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21/05/2020

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ABRSM Special Adapted Exams - all you need to know

UK Students in year 13 wanting to take the special adapted exam who need the UCAS points for university entry need to register their interest by 26 May. In this post I’ll be explaining everything you need to know about these special adapted exams.

ABRSM Special Adapted Exams - all you need to know

First of all, if you want to take part in these specially adapted exams that the ABRSM have arranged for those who missed out due to the COVID 19 pandemic, you need to register your interest by Tuesday 26th of May at 5pm. There is a link to the online form which is open now HERE.

There will then be a very narrow booking period, from the 1st to the 9th of June and the exams will take place between 22nd and 3rd July for Practical Exams and 4th July for Theory Exams

The exam will consist of an audio recording of the Pieces and Scales and Arpeggios, which will be assessed by one of the ABRSM examiners and Teacher-assessed marks for the Sight-reading and Aural tests. 

Candidates can make the exam recording in their own home or at any other venue that is deemed to be safe under current COVID-19 conditions. The exam recording must be overseen by a Responsible Adult. An exam date and time will be selected at the time of booking. While all exam materials to be submitted must be uploaded to ABRSM by the Teacher on that day, it is not compulsory to make the exam recording at exactly that date and time. The recording can be made earlier as long as the instructions for selecting Scales and arpeggios have been received from ABRSM

A Responsible Adult must stay in the exam room for the duration of the exam who will make sure that scales and arpeggios are played from memory and may also provide accompaniment for the candidate or assist the candidate with the recording device

Although live accompaniment is preferred for instruments that require it, as long as social distancing is observed, pre-recorded accompaniments can also be accepted or even unaccompanied version counting through any bars rest for these specially adapted exams.

Regarding Scales - the responsible adult will be sent instructions before the exam day on how to select an appropriate range of scales which will be given to the candidate before the exam.

ALL THREE PIECES AND THE SCALES must be recorded in One Take, without editing

For Sight Reading and Aural, the Teacher themselves will give a mock exam and mark according the marking criteria set by the ABRSM as shown below.


Sight-reading

Distinction
19–21: Fluent, rhythmically accurate, Accurate notes/pitch/key, Musical detail realised, Confident presentation

Merit
17–18: Adequate tempo, usually steady pulse, Mainly correct rhythm, Largely correct notes/pitch/key, Largely secure presentation

Pass
14-16: Continuity generally maintained, Note values mostly realised, Pitch outlines in place, despite errors, Cautious presentation

Below Pass
11-13: Lacking overall continuity, Incorrect note values, Very approximate notes/pitch/key, Insecure presentation

7-10: No continuity or incomplete, Note values unrealised, Pitch outlines absent, Very uncertain presentation

0
No work offered

Aural tests

Distinction
17–18: Accurate throughout, Musically perceptive, Confident response

Merit
15–16: Strengths significantly outweigh weaknesses, Musically aware, Secure response

Pass
12-14: Strengths just outweigh weaknesses, Cautious response

Below Pass
9-11: Weaknesses outweigh strengths, Uncertain response

6-8: Inaccuracy throughout; Vague response

0: No work offered

If  necessary these can be scanned sight reading tests and streamed aural tests from the ABRSM’s mock aural tests HERE 

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