What do we need to know about ABRSM

 

The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is one of the main authorities based in U.K. which offers music examinations worldwide. The certification from the ABRSM examination board is known to be recognized by music institutions internationally. As a result, the ABRSM graded examination syllabus is commonly taken by music learners from all around the world; a highly preferred choice even in Singapore. Below are the main points of what you need to know about the ABRSM examination which starts from the registration to the getting of the result.

 

Exam registration

  • Candidates are required to register the practical and theory exams separately.
  • The registration period starts a few months (close to half a year) before the exam period; either through music schools, private teachers, or by yourselves.
  • Click here for the registration dates exam dates and fees.
  • Grade 1-8 exams can only be registered via online.
  • New applicants will have to apply for an applicant number through this link as it is required along with a given password to log in to the ABRSM Registration site.
  • The online registration will open 2 weeks before the start of the registration period and close 3 days before the end of the registration period.
  • On occasions where the registration period is missed, applicants will have to register by sending an email within 3 days after the closing date at the registration fee of $100.
  • The exam venue, date and timing will be released one month before the exam, and they are fixed.
  • Candidates must be prepared to take leave if the exam date clashes with their school/work.
  • Re-entry may be allowed if the candidate has a valid proof of absence (e.g. school exams/medical reasons).
  • For requesting of an exam rescheduling, candidate needs to write in to ABRSM with the official proof of inability to attend.

 

Practical exams

  • Practical exams have a total of 150 marks: 100 marks (Pass) / 120 marks (Merit) / 130 marks (Distinction).
  • There are no pre-requisites to Grade 1-5 practical exams, however to qualify for Grade 6-8 practical exams candidates must pass the Grade 5 theory & practical exams.
  • Exam components: 3 Prepared Pieces, Scales & Arpeggios, Sight-Reading, Aural.
  • There are 3 exam periods: February to March / July to August / August to September.
  • Practical exams will be held on weekdays 9:30am-5:30pm in a music school.
  • Exam results will be released online around 1 month after the exam.
  • The evaluation marking sheet & certificate will be mailed shortly after to the applicant’s address.

 

Theory exams

  • Theory exams have a total of 100 marks: 66 marks (Pass) / 80 marks (Merit) / 90 marks (Distinction).
  • There are no pre-requisites to taking theory exams.
  • There are 2 exam periods: around Mid of March-April / October.
  • Theory exams will be held on Saturdays in classrooms, multipurpose halls or function rooms.
  • The papers will be sent to UK for marking.
  • Exam results will be released online around 2-3 months after the exam.
  • The evaluation marking sheet & certificate will be mailed shortly after to the applicant’s address.

 

Diploma

  • There are four levels of performance diploma that ABRSM provides.
  • Associate of the Royal School of Music (ARSM) is the first diploma which is meant to bridge the gap between Grade 8 and DipABRSM.
  • Diploma of the ABRSM (DipABRSM) is equivalent to the 1st year of undergraduate degree.
  • Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music (LRSM) is equivalent to the final year of undergraduate degree.
  • Fellowship of the Royal Schools of Music (FRSM) is equivalent to the postgraduate study at university.
  • Diploma exams can only be registered via the manual form.

 

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