We are not running exams in China at the moment. We hope to restart exams in the future and will provide updates here and on our dates and fees page.

我们目前没有在中国大陆举办任何考试。我们希望将来重新举办考试。请关注我们的网站以获取最新消息。

Woodwind syllabuses from 2022

Key dates

  • 8 July 2021: Online publication of Woodwind syllabuses from 2022 (Practical Grades and Performance Grades)
  • 8 July 2021: Print publications available for Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone:
    • EXAM PIECES: Includes exam pieces (score & part), alongside download codes for the audio recordings.
      Flute & Clarinet, Grades 1-7 & Saxophone at Grades 1-5
    • EXAM PACKS: Includes exam pieces (score & part), scales and arpeggios, sight-reading, alongside download codes for the audio recordings. Flute, Clarinet & Saxophone at Grades 1-5
  • 1 January 2022: Woodwind syllabuses from 2022 come into effect

What’s new

  • Refreshed repertoire lists for all woodwind instruments at all grades
    • approximately 50% new repertoire, with some of the most popular pieces retained from the 2018–2021 syllabus
  • Duet option
    • included in Practical Grades for the first time – up to Grade 3
    • extended in Performance Grades at Grades 1–3
  • Revised list structure
    • lists defined by musical characteristics rather than accompanied/solo and period of composition
    • playing unaccompanied no longer a requirement, but remains an option
  • Greater flexibility for recorder players to present pieces on a different recorder

Syllabus validity

Woodwind syllabuses from 2022 come into effect on 1 January 2022. This means that:

  • candidates can begin to present pieces from the new lists;
  • candidates can continue to present pieces from the 2018–2021 syllabus lists during the overlap period (see below);
  • for Practical Grades, the scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural test requirements remain exactly the same as for the 2018–2021 syllabus.

Syllabus overlap

For candidates wishing to present pieces drawn from the 2018–2021 syllabus, a one-year overlap period (up to 31 December 2022) now applies to all countries – including the UK and Ireland. All three set pieces must be prepared from the same syllabus.

More information coming soon

Performance Grades – Qualification Specification (including syllabuses)

An updated Performance Grades Qualification Specification will be published in July 2021, including changes applicable to the syllabuses (Section 3) for all exam subjects.

These changes will apply to exams from 6 September 2021 (i.e. exams with a video submission deadline on or after that date). This revised Qualification Specification is being issued a year after we first launched Performance Grades and the changes are being made in order to:

  • accommodate the launch of Initial Grade exams (for Piano and Bowed Strings), and
  • clarify some information and exam requirements, and adjust others, particularly in response to feedback from customers.

Further detail of the changes will be published later. Candidates and teachers already preparing for an exam from September onwards using the current (3 December 2020) Qualification Specification/syllabus can continue to do so in confidence – no change being made will mean they have incorrectly prepared for any aspect of the exam.

The existing repertoire lists for each subject will remain unchanged. We will be publishing the Initial Grade repertoire lists for Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass as part of the Performance Grades syllabus – these will be the same lists that are currently in use for Practical Grades. We will also be issuing new repertoire lists for all Woodwind subjects, applicable from 1 January 2022 – see the ‘Woodwind syllabuses from 2022’ section on this page for more information.

ARSM – Qualification Specification (syllabus)

An updated ARSM Qualification Specification will be published in July 2021 including minor changes applicable to all exam subjects. The changes are primarily to clarify existing information and exam requirements and will apply to exams from 6 September 2021 (for remotely-assessed exams, this will be for exams with a video submission deadline on or after that date).

Further detail of the changes will be published later. Candidates and teachers already preparing for an exam from September onwards using the current (September 2020) Qualification Specification can continue to do so in confidence – no change being made will mean they have incorrectly prepared for any aspect of the exam.

Practical Grades: Brass Syllabus from 2017

The current Brass syllabus (from 2017) is valid until further notice.

Brass candidates should refer to the 2017-2020 syllabus until at least 2022. New syllabuses (Practical and Performance) are being developed for all Brass subjects but release has been delayed due to COVID-19. Further updates will be published at www.abrsm.org/syllabusupdates when available.

Brass syllabus: Practical Grades

Brass syllabus: Performance Grades

Practical Grades: Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022

Key dates

  • 9 July 2020: Publication of Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022 (syllabus resource materials are available in print, the full piano syllabus is online only)
  • 9 July 2020: Publication of Piano Exam Pieces (Grades Initial–8), Piano Scales & Arpeggios (Grades Initial–8), Teaching Notes on Piano Exam Pieces (Grades Initial–8) and audio recordings of all pieces on the syllabus
  • 9 July 2020: Publication of Specimen Piano Sight-Reading Tests for the new Initial Grade exam; Initial Grade Specimen Aural Tests  already available
  • 1 January 2021: Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022 comes into effect

What’s new

  • New repertoire lists and scale requirements at all grades
  • Repertoire:
    • More choice than ever before, with the lists extended to ten pieces (30 pieces in total per grade)
    • Duet option included for the first time – up to Grade 3
    • Revised list structure
  • Scales requirements
    • A more realistic and manageable assessment load, with the focus instead on technical development and progression
  • Initial Grade exam introduced – a pre-Grade 1 assessment following the same structure, content and assessment criteria as ABRSM’s existing graded music exams (three pieces, scales and arpeggios, sight-reading and aural tests)

Syllabus validity

Piano syllabus 2021 & 2022 comes into effect on 1 January 2021. This means:

  • Candidates can begin to present the pieces and scales requirements from the new syllabus;
  • Candidates can continue to present the pieces and scales requirements from the 2019 & 2020 syllabus during the overlap period (see below);
  • Sight-reading and aural test requirements remain exactly the same as for the 2019 & 2020 syllabus.

Syllabus overlap

For candidates wishing to present pieces and scale requirements from the 2019 & 2020 syllabus, a one-year overlap period (up to 31 December 2021) now applies to all countries – including the UK and Ireland.

All three pieces and the scales requirements must be prepared from the same syllabus.

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