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 exams

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Please check here for dates and fees. We are extending the introductory 15% discount for these exams so that it applies to all remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams in 2021. Just enter code ABPG15NZ when you book using our online service. Please also read our discount information and terms and conditions here.

Online Music Theory exam

Important exam information

This page contains important information and checklists that will help you prepare for your next Online Music Theory exam. Please read this information thoroughly.

Candidates are able to start the live exam at the times listed below. If candidates face any technical difficulties accessing the exam then late admittance is allowed.

Country

Exam date

Exam start time (local time)

UK and Ireland

16 March 2021

Any time between 5pm and 6pm

UK and Ireland

20 March 2021

Any time between 10am and 11am

UK and Ireland

25 March 2021

Any time between 5pm and 6pm

The applicant is the person who made the exam entry.

Before the exam

Give yourself at least 2 weeks before the exam to ensure the following:

  • Ensure everyone involved in the exam knows the exam date and time, and understands the exam is not held at a Public Venue but at a suitable location arranged by you or the Responsible Adult (ie a candidate’s home, teacher’s home, candidate’s school).
  • Obtain parental permission for any candidate(s) under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults in order for the exam to be filmed. ABRSM does not require proof that parental permission has been sought as this is your responsibility as the applicant.
  • Advise your candidate(s) to watch ABRSM’s video guides on completing a room scan of the exam environment.
  • Read the Online Safeguarding Policy and our Remote Proctoring in ABRSM Online Music Theory Exams
  • Familiarise yourself with the candidate checklist.

The candidate is the person taking the exam.

The Responsible Adult is there to accompany any candidates under the age of 18 or vulnerable adults. The Responsible Adult must be aged 18 or over. They could be the applicant, teacher or parent/carer.

  • Individual candidate: The Responsible Adult must be present in the room at the beginning of the exam and can remain in the exam room for the duration of the assessment if desired.
  • Multiple candidates: For any venues hosting multiple candidates, a Responsible Adult must be present for the whole exam.

The role of the Responsible Adult, including what they should and shouldn’t do, can be found here.

Before the exam

Give yourself 1-2 weeks before the exam to ensure the following:

  • You are aware of the exam date and time you have been entered forYou understand the exam is not held at a Public Venue but at a suitable location arranged by you or the applicant (i.e. a candidate’s home, teacher’s home, candidate’s school).
  • You have received your Username (ABRSM Contact ID) and Password from ABRSM, which will be sent to the Candidate email address included at the time of entry. This is sent at least 2 weeks before the exam so check your Junk mail if you do not appear to have received itNote: this Password is only to gain access to the exam and is not the same Password required to gain access to your ABRSM online account if you have registered for one.
  • Parental permission has been given to the applicant, if the candidate is under 18 or is a vulnerable adult, in order for the exam to be filmed. ABRSM does not require proof that parental permission has been sought as this is the responsibility of the applicant.
  • Check you have all the Online Music Theory requirements in order to take the exam.
  • Test the compatibility of the computer equipment and internet connection the candidate will be using to take the exam by running this simple check online: https://systemcheck.rpexams.comWe recommend using a Google Chrome web browser.
  • Download the RPnow Proctoring Software - this is the software you will use to take the exam. Only download the software via a link provided by ABRSM and do not copy and paste the link in to a search engine or use a link via another website or organisation.
  • Watch ABRSM’s video guides on completing a room scan of the exam environment.
  • Open the software and complete pre-exam set up as below:
    • Candidates (Test Taker) will be asked to input their name, email address and phone number at the start of the exam. The candidate’s name should be entered exactly as it is on their Photo ID. For candidates who are under 18 or vulnerable adults, the email address and phone number should be the Responsible Adult’s details. The phone number, if entered, will only be used if technical support is required from PSI during the exam and is not stored outside of the exam context. Videos are not stored for any practice or set up.
    • Run through the RPnow Proctoring software to get familiar with the pre-exam set up, including the Photo ID checks and room scan. In advance of the exam day please note the proctoring software will not be able to assess your bandwidth so this should be checked using the System Check link.
    • Once the pre-exam set up is complete, candidates will be asked for their Username (ABRSM Contact ID) and Password. This will give them access to some example questions in advance of the exam day - though on the exam day itself these will not be available.
  • Read the Online Safeguarding Policy and our Remote Proctoring in ABRSM Online Music Theory Exams

If you need more support getting ready for your exam, these videos will take you through this process, step-by-step. You can also read our Download and Installation guide.

