Latest exam updates

Practical Exams Update – Italy

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 Italy 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 exams can resume in Italy and will offer them again at the earliest possible opportunity.

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 Italy before the end of the year and you can record your video submission any time from now on. Find out more here.

Doing their best to help candidates do their best

At ABRSM, we employ around 700 highly qualified and skilled generalist music examiners. Many are performers, teachers and conductors, and a lot of them have done exams themselves and are often on stage. In other words, they know exactly what it's like to be in a candidate's shoes.

Manner, method, marking

All our examiners are moderated and trained on three key things:

  1. Manner: It’s the little things in the exam room that make the difference. Our examiners welcome candidates into the room, help them adjust the height of the stand and give them the opportunity to warm up on their instrument.
  2. Method: Making the day run smoothly is vital to a great exam experience, so we train our examiners in managing the pace of the exam, the way the aural tests are conducted, and many other aspects of the exam day.
  3. Marking: Our exams are music exams first, rather than instrumental or singing exams. ABRSM examiners assess all instruments and singing as generalist musicians instead of instrumental or vocal specialists. They use the same universal marking criteria to assess the musical outcome, not the technique used to achieve it, which allows consistent marking across all instruments.

Individual experience is combined with comprehensive training, both before and after acceptance to the examiner team. Continuing professional development, moderation and monitoring means that we have a team of examiners that we trust and know to be impartial, objective and consistent.

 

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