Latest exam updates

Performance Grade booking

The next booking period for remotely-assessed Performance Grade and ARSM exams opens in February. For details, see our dates and fees page.

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) – we will not be offering these exams in March. The next exams at Grades 6 to 8 will be in June 2021.
  • 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.

Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass exams consist of three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, and aural tests. Total marks in all individual Practical exams are 150. You need 100 marks to achieve Pass, 120 marks to pass with Merit and 130 marks to pass with Distinction.

Select a grade using the links below to view the syllabus and supporting materials for that grade.

Bowed Strings syllabus 2020–2023, from Initial Grade to Grade 8

Grades: Bowed Strings

Publications and audio

Supporting apps

Cello Practice Partner

Cello Practice Partner lets you play along with real musicians’ performances, exactly as recorded or at a reduced tempo.

Aural Trainer

Aural Trainer features interactive challenges to develop your aural skills and make aural practice more engaging.

Music Case

Music Case is a free practice app that helps you to understand the progress you are making over time, increasing your motivation to keep learning.

Violin Practice Partner

Violin Practice Partner makes practising pieces more musical, rewarding and fun. Play along with the piano accompaniment or violin part in isolation.

Piano Scales Trainer

Piano Scales Trainer helps increase fluency with ABRSM scales and arpeggios requirements.

Music Theory Trainer

Music Theory Trainer helps bring music theory to life with fun and engaging challenges at Grades 1–5.

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