Latest exam updates

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – we will not be offering these exams in March. The next exams at Grades 6 to 8 will be in June 2021.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing.

For more information click here.

Remotely-assessed Performance Grades and ARSM 

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams is in February – for details see our dates and fees page

Singapore office closure 

On government advice, we will still continue to work from home into Phase 3. We will therefore be unable to answer telephone calls during this time.

If you need to contact us please email [email protected]

To provide a more candidate-friendly experience, we will be moving the assessment of Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 to an online exam.

With a focus on creating a more reliable and accessible assessment, our new Online Music Theory assessments give candidates the best opportunity to demonstrate their musical knowledge and understanding.

Resources and syllabus

Music Theory syllabus from 2018

Read the updated syllabus for Music Theory exams from 2018 onwards.

Current publications

Music Theory in Practice

We are not making any changes to our Music Theory in Practice books for Grades 1 to 5. They still cover all the knowledge and skills you need for our Music Theory exams at these grades from 2018. The sections on rhythm-writing, word-setting and melody writing will not be directly relevant to the exams from 2018, but overall Music Theory in Practice continues to provide plenty of valuable teaching and learning material for the exams.

First Steps in Music Theory and The AB Guide to Music Theory (Part 1)

We are not be making any changes to these books. They cover the basic principles of music theory and provide a thorough introduction to the knowledge and understanding needed at Grades 1 to 5. They continue to offer valuable support for exam preparation from 2018 onwards.

First Steps in Music Theory

The AB Guide to Music Theory (Part 1)

New printed Practice Papers

You are now able to buy printed Practice Papers and Model Answers for the revised exams at Grades 1 to 5 – these can be found in our online shop or ask your local retailer. The papers are based on questions from the 2017 exams, adjusted to reflect the revised questions that all candidates will be answering from 2018 onwards.

Past Papers from previous years

You are still able to buy Past Papers and Model Answers from previous years (2016 and earlier). They continue to provide valuable teaching material and can be used in addition to the new Practice Papers.

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