Guidelines for candidates with learning difficulties or physical or sensory impairments

Our policy

We have made changes to our policy for candidates with specific needs with effect from 2019. Please take the time to read the policy before making exam entries for candidates who require access arrangements or reasonable adjustments.

The policy is available in alternative formats upon request.

Key points to remember:

  • All applications for access arrangements and reasonable adjustments must be submitted at the time of entry and before the entry closing date.
  • Applications must be made each time the candidate is entered for an exam.
  • We will be unable to accept any late applications so please make sure you check if your candidate needs an access arrangement or reasonable adjustment before you make their entry.
  • If changes are made to an entry after the entry closing date, we will not normally be able to transfer any access arrangement or reasonable adjustment to the updated entry.

If you have questions relating to access arrangements or reasonable adjustments, you may find the answer in our FAQs below. Alternatively, please contact the Access Coordinator on the details at the bottom of this page.

Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments Policy 2019 (PDF)

FAQs Access Arrangements and Reasonable Adjustments (PDF)

Guidelines

ARSM exams

ARSM involves no supporting tests, or anything which requires candidates to respond to questions from the examiner, so extra-time allowances are not normally needed. However, if a candidate has access requirements that the examiner should be aware of, please contact our Access Co-ordinator at the time of entry with the relevant details. We will then liaise with the applicant, the examiner and the exam venue to ensure that all appropriate arrangements are made.

Applicants are also welcome to contact the Access Co-ordinator before making an entry, for further information or to discuss arrangements.

Deaf and hearing-impaired candidates are welcome to bring a sign-language interpreter. We do not need prior notification of this.

Specific needs codes (UK & Ireland)

Deaf and hearing impaired

Code

Description

Adjustment

Practical

Theory

S

Alternative Aural Test
For candidates who may not hear pitch clearly

5 minutes extra

N/A

V

Candidate using a sign language interpreter

5 minutes extra

N/A

Z

Candidate using a sign language interpreter and alternative aural tests

10 minutes extra

N/A

Blind and partially sighted

Code

Description

Adjustment

Practical

Theory

B

Braille Memory tests
For blind candidates that require a Braille version of the sight-reading test

Grades 1–3:
8 minutes
Grades 4 & 5:
13 minutes
Grades 6 & 7:
18 minutes
Grade 8:
23 minutes

N/A

Braille Music Theory paper
For blind candidates that require a Braille version of the Theory paper

N/A

Grades 1–3:
30 minutes
Grades 4 & 5:
40 minutes
Grades 6–8:
60 minutes

R

Aural repetition test
For blind or visually impaired candidates, or those with processing difficulties, who are unable to read music

5 minutes extra

N/A

L

Large notation sight-reading test
For visually impaired candidates
(Notation is enlarged by 200%)

5 minutes extra (up to 3 minutes for sight-reading and 2 minutes general)

N/A

Large notation theory test paper
For visually impaired candidates
(Theory paper is enlarged by 200%)

N/A

N/A

P

Modified staff notation sight-reading test
For candidates who require specially modified, non-standard prepared notation

5 minutes extra

N/A

T

Modified staff notation memory test

Grades 1–3:
8 minutes
Grades 4 & 5:
13 minutes
Grades 6 & 7:
18 minutes
Grade 8:
23 minutes

N/A

A

Extra time and an amanuensis
For candidates who require a scribe or reader

N/A

Grades 1–3:
30 minutes
Grades 4 & 5:
40 minutes
Grades 6–8:
60 minutes

Dyslexia, dyspraxia and other learning difficulties

Code

Description

Adjustment

Practical

Theory

D

Extra time
For candidates who require extra processing time

5 minutes extra
(Up to 3 minutes for sight-reading and 2 minutes general)

Grades 1–3:
30 minutes
Grades 4 & 5:
40 minutes
Grades 6–8:
60 minutes

N

Extra time plus large print sight-reading/quick study test

5 minutes extra
(Up to 3 minutes for sight-reading and 2 minutes general)

As above

Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Code

Description

Adjustment

Practical

Theory

C

Extra time
For candidates who require extra processing time

5 minutes general extra time
(to apply this time to any specific part of the exam contact the Access Coordinator)

Grades 1–3:
30 minutes
Grades 4 & 5:
40 minutes
Grades 6–8:
60 minutes

Candidates with disabilities

Code

Description

Adjustment

Practical

Theory

W

Disabled access
For wheelchair users or those with limited mobility

5 minutes extra

N/A

Other diagnosis

Other diagnoses including:
ADHD, CFS/ME, Cerebal Palsy, Arthritis, Mutism, Pedalling difficulties

Contact the Access Coordinator for adjustment options

Contact details

Access Coordinator

ABRSM
4 London Wall Place
London
EC2Y 5AU

T +44 (0)20 7467 7342
T 18002 +44 (0)20 7637 2582 (textphone)
E [email protected]

RNIB

A full list of ABRSM braille titles available via the RNIB can be found by searching rniblibrary.com.

To purchase printed copies and for more information, please contact the RNIB Music Advisory Service via email ([email protected]) or phone (+44 (0)20 7391 2273 or +(0)20 7388 1266).

Piano Exam Pieces 2017 & 2018

Braille files for Piano Exam Pieces 2017 & 2018 (38 cells wide and 28 lines deep) can be downloaded from this website.

Printed copies can be purchased from the RNIB (details above).

Flute Exam Pieces 2018 & 2021

Braille files for Flute Exam Pieces 2018 & 2021(38 cells wide and 27 lines deep) can be downloaded from this website.

Printed copies can be purchased from the RNIB (details above).

For large print editions of ABRSM materials:

Allegro Music
T +44 (0)1747 838500 
E [email protected]
allegro.co.uk

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