Our new online service - FAQs
You can always ask someone to book exams on your behalf. This could be the parent/carer of a candidate, a relative or a friend, or an adult candidate (aged 18 or over). We are unable to accept paper entry forms for the following exams: graded music exams (Practical and Music Theory), ARSM, Prep Test, Performance Assessment.
Creating your new ABRSM account
Our new online service is supported by new systems, which means we need to record your information in a different way. To book exams you will need to create a new account even if you have booked exams with us before and have an Applicant Number.
If you are an existing ABRSM applicant we will email you to let you know when you can go online to register and create your account. You will need to create a user name and password to do this.
We will no longer be using Applicant Numbers. To set up your account you will need to create a username and password. You will then use these, instead of an Applicant Number, to log in.
If you have an Applicant Number from previous exam bookings, you should enter it when you register to allow us to link your new account to your existing personal details. This is particularly important if you are a Visit Organiser, as it will help us to link your visit venue to your new account.
Everyone using our new online exam service will receive a unique Contact ID.
ABRSM applicants (who book exams on behalf of candidates) will be given a Contact ID when they set up an online account. Candidates will be given a Contact ID once they’ve been entered for an exam through the new online service. Contact IDs will appear on all communications about exam bookings.
If you are an applicant, you will not need to use your Contact ID to book exams. However, it is important that you make a note of the Contact IDs for all your candidates. Once candidates have a Contact ID it should be entered, along with their date of birth, every time an exam booking is made for them. This will keep the candidate's records up to date on our system (including any access requirements and prerequisites), ensure all their exam bookings are linked, and make it quicker to enter their details when booking new exams.
For territories where we currently ask for a candidate’s National ID when booking exams, this will continue and we will ask for the National ID instead of the Contact ID.
Candidates can choose to register and create an account, even if they have not made the exam booking themselves. Parents/carers can set up this account on behalf of a child, but the account must be in the candidate’s name. Candidate accounts are optional, but having an account means that a candidate can log in to view information about their exams, change practical appointments at Public Venues, and view their results and practical mark forms seven days after we have released them to the applicant.
We use your date of birth, along with other personal information you supply, to ensure we create a unique and secure record for you.
Booking exams – candidate details
We need this information to help us identify all candidates accurately in our system, avoid duplication of records and create an exam history for each candidate. We also need to ask for this information to ensure we meet our responsibilities as a regulated awarding organisation in the UK.
Supplying a candidate (or parent/carer) email address will give them the option to set up their own ABRSM account. With an online account, they can log in and view their exam details (date, time and venue), change Practical and Performance Grade appointments online, and view their results and mark forms seven days after we have released them to the applicant.
Booking all exams at Public Venues
A Public Venue is a venue organised by ABRSM for Practical Grades or paper-based Music Theory exams.
This is when you can go online to book exams to take place in a forthcoming exam session. For Practical Grades, you will need to book early in the booking period to have the widest choice of dates and venues.
Booking Practical Grades at Public Venues
Can I indicate a preference for the time for an exam, such as morning or afternoon, or choose a particular time?
When you book exams, you can choose a date and venue from a list of available options, but not a time.
Our practical exams run for different amounts of time with many things affecting the length of each exam, such as grade, time for tuning and extra time for any access arrangements. These time differences mean we cannot offer a list of available exam times for each day as we cannot predict what those exams will be. We could only offer specific time slots if all exams were the same length. We hope that knowing the date and venue of an exam at the time of booking helps teachers, parents and learners to plan. Once you know your confirmed exam time(s) you will have the option to log in and search for alternative appointments, if available, in the event that the time is not suitable.
Yes, you can select a different date/venue for different candidates as long as there is space available.
The online booking service will show all dates that are available, so there's no advantage to phoning up to check as well.
Once the booking period has closed and we have finalised the timetables we will send you an email to let you know that you can view your confirmed exam appointment online. This will be around two weeks after the booking period has closed. When you log in you will see exam times for candidates, as well as the date and venue that you have already chosen and booked.
This depends on how many candidates you have and the space available on any one date. For the best chance of booking all your candidates together, you will need to log in and book as soon as the booking period opens. This will provide the widest choice of exam dates.
