Focusing on all-round musicianship

ABRSM exams are music exams rather than instrumental or singing exams. Examiners assess the quality of the music-making, not how it's achieved. For this reason, we don't restrict examiners to assessing only their own instrument but require them to examine all instruments.

We've designed our graded music exams to motivate instrumental and singing students of all ages and a wide range of abilities. They're available at eight levels – Grades 1 to 8 – and provide:

  • Progressive goals to aim for
  • Recognition for achievement
  • Carefully structured syllabus requirements
  • One-to-one assessment by an expert professional
  • An objective guide to a candidate’s skills and progress.

There are no age restrictions and students can start with any grade or skip grades if they want to.

What's included in the exam?

To succeed in our exams, candidates need a combination of skills and understanding. Broadly, we assess:

  • Performance skills through pieces or songs
  • Technical skills through scales and arpeggios
  • Notation skills through a sight-reading test
  • Listening skills and musical perception through aural tests

 

How many marks are available?

Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150.

  • 100 marks are required to pass
  • 120 marks are required to pass with merit
  • 130 marks are required to pass with distinction

Find out more about each part of the exam

Other key exam information

 

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