ABRSM Singapore: The Ultimate Guide (2024)

ABRSM Singapore
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This guide will contain all you need to know about ABRSM in Singapore and how to prepare for your exams. We examine the following:

Table of Contents

What is ABRSM

ABRSM is an acronym for Association Board of Royal School of Music. It is an organization saddled with the responsibility of organising music education and examinations for music students. ABRSM covers the UK, Singapore and over 90 countries in the world. ABRSM came into existence in the year 1889 and its primary mandate is to groom and sustain musical passion and to motivate singers for great achievements. They derive delight from providing quality musical education to all individuals.

ABRSM in Singapore is conducted twice a year. They give room for learners to grow their musical talents while teachers are motivated to impart more of both music practical and music theory lessons on the learners. ABRSM in Singapore is involved in several academic activities which include tests, examination grading, and issuance of certificates and diplomas to learners.

The Purpose of ABRSM Examinations

Just like every other educational institution in the country, ABRSM in Singapore offers the examinations and tests to qualify candidates for certification. Some of the examination questions are theories while others are practicals. By combining the theoretical and practical, ABRSM can test and assess the understanding of the learners before granting them the chance to gain promotion to the next level.

The courses are based on well-structured syllabuses and lecture plans. The grading system is between grade one and grade eight and the tests are used as yardsticks to determine the performances of the students. The theoretical examinations are scribbled and the students are asked questions based on the lessons and syllabuses for the grade.

The primary aim of the ABRSM exam is to inspire and assist learners of various ages and skill levels on their musical path. It is accredited by Ofqual to grant graded exams and diploma qualifications, offering support throughout their musical journey.

Benefits of taking ABRSM exam in Singapore

Benefits of taking ABRSM Exam

Students must combine both skills and understanding. Assessment is generally focused in the following areas:

Performance Skills

You are allowed to perform three songs and your performance assessed. You are free to use a songbook.

Techniques and General Technical Dexterity

You are assessed by your ability to understand and memorise scales as well as arpeggios.

Notation Skill

Through an assessment on sight-reading. Assessment of aural abilities, musical listening skills and how to perceive music.

Practical Grade Examinations

The Practical grades range between Grade one and Grade eight. Benefits of practical-based music examination include that the learners have a goal that he must work to achieve and you will also be able to decipher your current level of music aptness.

The Exam

Overall, during the practical based exam, try as much as you can to continue playing at a comfortable pace. Do away with nervousness and maintain good confidence and be sure to learn all other tips for your ABRSM exam in Singapore.

ABRSM Exam Results LVL Music Academy

How are the marks assigned?

The marks for the Practical and Performance Based exams are the same. This is because they are equivalent exams. With a total of 15 marks available, four songs will be allotted 30 marks each with the remaining 30 marks allotted to your performance as a whole.

Marks are assigned to each of the following parts separately. For your piece, it includes pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. Other graded points go to scale and arpeggios, sight reading and aural tests.

Points are awarded based on the following scale:

Overall Result



27 - 30


24 - 26


20 - 23

Below Pass

17 - 19


13 - 16


10 - 12

No work offered


  • The overall mark in the entire practical-based exam is 150
  • To pass the exam, a learner must score 100 marks
  • To achieve a merit grade, a learner must score 120 marks
  • To achieve distinction grade, a learner must score 130 marks

More details on this can be found here.

Update on Practical Graded Exams

The current pandemic situation makes the examiners unable to fly to Singapore to conduct physical examinations. The ensuing corona pandemic has crippled international flights. Therefore, ABRSM will now be conducting examinations via video recording.

Performance Grade Examinations

The performance Grade exam does not replace the practical grades rather a progressive for more learning. Students are allowed to switch between the performance or practical exams as they progress. The two exams are equivalent in demand and value, the only difference is that the performance grades place more emphasis on performance.

The performance Grade ABRSM exam in Singapore started in September 2020, for songs and instruments ranging from grade one to grade eight. Students will be asked to perform only four songs. In this case, there shall be no sight-reading, scales, and aural tests.

The Exam

Tip: A useful tip here is to wear formal clothes and covered shoes.

How Are The Marks Assigned?

As indicated earlier, Performance is graded exactly as the practical grades. A total of 150 marks will be available. With 30 marks for each of your 4 chosen pieces/songs and the remaining 30 marks for your performance a whole.

How The Exam Is Conducted

Steps In Recording Video

Get more information on guidelines for performance grade exams here.

Theory Graded Examinations

Examinations for theoretical music grades 1 to 5 that require physical presence will now be internet-based examinations, this implies that physical examination will no longer exist in places where internet-based exams have taken effect. However, there is a very limited exception in this and the circumstances involved are special.

The Exam

With the advantage of experience and seasoned tutors, LVL Music Academy prepares you thoroughly by taking you completely through the syllabus in preparation for the theoretical examination. Click Here to learn more about Online Theory Exams.

ABRSM Registration Schedule

Entries must be made by the applicant during the published entry period (www.abrsm.org/datesandfees) using the online entry form. Where online entry is not available, entries must be made by post using the paper entry form. We cannot accept entries by letter, email, fax or telephone. For more information on how to make an entry
The registration schedule typically comes out a few months before the registration date. To know about the schedule, kindly check here.

How COVID-19 Affects ABRSM

Practical-based and Performance Based Examination

The syllabus still remains the same. The practical based and performance based assessment share the syllabus and marking scheme. However, because of Covid 19 restrictions, the practical based exams have been suspended till further notice. The Performance based assessment however can now be done virtually through registering on the ABRSM website. The exam is done from home and graded virtually, however, nothing changes from the way and manner it is being graded.

Theory examination

The music theory examination is also online as well. Due to the covid-19 restrictions, the exams are now done through a software called PRnow. There are however rules and guidelines to the usage of this software to ensure that all examination guidelines and principles are followed.


Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, nothing has changed when it comes to the syllabus and basic principles. ABRSM in Singapore continues for residents but from the comfort of their home. Also, the books you need to prepare for each examination haven’t changed. The structure available has made it possible that with your dedication, reading and practice, you would be able to get the certification from ABRSM despite the pandemic.

About The Author:
About The Author:

Alan Senejani
Alan is the co-founder of LVL Music Academy and in charge of everyday operations. His wife, Ms Janice and himself are passionate to bring out the best in kids & adults with quality music lessons in Singapore. He is a loving father to his 4 years old little girl & 1 year old little boy.

About The Author:
About The Author:

Alan Senejani
Alan is the co-founder of LVL Music Academy and in charge of everyday operations. His wife, Ms Janice and himself are passionate to bring out the best in kids & adults with quality music lessons in Singapore. He is a loving father to his 4 years old little girl & 1 year old little boy.

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