Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam. Find out more:

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidate will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, non-attendance and fee refunds policy still applies.

Performance Grade booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Exact dates will be announced soon. Please check here for more information.

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

Welcome to Speedshifter

Speedshifter is a practice tool from ABRSM that allows you to vary the speed of audio without altering the pitch!

Simply load a track and turn the dial to slow it down or speed it up - the pitch remains the same. 


What is ABRSM’s Speedshifter?

Speedshifter is available as a free desktop application for Windows and Mac computers, or as an app for iOS and Android phone and tablet devices. Users of compatible mobile devices can download Speedshifter as a free, Lite installation for trial purposes (with a one minute playback restriction), or as the full paid version with comparable functionality to the desktop version. 

Speedshifter can be used to slow down the playback speed of most common compatible audio file types. Follow the download links to install the relevant desktop application or to read more information about the iOS and Android apps.

How might I use Speedshifter?

Speedshifter is designed to be used whenever a student might benefit from playing along with the accompaniment at a reduced tempo. It can be used in a lesson, or it can be used by the student in their own practice sessions.

Because Speedshifter varies the speed of the audio recording, any fluctuation of tempo is kept. This ensures that Speedshifter provides, in many cases, a more musical solution to slow practice than a metronome.

Speedshifter contains four further features that are useful tools in practice sessions and lessons:

Loop points

Loop featureSpeedshifter now incorporates a loop feature that allows users to repeat a section of a track for practice purposes. Simply slide the left and right markers to the desired start and end points and Speedshifter will repeat through the selected section.

Tempo calculator

Speedshifter works with any CD or MP3, not just ABRSM recordings. The first time you load a new track, Speedshifter will ask you to tap along to the track for a few bars so it can work out the tempo. This will enable Speedshifter to position the track on the tempo ring. This function is also useful when you need to quickly establish the tempo of a piece of music. If you are signed in to Speedshifter, this tempo will be remembered the next time you load the same track.

Pitch shift

Although Speedshifter varies the speed without changing the pitch, pitch adjustment is also possible. Pitch can be shifted in semitone steps to a range of a minor third up or down. This is particularly useful to singers, especially in conjunction with one of ABRSM's Songbook CDs.

Tuning note

Tuning noteBefore you start using Speedshifter you can tune your instrument to an A (440hz) played on an instrument of your choice, a synthesized tone, clarinet, trumpet, cello or even the piano used in ABRSM's recordings.

Speedshifter system requirements

The table below shows the minimum system requirements for installing Speedshifter 3 on a desktop or laptop computer. For information about device and operating system compatibility for Speedshifter Mobile, please follow the relevant link to either Speedshifter for iOS or Android.


Windows ®

Macintosh ®

Processor minimum

Minimum: 3GHz or faster processor. Recommended: dual core CPU

Intel Core™ Duo 1.83GHz or faster processor

Operating system

Windows XP, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64 bit editions) with SP2, Windows 7, or Windows 8 Classic

Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7 or v10.8


Minimum: 512MB RAM; recommended: 1GB RAM

Minimum 512MB RAM; recommended: 1GB RAM

Installing Speedshifter

When installing Speedshifter 3 you may be prompted to install the Adobe® AIR® runtime (if you do not have it installed already). The Adobe AIR runtime powers many popular desktop applications, including video players, enterprise applications, games, and productivity tools. Prior to running any of these applications, the user must install Adobe AIR.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our website, you are agreeing to our cookie policy and consent to our use of cookies. Find out more.