On the exam day

You will need:

  • Access to the candidate’s Username (ABRSM Contact ID) and Password sent to the candidate by email at least two weeks before the exam. This can be written down on your blank paper.
  • A form of Photo ID to show when prompted by the system. This can be one of the following:
    • Passport
    • UK Driver’s License
    • College or University ID card
    • Rail or transport card
    • National ID card
    • A completed ABRSM Candidate Identification Form (see Appendix C in ABRSM’s candidate identification policy)
  • Computer or laptop with the exam’s RPnow Proctoring software already downloaded and installed.
  • Blank paper (plain or manuscript) and a pen or pencil to work out answers during the exam (candidates will need to show both sides of their blank paper to the camera during their room scan). This blank paper can have the candidate’s Username and Password written on it.
  • Time to complete all the steps below, before the exam begins. We recommend allowing 15 to 30 mins for this.

Getting ready at least 15 to 30 mins before the exam:

These steps need to be completed before you can start the exam.

  • Prepare the exam room in line with our Online Music Theory system requirements.
    • There are no open books or depictions of musical notes in the room.
    • Any piano keyboards in the room are covered.
  • Visit the toilet
    • Should it be essential for a toilet break once the exam has started, this should be limited to only once and should be for a maximum of 5 minutes. Candidates must inform the online invigilator (proctor) that they are taking a toilet break during the exam by looking at the camera and saying this out loud.
  • Launch the RPnow Proctoring software.
  • Follow these steps to complete the exam set up:
    • select the exam you’re entered for
    • enter the candidate’s (Test Taker’s) name so that it matches the Photo ID being used, and contact information. The latter should be the Responsible Adult’s details if the candidate is under 18 or a vulnerable adult.
    • ensure all other apps, programmes and browsers are closed
    • show the candidate’s Photo ID
    • perform the room scan
    • take the candidate’s picture on the screen
  • From this point on, the session will be recorded (desktop, webcam and audio), until the exam window is closed at the end of the assessment.

Starting the exam

Once the pre-exam set up has taken place:

  • Enter your Username (ABRSM Contact ID) and Password
  • The link to the live exam will show at the start of the scheduled exam time and will remain active for the duration of your exam. A timer in the right-hand corner will show how long a candidate has to complete the exam and will not start until the candidate has entered the actual exam.
    • Candidates who have been entered with access arrangements or reasonable adjustments should be aware of the extra time they have been provided. 
  • The Responsible Adult is allowed to leave and re-enter the exam room once the live exam has been accessed providing this does not disrupt the exam and no prohibited items are brought into the exam room.
  • Before closing the exam window at the end of the assessment and stopping the recording, please tear up any paper used in the exam in front of the camera so it can be seen clearly.

Download this checklist (PDF)

 

 If a candidate forgets to tear up the rough paper as requested in front of the camera at the end of the exam then a photo of the torn paper will need to be provided by email to [email protected]

Any venue hosting multiple candidates should view our guidelines.

Results

  • Results will be available to the applicant four weeks after the exam. The exam will be marked automatically but results will only be available once the videos of the assessments have been reviewed.
  • The applicant will receive an email to let them know when they can log in to their ABRSM account to view results.
  • Candidates with an ABRSM account will receive a results email seven days after the applicant. 
  • Certificates will be sent to the applicant within two weeks of releasing results, subject to any checks ABRSM may need to make.

Special Consideration

  • If a candidate experienced any technical difficulties that prevented them from taking the assessment, the applicant must contact ABRSM within 7 days of the exam date.
  • ABRSM are not able to adjust the outcomes of right/wrong answers in order to make allowances for a negative exam experience. However, we can consider a refund or opportunity to sit the exam again for free.

Exam appeals

Malpractice

  • Candidates must not cheat in an ABRSM exam. This includes the use of prohibited items, collusion, and attempting to access the internet during the exam.
  • After the exam ABRSM will review all potential infringements raised by PSI proctors internally. Incidents of suspected malpractice will be investigated in line with our Malpractice and Maladministration Policy.
  • Candidates will not receive results until our investigations are complete. If we find that malpractice has been committed, the candidate may be disqualified.

The ABRSM website contains a number of resources to help you prepare for the next Online Music Theory exam.

Guidance to get set up

Resources for Music Theory success

Exam software

For any technical advice in advance or on the day of the exam, with the exception of password resets (see below), customers should contact PSI Support as below or use the ‘Chat’ functionality on the software.

Country

Telephone number

UK

+44 20 3885 0911

Ireland

+353 76 670 1254

Password resets

Customers need to contact ABRSM directly for password queries by emailing [email protected] or by contacting your Local Representative if you are based outside of the UK and Ireland. The ‘Retrieve Password’ button is currently not functional.

 

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