Latest Exam News: Updated 4 May

UK & Ireland: Booking for Session 2 Practical exams and June Performance Grades is now open.

Additional information for Private Visits

We can now accept bookings for practical Private Visits in the UK. Before booking, you should read the updates to our Private Visit Venue Guidance and Terms and Conditions, available on this page. We can offer Private Visits for practical exams at all grades, ARSM, Prep Test and Performance Assessment. This includes Organ, Harpsichord and Percussion exams. We can also offer DipABRSM, LRSM and FRSM diplomas. We are unable to offer Choral Singing or Ensemble exams.

This page includes important information for anyone booking exams at a Private Visit including the Visit Organiser and any Permitted Applicants.

Click here for Private Visit booking information.

Visit Organisers book and run Private Visits. They may or may not be applicants. The Visit Organiser is responsible for going online to book and create their Private Visit and for sharing their Venue Code with any Permitted Applicants. For practical exams, Visit Organisers can rearrange their timetable and are responsible for informing their candidates and any Permitted Applicants of their finalised exam appointments.

Permitted Applicants have received permission from a Visit Organiser to book candidates at their Private Visit. The Visit Organiser can log in and view their Permitted Applicants at any time and remove Permitted Applicant status if they wish to.

Practical Private Visits take place at an approved venue provided by the Visit Organiser on a date (or dates) of their choice (but not Sundays and Bank Holidays). To hold practical exams at a Private Visit you must have at least three hours of examining time. This can include bookings made by the Visit Organiser and any Permitted Applicants.

Jazz exams can take place at a Private Visit, as long as there is at least one hour of Jazz examining time and the total examining time for the visit is at least three hours.

You can check our exam timings to work out how much examining time you have and how many days you need to book. Each day can include up to 6 hours 30 minutes of exams, plus lunch and breaks, with a start time of 9.00am or 9.30am.

Organ, Percussion, Harpsichord, Choral Singing and Jazz Ensemble exams must take place at a Private Visit, as we are unable to hold them at our Public Venues. The minimum number of examining hours does not apply and while we will make every effort to provide an examiner on your chosen date, we cannot guarantee this. We will let you know the final date, once we have confirmed your Private Visit. These exams can also be included in a visit as part of the minimum three hours of examining time.

Music Theory Private Visits (Grades 6 to 8 only) take place at a venue provided by the Visit Organiser. The venue must be an educational institution, a music service/hub or an education department at a prison/hospital. We do not require a minimum number of candidates for Music Theory Private Visits. The exams take place on set dates and at set times. Once the booking period has closed we will email applicants, and candidates (parents/carers) with an account, to let them know that they can log in to view their confirmed exam details.

All Private Visit venues must be approved by ABRSM before you book exams. This applies to practical and Music Theory Private Visits and ensures that all exam venues meet our standards.

If you organised a visit in 2019, and entered your applicant number when you created your new account, your venue for those exams will be pre-approved on our system and you will not need to request approval.

You can apply for venue approval online via your account. You will need to do this before you make a Private Visit booking. The approval process can take up to eight working days. You only need to request approval for your venue once. If we give approval, this will apply for all future Private Visit bookings at that venue.

Visit venue approval application form (PDF)

Venue Codes allow us to identify approved Private Visit venues on our system. Once we have approved your venue we will give it a code. The Visit Organiser will need to share this code with any Permitted Applicants, who will need to enter it when they book candidates at a visit. Once the Permitted Applicant has entered the Venue Code, they will remain a Permitted Applicant at the Private Visit for any future bookings. We will not share Venue Codes with anyone, as only the Visit Organiser can decide who to allow as a Permitted Applicant at their Private Visit.

Visit Organisers can change their Private Visit date(s) or add more days, as long as they do this before we’ve confirmed the visit. This usually happens 28 days before the visit start date, and until this point the visit will appear as ‘ready for booking or ‘not approved’ in your account.

To change date(s):

  • Click ‘Private Visit’ and select your visit.
  • Click ‘Amend dates'.
  • Select the new date(s) from the calendar.
  • Select a start time.
  • Click ‘Confirm dates’.

To add more days:

  • Click ‘Private Visit’ and select your visit.
  • Click ‘Amend dates'.
  • Re-select the start date then select your new ‘venue available until’ date from the calendar.
  • Click ‘Confirm dates’.

