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.

New Percussion syllabus from 2020 out now!

Key dates

The new Percussion syllabus and supporting books will be available from 7 November 2019 for use in exams from 1 January 2020.

Syllabus overlap period

Candidates can start presenting repertoire from the new syllabus from 1 January 2020 and can present repertoire from the old syllabus until 31 December 2020 (all pieces and supporting tests must be from the same syllabus).

Exciting new repertoire

Our new Percussion syllabus offers over 80 exciting, newly commissioned pieces by leading percussion composers and educationalists. Learners can immerse themselves in innovative new repertoire, which offers:

  • A variety of genres and styles from baroque and classical to swing, contemporary, jazz and modern.
  • Solos, duets, accompanied and multi-percussion pieces.
  • A flexible and accessible approach to percussion assessment, reflecting the musical and practical realities of the contemporary, multi-skilled world of percussion.

New exam structure

The new syllabus offers more flexibility than ever before and learners can focus on a single subject – Snare Drum, Timpani or Tuned Percussion exams –can perform across all three subjects in the Percussion (Combined) exam. There are also opportunities to play pieces accompanied by both piano and percussion across all subjects, as well as pieces for multi-percussion.

New supporting publications

To accompany the new syllabus we’ve published a suite of supporting books to help learners prepare for their exams. These books cover the four percussion subjects – Snare Drum, Timpani, Tuned Percussion and Percussion (Combined) – and include:

Percussion Exam Pieces and Studies

  • Available for Grades 1 to 5, one book per grade
  • Five pieces per instrument strand, per grade – 15 pieces total per book.
  • Also includes four technical studies for each grade – two Snare Drum, two Timpani
  • Pull-out score containing duet parts and accompaniments

Principal Percussion

  • Available for Grades 6-8, one book for all three grades
  • Feature nine newly commissioned pieces - three per grade, one per instrument strand

Percussion Scales and Arpeggios

  • Available for Grades 1-5 and 6-8
  • Suitable for Tuned Percussion exams, or Tuned Percussion element in combined exam (if a candidate chooses to sit Scales and Arpeggios over a Technical Study)

Percussion Sight-Reading

  • Available books for Grades 1-5 and 6-8
  • Includes Snare Drum, Timpani and Tuned Percussion sight-reading pieces

Percussion Studies

  • Available for Grades 6-8, one book for all three grades
  • Contains four studies per grade - two Snare Drum, two Timpani

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