Latest exam updates

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 our Dates and Fees page for details.

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.

Practical Musicianship

Our Practical Musicianship exams give students opportunities to develop their ability to ‘think in sound’ and perform spontaneously. While Performance and Practical Grades focus on aspects of performance and/or supporting tests that are prepared in detail in advance, here the playing (or singing) is in response to immediate challenges and stimuli, presented both aurally and via notation.

From Grades 1–8, the Practical Musicianship exams cover some key skills:

  • The ability to internalise music and to reproduce it
  • Interpreting written music with minimum preparation
  • Exploring the possibilities inherent in a short motif
  • The ability to detect differences between what's heard and what's written

Practical Musicianship exams encourage interconnected development of musical listening, reading and playing skills through a holistic approach.

An alternative to Grade 5 Music Theory

Grade 5 Practical Musicianship is an alternative to Grade 5 Music Theory as a prerequisite for taking ABRSM Grades 6–8 Practical and Performance exams, enabling you to demonstrate your musical knowledge and understanding on your instrument rather than on paper.

Instruments

Practical Musicianship exams are open to singers as well as instrumentalists performing on any instrument(s) included in the current range of subjects offered by ABRSM.

Publications & audio

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