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This section outlines what you need to know for the exam day.
You need to make sure you have completed a programme form, which you should give to the examiner or show to the camera at the start of the exam (depending on which assessment option you have chosen).
For face-to-face exams: Examiners may ask to look at the music before or after the performance of the whole programme. A separate copy of the music is not needed – examiners can use the candidate’s or accompanist’s copy.
If performing from memory, you must also bring copies of the music.
For remotely-assessed exams: You should show the opening of any own-choice pieces to the camera before beginning their performance. If an examiner has a query about any of the other pieces presented, they will refer to ABRSM’s library.
Performing from unauthorised photocopies (or other kinds of copies) or illegal downloads of copyright editions is not allowed. If ABRSM has evidence an illegal copy is being used, we may withhold the exam result.
In the UK, copies may be used in certain limited circumstances – for full details, see the MPA’s Code of Fair Practice at www.mpaonline.org.uk. In all other cases, application should be made to the copyright holder before any copy is made, and evidence of permission received should be brought to the exam.
A music stand will be available at ABRSM centres although you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer. A chair/stool will also be provided for those who need it, e.g cellists. Double bassists should provide their own stool if required.
You aren’t allowed to bring any material or equipment (such as devices capable of recording) unconnected with your exam to the exam room. Mobile phones must be switched off during the exam.
A suitable piano should be used so that the repertoire chosen can be realised in full. This can be upright, grand or digital. A digital piano should have a clearly recognisable piano tone (a single piano ‘voice’ should be used throughout), a touch-sensitive keyboard with full-size weighted keys, and an action, compass and facilities that match those of a conventional acoustic piano, including pedals as needed for the chosen repertoire. Pieces may not be altered to suit an instrument, e.g. a reduced-sized keyboard, and care should be taken in choosing repertoire as certain effects cannot be achieved on all digital pianos. While examiners may be aware of particular attributes of the instrument itself, the exam assessment will be based on the overall musical outcome, according to the marking criteria that take into account control of pitch, time, tone, shape and performance.
A music stand will be available at ABRSM Public Venues although you are welcome to bring your own if you prefer. A chair/stool will also be provided for those who need it, e.g cellists. Double bassists should provide their own stool if required.
Generally, there will be one examiner in the exam room for face-to-face exams; however, for training and quality assurance purposes, a second examiner may sometimes be present.
ABRSM will send the applicant the mark form (and certificate for successful candidates) after the exam. Examiners will never give the result on the day, or comment on what it is.
You are very welcome to test the acoustic of the room by briefly playing or singing before beginning your performance. Pianists, in particular, are encouraged to take a few moments to get used to the piano.