ARSM is for:
- Anyone seeking a challenge beyond Grade 8
- Musicians who want to get back into playing or singing after a break
- Students looking to enhance their performance skills before entering higher education
Latest exam updates
Practical Session 2 Update – Germany
We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we’re working hard on solutions to ensure they can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity.
Provided travel and COVID restrictions remain lifted, we will open a booking period from 11 August– 21 August September with exams to be held November - December. We will continue to keep this under review as our ability to accept bookings remains conditional on the restrictions continuing to be lifted. An update to Applicants will be announced as soon as we can and our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course. We are looking forward to providing candidates with exams again and thank you for your loyalty and support at this difficult time.
ARSM (Associate of the Royal Schools of Music) is a performance-only diploma. It's an opportunity for your son or daughter to demonstrate performance skills after Grade 8.
Candidates perform a 30-minute programme where they are assessed on their musical communication skills, interpretation and technical delivery. There are no written or spoken elements and no scales, sight-reading or aural tests, making it a very accessible exam.
Exams are available worldwide with a new remote-assessment option available from October 2020 (initially in the UK and Ireland).
Please note that:
This meaningful goal provides the opportunity for students to demonstrate their performance skills and to have their level of achievement recognised. It gives purpose and direction to post-Grade 8 learning and can also help bridge the gap between Grade 8 and DipABRSM.
ARSM is all about the performance!
ARSM also gives candidates the opportunity to create and perform their own programme of music for the first time.
Preparing to meet the challenges of a sustained 30-minute programme will help develop greater technical assurance and instrument control.
Successful candidates receive a certificate and can add letters (ARSM) after their name.
The exam is a performance of a 30-minute programme where:
Programmes should be balanced and varied.
The marks for ARSM are allocated as follows:
Performance as a whole
Out of the total of 50 marks available, 34 are required for a Pass, 40 for a Merit and 45 for a Distinction.
All candidates receive a mark form showing the examiner’s comments and the marks awarded.
ARSM is suitable for musicians, of any age, who would like something to work towards after Grade 8. Candidates must have already passed ABRSM Grade 8 Practical or Performance exam or a listed alternative in the instrument they want to take ARSM in.
Please note that:
We may ask candidates to send us their Grade 8 certificate or other supporting documentation.
ARSM is available for the following instruments:
This ARSM syllabus is valid from January 2017 until further notice.
We will post any minor updates at www.abrsm.org/syllabuscorrections. Advance notice of a revised syllabus containing significant changes will be provided on this page.