Every ABRSM examiner aims to provide each candidate with a welcoming and positive exam experience. From the first day of an examiner’s training they are introduced to the maxim “I’ll do my best to help you do your best”, and this principle underpins the ABRSM examining approach.
We invest significantly in the training and ongoing monitoring of examiners, to ensure a friendly manner, together with efficient delivery and accurate marking of all exams, both practical and Theory. We hope that candidates and applicants will have no cause to complain about the quality of our exam service or the results which they receive, however we acknowledge that there may be rare occasions when this is not the case. Our Quality Assurance team is here to help with any examining-related concerns, including result reviews, where required.
For practical exams, an audio recording of each exam is made using bespoke software on the examiner’s ABRSM iPad. The iPad automatically initiates each recording, which cannot be accessed by the examiner, and which is submitted digitally to ABRSM, together with the corresponding comments and marks.
ABRSM’s Quality Assurance team (Practical) has access to the audio recordings, making it possible to investigate any exam-related concerns which may have arisen on the exam day, and to offer a Results Review process. If you do have any concerns about exam delivery or results, please follow the Guidelines provided in the ‘Policies’ section below.
For Grade 1-5 Online Music Theory exams, objective based questions are used meaning there is a right or wrong answer for each question used. All Online Music Theory exams are also recorded and reviewed to ensure they are conducted under exam conditions. ABRSM’s Quality Assurance team (Theory) has access to the recordings of all exams which show the desktop as well as the webcam and audio. We are able to review the activity of all candidates in their exam and can see what they did in terms of their exam technique, how long it took them to answer each question and what order the questions were answered in. We can also confirm the candidate’s responses were correctly stored. Online Music Theory exams are marked by a computer.
For Grade 6-8 Theory exams, all examiners go through a rigorous training and ongoing mentoring of examiners to ensure accurate marking of all exams.
Exam feedback policies
You should submit any feedback or concerns through our online service. You can choose from the following options:
You can also access these options via the Help button at the top of the online service dashboard.
If you have any questions about how to submit your feedback or concerns, please email [email protected] or call 020 7467 8285.
If you booked using our online service, you can choose from the following options:
You can also access these options via the Help button at the top of the online service dashboard
If you booked by sending a paper entry form to your local representative then you will need to download the re-mark request form and email it to [email protected]
ABRSM does not return any Music Theory exam papers after the marking of an exam. They are exam scripts and are exempt from rights of access under the Data Protection Act 2018 and the GDPR, but all candidates will receive a mark form with a breakdown of marks for each section of the exam. It is also an essential measure to protect the integrity of the assessment in cases where the same paper is used for Music Theory exams in a different country at a later date. Our exam content remains confidential beyond any one exam session and is not disclosed until published at a date where the paper will no longer be used for assessment.
If you have any questions about how to submit your feedback or concerns, please email [email protected] or call 020 7467 8285
Reasonable adjustments and special consideration appeals
We do all we can to ensure that candidates are provided with appropriate access arrangements and special considerations where they meet the requirements set out in our policies, so that exams taken are the most accurate reflection of their skills, knowledge and understanding.
If, however, you are unsatisfied with the outcome of an application for access arrangements or special consideration, then you can appeal this decision. Appeals must be received in writing within 14 days of receipt of the decision stating the grounds for your appeal and providing any supporting evidence. Appeals should be submitted using the Submit a complaint option on our online service. Once completed, any supplementary evidence should be sent to [email protected], with reference to the submitted appeal.