What are the ABRSM graded examinations, and why would one want to take them?



Asked by: Patricia Stanton

Why should I take ABRSM?





Attending ABRSM exams simply sets a clear objective and directions for music students. ​Successful candidates are rewarded with a ABRSM certificate. This achievement will help encourage the building of pride and determination to further practice for higher graded exams.

What are the ABRSM exams?

ABRSM exams are music exams rather than instrumental or singing exams. Examiners assess the quality of the music-making, not how it’s achieved. For this reason, we don’t restrict examiners to assessing only their own instrument but require them to examine all instruments.

What is ABRSM piano exam?

The ABRSM (Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) is an important examinations board in the United Kingdom which provides examinations in music at centres around the world. Graded music exams provide a structured framework for progression from beginner to advanced musician.

What is ABRSM Grade equivalent to GCSE?

In the United Kingdom, ABRSM graded examinations are QCA-accredited at three levels in the National Qualifications Framework: Grades 1–3 at Level 1 (Foundation: equivalent to GCSE grades D–G), Grades 4–5 at Level 2 (Intermediate: GCSE grades A*–C) and Grades 6–8 at Level 3 (Advanced: A-Level).

Is ABRSM a professional qualification?





ABRSM diplomas offer varied routes to professional qualification for a wide range of musicians, including performers, teachers and directors.

Are piano grades worth it?

They can provide a useful benchmark of progress, especially for children (or their parents!), and some adults like the focus or personal challenge that exams offer. But learning to play the piano should not be about notching up grades, especially if the experience causes so much anxiety and stress.

What happens if you fail ABRSM exam?

if you do fail, there will always be the chance to take the exam again. If this happens, look carefully at the examiner’s comments on the marks sheet. There should be some helpful hints about the qualities in your playing which made it unsuccessful on the day.

Is ABRSM Grade 8 equivalent to a level?

Remember: Grade 8 is the equivalent of an A-Level. Those who received their professional training at a Music College at postgraduate level hold a Master of Music in Solo Piano Performance.

When should I take Grade 1 piano?

ABRSM suggests 1.5 years to be ready for the exam, but this is only for an average child starting at around primary school age who has sufficient practice and parental involvement.



Are music grades useful?

Grades are just good so that if you stop playing for a while, you’ve got a marker to remind yourself and others what you did actually achieve, so you have incentive to get back to that level.

Is grade 5 Piano a GCSE?

Grade 5 is roughly equivalent to GCSE standard, and Grade 8 is about A level standard. You can get UCAS points for Grades 6-8. If you want to think about music as a career, you should probably expect to be about Grade 8 standard when you leave school.

Can you skip Grade 6 piano?

You can skip piano grades if you want to. There are no rules from the exam boards to stop you. Some common grades to skip are grades 2, 4, and either 6 or 7 i.e. you would take grades 1, 3, 5, either 6 or 7, and 8.



Is ABRSM good for college?

In the US, the ABRSM is known to effectively prep students for the AP Music Theory Test, covering important aspects of Theory, Aural Training, and Music Analysis. Passing the AP Music Theory Test provides course credit at universities all across the U.S, so ask your teacher about the exam today!

Is ABRSM hard?

Grade 8 ABRSM is not all that difficult, and yet people do struggle with it. The actual performance level is not that high in terms of the pieces, but you have to be secure in all of your scale work, arpeggios, and that takes a bit of time to learn if you’re not used to doing it all the time.

What is the highest piano grade?

What is the highest piano grade? The highest piano Grade is 8. It requires very high technical skills, and the ability to play the instrument with the use of proper skills and styles. Exam repertoires for Grade 8 piano are long and technically demanding.

What level is Fur Elise?

It’s a grade 5 piece and students usually take 1-2 years to get there. Although you can most certainly play grade 5 pieces before you get there, it’ll just be much more work than necessary.



What grade of piano is Fur Elise?

It’s around grade 5 (ABRSM) or grade 7 (RCM) so very much in the intermediate realm if we’re judging by the formal standards of the classical piano route.

How good is Grade 7 piano?

Knowing your ‘level’ as a pianist
For instance, Grade 1 and 2 I would consider late beginner level*. Grade 3 is early intermediate. Grade 4 and 5 are intermediate levels. Grade 6 is late intermediate, Grade 7 is early advanced.

What is the hardest piano piece?

Ravel’s Scarbo is considered one of the most fearsome virtuoso works in the piano repertoire. The composer is said to have written the piece in 1908 in a conscious attempt to out-difficult Balakirev’s Islamey – then considered the hardest piece ever written for the keyboard.

Is Grade 5 piano hard?

Grade 5 could be considered solidly in the intermediate realm (early advanced starts at level 7). include dominant 7th chords.” Grade jumps seem to feel more dramatic every two levels or so. I find grade 1 and 2 to be pretty similar, but the jump to grade 3 a big leap.