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ABRSM: Music Exams with a Focus on Performance

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ABRSM’s online Music Theory exams are the perfect way to broaden musical skills and knowledge.

ABRSM is The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a global music education charity. At the heart of ABRSM is the belief that music enriches lives. Building on their long heritage and many years of experience, they offer face-to-face and digital exams, sheet music, recordings, apps and courses for teachers and learners.

ABRSM works in partnership with four Royal Schools of Music in the UK. As a charity their donations include grants, scholarships and awards for organisations and individuals. All promote music learning and support progression, creativity, diversity, inclusion, sustainability and leadership in music education around the world.

All ABRSM exams are designed to inspire, challenge and recognise progress, helping learners to gain skills that encourage a life-long love of music that they can share with others.


Performance Grades are digital exams designed to nurture and encourage musical skills, while showcasing a love of performance.


Performance Grades are assessed entirely from a video recording, so the performance could take place at home, at school or in a community setting – it’s your choice. With ABRSM’s on-demand booking system, candidates can record anytime and book anytime. There are no booking periods or exam sessions, so there is complete freedom to choose when to take the exam.


Whatever stage you’re at, there’s an exam for you. Performance Grades are available at Grades 1 to 8 for instrumentalist and singers, including Drum Kit and Singing for Musical Theatre. You can also take Jazz Performance Grades at Grades 1 to 5 and we offer Initial Grade exams (pre-Grade 1) for Piano, Bowed Strings and Drum Kit.


Performance Grades are regulated qualifications that assess the essential performance skills of musical communication, interpretation, delivery and storytelling. For the exam, candidates perform four pieces or songs, selecting three pieces from the syllabus repertoire lists and one own-choice piece to create a programme that reflects their musical interests, tastes, strengths and personality.

These performance-focused exams are equivalent in demand, recognition and value to ABRSM’s familiar Practical Grades. Although they have a different emphasis, they are based on the same repertoire and syllabuses, assessment criteria and quality assurance measures and are assessed by the same highly trained examiners.


ABRSM’s online Music Theory exams are the perfect way to broaden musical skills and knowledge – understanding how music works can open up a world of possibilities for developing performers. Achieving Grade 5 in Music Theory is also the gateway to accessing ABRSM’s Performance Practical

Grades 6 to 8. Music Theory exams at Grades 1 to 5 are assessed online – whenever and wherever you choose.

To learn more, just CLICK HERE!

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