Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1 January to 31 May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam.

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidates will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, Non-attendance and Fee Refunds Policy still applies.

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) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • 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. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

Performance Grade booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees.


This syllabus is designed to support and motivate the choral activity of a wide range of choirs, giving a sense of progression and achievement from the earliest levels. Exams are available at three levels – Initial, Intermediate and Advanced – and choirs can choose their own repertoire.

At each level, choirs perform vocal exercises followed by three contrasted choral works. As well as the boost to motivation that comes from working towards an exam, there's the opportunity for choirs to discover and perform some fantastic music of their own choice.

As with all our assessments, the performance is heard by one of our ABRSM examiners – all highly qualified, experienced musicians. For successful performances, all members of the choir present at the exam receive a celebratory certificate.

Whether you’re a choral member, teacher or director, we hope this syllabus inspires and supports your music learning or teaching. We wish you every success for your musical journey.

Please note that this syllabus is only available online.

What's in the exam?

  • For candidates of Grades 1–3 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 7–10 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 4–5 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 9–12 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 6–8 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 12–15 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

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