ABRSM—Exam Syllabus & Structure

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) provides eight to nine graded exams starting from Initial (in selected subjects), proceeding to Grade 1 and going all the way up to Grade 8. 

They provide exams that are based on subjective feedback instead of a quantitative one—Prep Test and Performance Assessment. A prep test is designed for absolutely young beginners who are entering the world of assessments and being encouraged to build a strong foundation base in their music education. A performance assessment can be taken by anyone and at any level to get feedback on any performance programme they prepare. Beyond that they also offer several diplomas in both performance and teaching.

Here below, you can find links to any graded exams you are looking to prepare for, a detailed list of instruments offered under each category and the examination structure.

Piano Syllabus (2019-2020)
https://in.abrsm.org/media/62972/piano_syllabus_2019___2020_complete.pdf

Exams Available

  1. Piano Solo (Grade 1-Grade 8)

Exam Format

Piano (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Bowed Strings Syllabus (2020-2023)

Exams Available

  1. Violin (Initial, Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62975/violin_2020_complete_syllabus.pdf

  2. Viola (Initial, Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62977/viola_2020_complete_syllabus.pdf

  3. Cello (Initial, Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62979/cello_2020_complete_syllabus.pdf

  4. Double Bass (Initial, Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62981/double_bass_2020_complete_syllabus.pdf

Exam Format

Bowed String Instruments (Initial, Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Woodwind Syllabus (2018-2021)

Exams Available

  1. Descent Recorder (Grade 1-Grade 5)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62983/descant_recorder_-_all_grades.pdf

  2. Treble Recorder (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62984/treble_recorder_-_all_grades.pdf

  3. Flute (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62985/flute_-_all_grades.pdf

  4. Oboe (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62986/oboe_-_all_grades.pdf

  5. Clarinet (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62987/clarinet_-_all_grades.pdf

  6. Bassoon (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62988/bassoon_-_all_grades.pdf

  7. Saxophone (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62989/sax_-_all_grades.pdf

Exam Format

Woodwind Instruments (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Brass Syllabus (2020)

Exams Available

  1. Horn (Grade 1-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2013
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62990/hornsyllabuscomplete13.pdf

     

     

  2. Trumpet/ Cornet/ Flugelhorn (Grade 1-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2017-2020
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62991/trumpetsyllabuscomplete17.pdf

     

     

  3. Eb Horn (Grade 1-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2013
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62992/ebhornsyllabuscomplete13.pdf

     

     

  4. Trombone (Grade 1-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2017-2020
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62993/trombonesyllabuscomplete17.pdf

     

     

  5. Baritone and Euphonium (Grade 1-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2013
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62994/baritoneeuphoniumsyllabuscomplete13.pdf

     

     

  6. Bass Trombone (Grade 6-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2010
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62995/basstrombonesyllabuscomplete13.pdf

     

     

  7. Tuba (Grade 1-Grade 8): Syllabus from 2013
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62996/tubasyllabuscomplete13.pdf

Exam Format

Brass Instruments (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Exams Available

  1. Harp (Pedal) (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62997/harp__pedal__syllabus_grades_1e280938__from_2019_.pdf

     

  2. Harp (Non-Pedal) (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62998/harp__non-pedal__syllabus_grades_1-8__from_2019_.pdf

     

Exam Format

Harp (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Exams Available

  1. Percussion (Combined) (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://gb.abrsm.org/media/63819/2020-percussion-combined.pdf

     

  2. Snare Drum (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://gb.abrsm.org/media/63832/2020-snare-drum.pdf

     

  3. Timpani (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://gb.abrsm.org/media/63831/2020-timpani.pdf

     

  4. Tuned Percussion
    https://gb.abrsm.org/media/63830/2020-tuned-percussion.pdf
    1. Xylophone
    2. Marimba
    3. Vibraphone
    4. Gkickenspiel (Grade 1-Grade 2)

Exam Format

Percussion Instruments (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Singing Syllabus (from 2018)

Exams Available

  1. Singing (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/62999/complete_syllabus_with_amended_pp21_25_30_40.pdf


Exam Format

Singing (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Guitar Syllabus (from 2019)

Exams Available

  1. Guitar (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/63001/complete_guitar_syllabus.pdf


Exam Format

Guitar (Grade 1-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Organ Syllabus (from 2011)

Exams Available

  1. Organ (Grade 1-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/63002/organsyllabuscomplete15.pdf

Exam Format

Organ (Grade 1-Grade 5) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)

Organ (Grade 6-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (12 Marks)
  6. Transposition (9 Marks)
  7. Aural (18 Marks)

Harpsichord Syllabus (from 2018)

Exams Available

  1. Harpsichord (Grade 4-Grade 8)
    https://in.abrsm.org/media/63004/harpsichordsyllabuscomplete15.pdf

Exam Format

Harpsichord (Grade 5-Grade 8) 

  1. Piece 1 (30 Marks)
  2. Piece 2 (30 Marks)
  3. Piece 3 (30 Marks)
  4. Technical Work (21 Marks)
    1. Scales 
    2. Arpeggios/Broken Chords
  5. Sight Reading (21 Marks)
  6. Aural (18 Marks)