You can book different dates (and venues) for different candidates. If you are booking a large number of candidates at a Public Venue, you may need to book them on different days, rather than all on one day. We would advise you to book as early as possible in the booking period to ensure you have the best chance of keeping all your candidates together.
Candidates who are part of the same booking for the same date and venue will be grouped together. However, we may change the order of your candidates to create the most efficient timetable for each day and to ensure the examiner has the correct breaks.
We recommend that you book your candidates’ exams in the order you would like them to take place. However, we cannot guarantee this will be the final order. We will keep all your candidates grouped together on the same day and at the same venue, but in order to create the most efficient timetable and to make sure the examiner has the correct breaks, we may need to change the order of your candidates.
You will not be able to change the order of candidates once you have booked and paid for your exams. This is to ensure that examiner breaks, which we cannot change, take place at the correct time.
We advise you to log in and book your exams as soon as the booking period opens, to make sure you have the widest choice of exams dates.
Booking exams at Private Visits
Private Visits take place at an approved venue organised by an applicant (the Visit Organiser). Please contact your local ABRSM representative for more information.
Visit Organisers book and run Private Visits. The Visit Organiser is responsible for arranging their Private Visit and for sharing their Venue Code with any Permitted Applicants. Applicants cannot book exams at a Private Visit without the permission of the Visit Organiser. The Visit Organiser can ‘remove’ Permitted Applicant status at any time should they wish to. Visit Organisers are also responsible for finalising the practical timetable and for sharing this information with candidates and Permitted Applicants.
Permitted Applicants are applicants who have received permission from a Visit Organiser to book their candidates at a Private Visit.
Venue Codes allow us to identify Private Visits on our system. Once we’ve approved a Private Visit venue and it appears on our system, it will be given a unique identification code. The Visit Organiser will need to share this code with any Permitted Applicants, who will then need to enter the code when they book their candidates at the Private Visit. Once the Permitted Applicant has entered the Venue Code, they will remain a Permitted Applicant at the Private Visit for any future bookings.
We will not share Venue Codes with anyone, as only the Visit Organiser can decide who to allow as a Permitted Applicant at their Private Visit. The Visit Organiser can log in and view their Permitted Applicants at any time and can remove Permitted Applicant status if they wish to.
As a Visit Organiser you may need to request approval for your Private Visit venue before you can make a booking. This can take up to eight working days. We’re introducing this process to ensure that all exam venues meet our standards. You only need to request approval for your venue once.
Booking exams – payments
For graded music exams, ARSM, Prep Test and Performance Assessment booked online you can pay by debit or credit card. You can also pay with PayPal linked to a debit or credit card. We are unable to accept payment by American Express.
In order to provide our new online booking service, we needed to make some changes to the way we do things. This included limiting the number of currencies that customers can pay in. We consulted widely on this and were advised by our payment card service providers to choose currencies used by the majority of our customers worldwide. We then consulted with many of our representatives to help us decide which of the chosen currencies we should use in each territory.
Results and mark forms
We want to release results more quickly and provide the complete mark form as soon as results are ready to view. Moving to digital mark forms enables this by removing delays caused by postal deliveries and handling of paperwork. The new mark forms are clear to read and easy to share between applicants, candidates and parents.
The new mark forms will look very similar to the current ones. They will follow the same layout, but with easy-to-read typed comments instead of handwriting.
We will continue to send printed certificates in the post for graded Practical, Performance and Music Theory exams and ARSM. For the Prep Test and Performance Assessment, examiners will continue to hand out completed certificates at the end of the assessment.
In the exam room
Recordings will help us to help you if you have queries about an exam. It’s a service that we have wanted to offer for many years, and teachers and candidates have also been asking us to introduce this. In addition to helping with queries, recordings will assist with other quality assurance processes and examiner training.
Not at all. The recording happens automatically in the background on the examiner’s iPad, and candidates will not be aware of this.
No, this is now part of our exam regulations for all our Practical Grade and ARSM exams and is standard practise for many other awarding organisations.
Only authorised ABRSM staff will be able to access the recordings. The recordings will be stored for three months after the exam date and then deleted.
We are not making video recordings. All iPads used by our examiners are supplied by ABRSM with the camera function disabled.