Latest exam updates

Music Theory results – update 6 April

Practical Exams Update - Turkey

Refund Update - We will shortly contact all applicants by email to request their bank account details for processing refunds for the cancelled exams. Refunds may take up to 2 months to process and we are aiming to process all refunds by the end of December 2020 latest. Please bear with us as we have a high number of refunds to process from both practical sessions in 2020. Thank you for your patience.

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we are working hard on solutions to ensure learners can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity.

However, on the basis of official UK Government advice, due to Covid-19, ABRSM has made the decision to cancel all Practical Exams in Turkey until further notice. This decision affects all 2020 Practical Exams, ARSM and Diplomas. Following this decision, we will process refunds for all existing exam bookings and we will provide further detailed guidance on this process including timescales soon.

We are sorry for the impact on teachers and candidates and thank you for your loyalty and support while these restrictions remain in place. We are continuing to review when live Practical and Music Theory exams can resume in Turkey and will offer them again at the earliest possible opportunity. We would also like to thank our Representative in Turkey for their support during this very challenging time and their efforts in rescheduling exams which have now been cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Our new remotely-assessed Performance Grades provide  an alternative progression route for students during this period of disruption. The Performance Grades are equivalent to our Practical Grades in demand, recognition and value. They are based on the same repertoire and syllabuses, assessment criteria and quality assurance measures as our existing exams and will be assessed by the same highly trained examiners. Booking will open in Turkey before the end of the year and you can record your video submission any time from now on. Find out more here.

Inspiring musical achievement for everyone

1 week ago

Like many organisations, ABRSM came under the spotlight this summer following the Black Lives Matter protests and the murder of George Floyd.  It was more than a wake up call for us. It made us fundamentally rethink who we are as an organisation and the enormous influence and reach of the music we publish and include on our syllabuses.  

We were already on a journey to make our syllabuses and the music we publish more inclusive of underrepresented composers. But the summer has given us focus and an absolute determination to take further action and commit to targets. We are also well aware that our journey is about responsibility, on the one hand, and humility on the other. 

As a global organisation present in over 90 countries, we have an enormous duty to deliver assessments of exacting standards, issuing certificates that carry with them the mark of quality that gives music learners the confidence to know that they are on a pathway of achievement. The criteria for the selection of music for those syllabuses are detailed and complex as they should be. But, for far too long the pool of composers from which we select has not been diverse enough in many of the musical areas we assess. Our Diversity and Inclusion Plan is a core, permanent commitment which promotes opportunity or everyone regardless of disability, age, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnicity. Our definition of ethnicity is closely aligned with the BBIPOC definition (Black, Brown, and Indigenous People of Colour) but goes further to reflect the range of nuanced definitions that exist across the 90 plus countries in which we operate.

Our responsibility, therefore, is to open up the pipeline of work from which we select, from composers living and dead. This does not just mean seeking advice from experts from Black, ethnically diverse and underrepresented groups on where we might find this music. It means commissioning new work. It means working with publishers to influence their choices. And it also means supporting and encouraging the next generation of composers and ensuring they have the keys to the detail and complexity of what makes it on to the syllabuses.   

This is why our Diversity and Inclusion Plan includes an Active Commissioning Programme to commission at least twenty new pieces for publication each year and a target that 50% of new works included on our syllabuses will be sought from composers who are from Black, Brown and Indigenous People of Colour (BBIPOC) backgrounds. As each syllabus is updated, we are now committing that 20% of all syllabus content (including new commissions, arrangements, and existing works) will be written by composers who are from BBIPOC backgrounds.

 It is also why we are announcing a new Mentorship and Development for Composers scheme that, by 2030, will have supported 100 composers specifically from underrepresented groups to write for music education.

But our diversity and inclusion journey is just as much about humility. We know we cannot do this alone. We know we must build lasting relationships with those who can help us. And we know we may stumble along the way.  For me, humility is about having the ability to recognise when we get it wrong and that we should defer to others when we need help. Our partnerships as we go forward are the difference between this being an empty promise and a transformative commitment. So, we must be open and transparent. We must welcome challenge.

Today, we are publishing a Progress Update on our Diversity and Inclusion Plan. We are going to do this every three months and make it available to everyone. We will also publish an Annual Statement on Diversity and Inclusion alongside our Annual Report and Accounts. We will be honest where we have work to do and we aim to celebrate the positive ways in which the organisation, its publications and syllabuses are changing. As we take these important steps, I would like to welcome any comments and suggestions you may have.

I have always said that it is our mission to inspire musical achievement for everyone. Today marks a step change in how we bring that mission to life.



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