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.

Performance Grade booking

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams opens in February. For details, see our dates and fees page.

Mock aural tests

A single set of mock tests for each grade, taken from ABRSM’s Specimen Aural Tests volumes, is available from this website as a free audio download, to help prepare candidates for what to expect in the exam.

Answers are given on the audio download for any parts of tests that require a spoken response (except for Test 8D, for which a written description of the piece is provided as a PDF file). For tests that require a sung response there is an opportunity to check the response on the audio download. An answer space is provided, but if extra thinking time is required simply pause the recording.

In some cases there are other ways of responding that would be equally successful, so the answers should only be used as a guide. It should also be noted that in an exam the examiner will not provide answers.

The Specimen Aural Tests volumes provide many further practice examples and are available in versions with or without CDs. Copies can be purchased via our online publications shop and your local retailer.

Notes regarding Test A and Test B at Grades 4-8

  • Test A: for candidates who choose to play instead of sing their response, details of key-chords and starting notes are provided below, beneath the relevant audio download
  • Test B: music for this sight-singing test is provided as a PDF file beneath the relevant audio download

Download audio files and accompanying PDFs

To download a test to your machine or device, right-click and select 'Save Target As'/Save Link As'.

 Grade

Test A

Test B

Test C

Test D

All 

Grade 1

1A

1B

1C

1D

All tests

Grade 2

2A

2B

2C

2D

All tests

Grade 3

3A

3B

3C

3D

All tests

Grade 4

4A

key-chord G major, starting note B

4B

Music (PDF)

4C

 

All tests

Grade 5

5A

key-chord F major, starting note C

5B

Music (PDF)

5C

 

All tests

Grade 6

6A

key-chord G minor, starting note G

6B

Music (PDF)

6C

6D

All tests

Grade 7

7A

key-chord G major, starting note G

7B

Music (PDF)

7C (i and ii)
7C (iii)

7D

All tests

Grade 8

8A

key-chord C minor, starting note C

for transposing instruments:
in Bb: key-chord D minor, starting note D
in F: key-chord G minor, starting note G
in Eb: key-chord A minor, starting note A

8B

Music (PDF)

8C

8D

Piece description (PDF)

All tests

 

Tests for 2020/21: Set 1

Grade Test A Test B Test C Test D All
Grade 6

6A

key-chord F major, starting note F

for transposing instruments:

in B flat: G major, starting note G; in F: C major, starting note C; in E flat: D major, starting note D

6B

MUSIC (PDF)

6C 6D ALL TESTS
Grade 7

7A

key-chord B flat major, starting note B flat

for transposing instruments:

in B flat: C major, starting note C; in F: F major, starting note F; in E flat: G major, starting note G

7B

MUSIC (PDF)

7C 7D ALL TESTS
Grade 8 

8A

key-chord E flat major, starting note E flat

for transposing instruments:

in B flat: F major, starting note F; in F: B flat major, starting note B flat; in E flat: C major, starting note C

8B

MUSIC (PDF)

8C

8D

PIECE DESCRIPTION (PDF)

ALL TESTS

Tests for 2020/21: Set 2

Grade Test A Test B Test C Test D All
Grade 6

6A      

key-chord G minor, starting note D

for transposing instruments:

in B flat: A minor, starting note E; in F: D minor, starting note A; in E flat: E minor, starting note

6B

MUSIC (PDF)
6C 6D ALL TESTS
Grade 7

7A        

key-chord G minor, starting note G

for transposing instruments:

in B flat: A minor, starting note A; in F: D minor, starting note D; in E flat: E minor, starting note E

7B

MUSIC (PDF)
7C 7D ALL TESTS
Grade 8

8A    

key-chord A minor, starting note A

for transposing instruments:

in B flat: B minor, starting note B; in F: E minor, starting note E; in E flat: F sharp minor, starting note F sharp

8B

MUSIC (PDF)
BC

8D

PIECE DESCRIPTION (PDF)

ALL TESTS

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.