On 8 March 2023 we are introducing online programme forms for Performance Grades and digital ARSM diplomas. Instead of candidates showing a paper programme form to the camera at the start of the exam recording, the person submitting the video will enter the programme details online. Read our news story to find out how this will affect candidates and what you need to do. Find out more

Introducing ARSM

Go to ARSM index

Our ARSM performance diploma is available for classical instruments and singing and is open to learners of any age. Select a link to find out if ARSM is the right qualification for you or your student.

ARSM is available for classical instruments and singing and is open to learners of any age.

Candidates must have passed an ABRSM Performance Grade 8 or Practical Grade 8 in the subject they are going to take their ARSM in, or a closely related one. We also accept some alternative qualifications to ABRSM Grade 8.

More information is available under ‘2. ARSM diploma/Entry requirements’ in the ARSM qualification specification.

Find out more

ARSM is available for:

  • Keyboard - Piano, Harpsichord, Organ
  • Strings - Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Guitar, Harp (pedal only)
  • Woodwind - Recorder, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon, Saxophone
  • Brass - Horn, Trumpet, Cornet, Flugelhorn, E flat Horn, Trombone, Bass Trombone, Baritone, Euphonium, Tuba
  • Percussion
  • Singing, Singing for Musical Theatre

View repertoire lists

For the exam, candidates perform a 30-minute, balanced and varied programme of music:

  • At least 20 minutes of music from the ARSM repertoire list
  • Up to 10 minutes of own-choice music of Grade 8 standard or above

There are no written or spoken elements and no supporting tests.

Full details are available in the qualification specification, which candidates and teachers should read before starting any exam preparation.

Find out more

Candidates can take an ARSM as a face-to-face or digital exam.

Face-to-face exams – can take place at a Public Venue (organised by us) or at a Private Visit (at a venue organised by a teacher or school). Our 'how to book' pages provide more information about exam dates and booking.

Digital exams – are assessed from a video, which the candidate records at a time and place of their choice before submitting it to us for assessment. From August, digital ARSM exams will be available on demand. There are no booking periods or exam sessions. Instead, you can book, pay and submit the exam video whenever you’re ready. You can submit the video when you book or at any time during the following 28 days. Find out when you can start to book using the new service.

Digital exam guidance – candidates taking a digital exam must read our digital exam guidance, available here. Additional information and guidance videos are available on our Performance Grades pages. Performance Grades are also digital exams and many aspects are the same for both types of exam.

How to book

Examiners use our ARSM marking criteria to assess candidates on their musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. Marks are awarded for the presentation of pieces or songs and for the performance as a whole.

Find out more

All candidates receive a digital mark form showing their marks with comments from the examiner. Successful candidates also receive a printed certificate and can add letters (ARSM) after their name.

Find out more

Back to ARSM index

Essential ARSM information

Quick links

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