You can only select dates that allow enough examining time for the candidates already booked at the visit. Dates must not overlap with another existing visit at the same venue.

Once the Private Visit is confirmed, the Visit Organiser can go online to rearrange their exam timetable. You can make changes to the timetable up to 48 hours (two full days) before the Private Visit start date. When planning your timetable you should follow our standard exam day as closely as possible. Our online timetabling tool will not accept timings that are significantly different and breaks and lunch cannot be changed. The standard exam day is:

  • Session 1 – 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Break – 15 minutes
  • Session 2 – 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Lunch – 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Session 3 – 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Break – 15 minutes
  • Session 4 – 1 hour 30 minutes

Each day can include a maximum of 6 hours and 30 minutes of exams with a start time of 9.00am or 9.30am. Any exams exceeding this will be scheduled the following day. If you would like to request a non-standard timetable please email us at [email protected] before the Private Visit has been confirmed (28 days before the start date). We cannot consider alternative timetabling requests once this deadline has passed.

Once timetable changes have been made, the Visit Organiser has the option to lock the timetable. This stops exam times changing for everyone if an exam is cancelled or moved to another free slot. Instead of later exams shifting up to fill the space, they will stay in their existing slots.

You can lock the timetable at any point from when the visit is confirmed up to 48 hours before the start date. You cannot unlock the timetable once you have locked it. However, once the timetable has been locked, you can still move candidates into space at the end of the day or into available slots created during the day by cancelling or moving candidates. You can also remove empty slots if you wish to. This will shift all the following candidates up and you will receive a warning message if you are about to do this.

To lock your timetable:

  • Click ‘Private Visit’ and select your visit.
  • Click ‘Arrange timetable’.
  • Click ‘Lock timetable’.

The Visit Organiser is responsible for contacting candidates and any Permitted Applicants to let them know the finalised exam times. If you choose to lock your timetable, this will send an automated email to any candidates with an account and to Permitted Applicants to let them know that the timetable has been finalised and that they can view their confirmed exam times.

Visit Organisers and Permitted Applicants can upload candidate and exam details in bulk from a pre-populated file. To upload a candidate list:

  • Go to the ‘Add candidates’ section of the Private Visit booking.
  • Click ‘download import template’ – to download the CSV template.
  • Add your candidate/exam details to the template.
  • Click ‘Import candidates from file’ and select the template.
  • Click ‘open’ and the candidate/exam details will appear in the Private Visit booking.
  • If you need to you can edit any candidate details on-screen before confirming your booking.

Visit Organisers can download a list of all candidates booked onto their Private Visit at any time.

  • Go to your Private Visit booking
  • Click ‘List of all candidates’
  • Click ‘Export timetable (CSV)’

Please note, if a candidate’s name contains a special character this will appear as a question mark (?) in the file, and if a name contains a comma this will move part of the name into the next column. You can correct these directly in the CSV file. The names on marks forms and certificates will appear correctly, with any commas or special characters, as they were entered when the exams were booked.

Terms and Conditions for Visit Organisers

These terms and conditions set out how we expect Visit Organisers to organise and host Private Visits for our exams.

New Venue Guidance – from June 2020

We have new venue guidance and procedures in place to ensure the safety of candidates, examiners and teachers. The guidance explains what you will need to do to make sure your venue is suitable and safe, and that effective social distancing can take place. It is very important that you read and understand this guidance before you consider booking a Private Visit.

Anyone organising a Private Visit accepts responsibility for providing facilities according to our instructions and for the appropriate conduct of the exam (see regulation 13f). Visit Organisers are advised to carry out a risk assessment (see regulation 13b).

How to request approval for your Private Visit venue

  • Log in or register and create an account.
  • On the dashboard, click ‘Private Visit’.
  • Under ‘My Venues’ click ‘Request approval for a new venue’
  • In the pop up window, select the type of venue and add details and facilities. Please read our Terms and Conditions for Visit Organisers (PDF) before completing this form.
  • Once you’ve submitted the form we’ll send you an email within three working days. This will include a link to our Visit venue approval application form (PDF) that you need to complete, sign and return to us by email.
  • We will respond within five working days of receiving the form to confirm our approval of your venue or to ask for further information.
  • Your approved venue will appear under ‘My Venues’ when you log in.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.