – assessing pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. You can find the full assessment criteria in the qualification specification.
If a candidate is ready to record their Performance Grade exam, they can do this at any time, as long as they follow the full guidance, qualification specification and syllabus requirements available on this page. We hope this flexibility to record now and submit later (once an exam has been booked) will provide opportunities for learners to record their performance at a time that works for them.
You must read the full ‘Guidance for digital Performance Grade exams’ available under Key Documents on this page, before you make any exam recordings. This guidance covers how to record and submit a Performance Grade video.
A pass at ABRSM Grade 5 or above is required in either Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or any solo Jazz Practical Grade before learners can enter for a Grade 6, 7 or 8 Performance exam.
As with our Practical Grades, students taking Performance Grades 6 to 8 will receive UCAS (University and Colleges Admission Service) points which can be used as part of a university or college application in the UK.
We also offer a digital option for taking the ARSM diploma. The exam content and requirements are unchanged, but the Qualification Specification (syllabus) has been updated to include information and requirements relevant to the digital option which is assessed from a video recording. Information about ARSM is available at www.abrsm.org/arsmdiploma
Qualification Specification: Music Performance Grades
Download Piano [2023 & 2024] Syllabus
Download Piano [2021 & 2022] Syllabus
Download Bowed Strings Syllabus
Download Woodwind [From 2022] Syllabus
Download Brass Syllabus [2017-2022]
Download Brass Syllabus [From 2023]
Download Percussion [From 2020] Syllabus
Download Singing For Musical Theatre Syllabus
Bowed strings: 弦乐等级音乐演奏考纲 [2020-2023]