Our mission at ABRSM is to inspire musical achievement. We believe everyone has the right to enjoy and excel at music. We also understand that everyone’s musical journey is different. This is why we’re committed to creating new opportunities for people to achieve their goals.

Key Information

  • To check the latest information about exam booking periods and sessions, see our dates and fees page.
  • Our Performance Grades are not replacing our existing Practical Grades, they offer an additional route to musical progress.
  • You can also choose to switch between Performance Grades and Practical Grades as you progress through the grades.
  • The exams are equivalent in demand and value to our existing Practical Grades, but have a different emphasis with a focus on performance.
  • For the exam, candidates select and perform four pieces or songs, presented as a continuous programme: at least three pieces need to be from our existing syllabus (one from each list) and one is of the candidate’s own choice. Full programming requirements, including timings, are given in the relevant syllabus (available to download from this page).
  • Performance Grades are assessed digitally: choose your pieces/songs, practise your performance and - when you’re ready – record a video of your performance and send it to us for marking by our examiner panel. 
  • As with our Practical Grades, a total of 150 marks will be available overall. The four pieces/songs will be marked individually with a maximum of 30 marks for each item. A further 30 marks are then available for the ‘performance as a whole’. Examiners will use our established criteria to mark the pieces – assessing pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. You can find the full assessment criteria in the qualification specification.
  • If a candidate is ready to record their Performance Grade exam, they can do this at any time, as long as they follow the full guidance, qualification specification and syllabus requirements available on this page. We hope this flexibility to record now and submit later (once an exam has been booked) will provide opportunities for learners to record their performance at a time that works for them.
  • You must read the full ‘Guidance for remotely-assessed Performance Grade exams’ available under Key Documents on this page, before you make any exam recordings. This guidance covers how to record and submit a Performance Grade video.  You should also read our ‘Special COVID-19 arrangements for accompaniment in remotely-assessed exams’ (PDF) which are in place until at least 31 January 2022.
  • A pass at ABRSM Grade 5 or above is required in either Music Theory, Practical Musicianship or any solo Jazz Practical Grade before learners can enter for a Grade 6, 7 or 8 Performance exam.
  • As with our Practical Grades, students taking Performance Grades 6 to 8 will receive UCAS (University and Colleges Admission Service) points which can be used as part of a university or college application in the UK.
  • We also offer a digital option for taking the ARSM diploma. The exam content and requirements are unchanged, but the Qualification Specification (syllabus) has been updated to include information and requirements relevant to the digital option which is assessed from a video recording. Information about ARSM is available at www.abrsm.org/arsmdiploma

Syllabus Downloads

Qualification Specification: Music Performance Grades

Syllabuses (PDF):

Download Piano [2021 & 2022] Syllabus

Download Piano [2019 & 2020] Syllabus

Download Bowed Strings Syllabus

Download Woodwind [From 2022] Syllabus

Download Woodwind [2018–2021] Syllabus

Download Brass Syllabus

Download Guitar Syllabus

Download Percussion [From 2020] Syllabus

Download Percussion [1990–2019] Syllabus

Download Harp Syllabus

Download Harpsichord Syllabus

Download Organ Syllabus

Download Singing Syllabus

Download Singing For Musical Theatre Syllabus

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