ARSM is for:
- Anyone seeking a challenge beyond Grade 8
- Musicians who want to get back into playing or singing after a break
- Students looking to enhance their performance skills before entering higher education
Latest exam updates
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.
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.
ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) is a performance-only diploma. It's an opportunity for your students to demonstrate performance skills after Grade 8.
Candidates perform a 30-minute programme where they are assessed on their musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. There are no written or spoken elements and no scales, sight-reading or aural tests, making it a very accessible exam.
Exams are available worldwide with a new remote-assessment option available from October 2020 (initially in the UK and Ireland).
Please note that:
This meaningful goal provides the opportunity to your students to demonstrate their performance skills and to have their level of achievement recognised. It gives purpose and direction to post-Grade 8 learning and can also help bridge the gap between Grade 8 and DipABRSM.
ARSM is all about the performance!
ARSM also gives candidates the opportunity to create and perform their own programme of music for the first time.
Preparing to meet the challenges of a sustained 30-minute programme will help develop greater technical assurance and instrument control.
Successful candidates receive a certificate and can add letters (ARSM) after their name.
The exam is a performance of a 30-minute programme where:
Programmes should be balanced and varied.
The marks for ARSM are allocated as follows:
Performance as a whole
Out of the total of 50 marks available, 34 are required for a Pass, 40 for a Merit and 45 for a Distinction.
All candidates receive a mark form showing the examiner’s comments and the marks awarded.
ARSM is suitable for musicians, of any age, who would like something to work towards after Grade 8. Candidates must have already passed ABRSM Grade 8 Practical or Performance exam or a listed alternative in the instrument they want to take ARSM in.
Please note that:
We may ask candidates to send us their Grade 8 certificate or other supporting documentation.
ARSM is available for the following instruments:
This ARSM syllabus is valid from January 2017 until further notice.
We will post any minor updates at www.abrsm.org/syllabuscorrections. Advance notice of a revised syllabus containing significant changes will be provided on this page.