Covid updates

Information for the following exams from January 2022

  • Exams at Public Venues
  • Exams at Private Visits
  • Digital Performance Grade and ARSM exams

Session 1 exams at Public Venues

We’re providing opportunities for candidates to take the following exams at Public Venues this spring:

  • Face-to-face instrumental and singing exams - Prep Test, Performance Assessment, Practical Grades, ARSM and DipABRSm, LRSM and FRSM diplomas
  • Paper-based Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8)

We are offering these exams on the basis of the current COVID situation. We will continue to follow government and local advice and will only offer exams if it is safe to do so. We are working with venues to ensure that exams take place in a COVID-safe way.

If you’ve booked exams at a Public Venue which cannot go ahead for any reason, we will notify you directly.

Which Public Venues will be open this session?

We are offering exams across a range of venues and dates during the session.


Our online booking service allows you to choose your exam date and venue when you book. Not every venue will be available on every day of the session and we advise you to book early for the widest choice. Dates will no longer be displayed once they are fully booked.

Providing COVID-safe exams

The safety of candidates, examiners and venue staff is paramount and we have guidance in place to ensure a safe exam experience for everyone. Please read the relevant guidance before you book and share with candidates, parents and accompanists where necessary. Everyone should also read the guidance before attending an exam, as it could change at any time:

Some venues may have additional measures in place. You must follow these as well as the guidance provided above.

What do I do if my accompanist is unable to attend my exam?

We normally require live accompaniment. However, to allow for social distancing, we are offering flexibility to singers and instrumentalists who must usually have an accompanist (or duet partner) on the day of their exam. We will accept unaccompanied performances in face-to-face exams until at least 31 July 2022. We also have special arrangements in place for digital Performance Grades and ARSM diplomasArrangements beyond 31 July 2022 are subject to review.

What happens when candidates can’t take their exams?

If candidates can’t take an exam, you may be able to rearrange it – see below.

If this is not possible, to support those affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we will automatically refund the full fee for any absent candidate (excluding online Music Theory exams). You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, if you are the exam applicant, it will help us if you log into your account and cancel the exam.

Instrumental and singing exams at Public Venues

  • You can log in and change an exam date up to 48 hours before an exam date (subject to availability within the exam session)
  • If your candidate is unable to take their exam with less than 48 hours’ notice, you do not need to contact us. The exam will be marked as absent and a refund will follow automatically.

Private Visits

  • If you need to rearrange a Private Visit more than 28 days before the visit date, you can do this through your online account.
  • If you need to rearrange a Private Visit within 28 days of the visit date, please contact us to organise this.
  • If this is not possible, applicants can cancel individual exams or the Visit Organiser can cancel the entire Private Visit through their online account and we will automatically provide a full refund.

Digital Performance Grades and ARSM

  • You can log in and change an exam submission date up to 48 hours before an exam date (subject to availability within the exam session). The exam applicant can do this or the candidate (parent/carer) if they have an ABRSM account.
  • Alternatively the person who made the booking (the applicant) can cancel the exam via their account and this will automatically generate a full refund.
  • If your candidate is unable to take their exam with less than 48 hours’ notice, you do not need to contact us. The exam will be marked as absent and a refund will follow automatically.

Music Theory Grade 6-8 Exams

If the candidate is unable to attend the exam, the person who made the booking (the applicant) can cancel the exam online up to 48 hours before the exam and this will automatically generate a full refund. After this time, to support those affected by COVID-19 restrictions, we will automatically refund the full fee for any absent candidate. You do not need to contact us to request a refund.

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