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01/07/2020

ABRSM PERFORMANCE EXAMS – what’s involved

HOW TO BOOK

  • Exams are booked through the ABRSM online booking service. If you haven’t used it before, you’ll need to register and create an account before booking an exam. The person making the booking (the applicant) must be aged 18 or over.  
  • Before booking, you will need to have the following candidate information ready:
    • Contact ID (if known), name and date of birth
    • Grade and subject
    • Any access arrangements or reasonable adjustments
    • Email address for the candidate or parent/carer (compulsory for remotely-assessed exams)


SELECTING A DATE

  • When you book you can log in to select an ‘exam date’ from a list of available options. This ‘exam date’ is the final day on which you can submit the video recording through our online exam booking service.
  • While you must upload the recording by the time given on the ‘exam date’, you do not have to record the exam on that day. The candidate/applicant can choose when to record their exam performance.


EXAM LOCATION & TIME

  • The candidate/applicant chooses when and where to record the exam. This can be on any date, as long as the recording is ready to submit by the ‘exam date’ deadline.
  • The exam can take place in any suitable location with enough space and the necessary instruments available, including a piano for any accompaniments.

THE RESPONSIBLE ADULT

  • For candidates under 18, a responsible adult oversees the recording of the exam performance to make sure it takes place according to our Exam Regulations.
  • The responsible adult must be aged 18 or over. They could be the applicant (who booked the exam), teacher, parent/carer or the accompanist.
  • The responsible adult can help the candidate with the video-recording device and, if the candidate wishes, help with showing the programme form and own-choice repertoire to the camera and announcing the pieces/songs.


PHOTO ID

  • They should show their photo ID to the camera at the beginning of the recording (before they begin their performance).


PROGRAM FORM AND ANNOUNCEMENT

The candidate completes a programme form listing the pieces/songs they are performing which they show to the camera at the start of the recording.  They also show the opening of their own-choice repertoire. 
  • Details of what candidates need to include on the programme form, as well as downloadable forms to print and complete, will be available well in advance of the first booking period.
  • The candidate also announces the following information before their performance: their name, exam subject (instrument), grade, and the title, composer and syllabus details (where applicable) for each piece/song in the order they are going to perform them.


ACCOMPANIMENTS

Unless social distancing restrictions or other government guidelines are in place due to COVID-19, the standard accompaniment requirements apply. This means that for all pieces/songs published with an accompaniment, candidates must perform with a live accompaniment. Recorded accompaniments of any kind are NOT ALLOWED.

THE RECORDING

  • The exam should be recorded as an audio-visual file in one continuous ‘take’.
  • The recording must not be edited in any way after the exam.
  • Most smartphones, tablets and laptops will be suitable for recording the exam.
  • You should set the camera resolution at 720p – a lower resolution (e.g. 480p) may produce an unclear, grainy picture and higher resolutions are likely to result in files that are too large to upload.
  • You can record in landscape or portrait view.
  • Recordings must be in one of the following formats: MP4, WMV, MOV or MPG.
  • The file size must not be more than 2GB. If the resolution of the video is too high, the file may be too large or may be slow to upload. In these circumstances, you will need to compress the file to make sure it uploads successfully.
  • The camera should be static, with candidate and instruments clearly in view.
  • For accompanied exams, the accompanist should also be in view, although the candidate should be the main focus.
  • To submit an exam recording, the candidate or applicant uploads it via the ABRSM online exam booking service. They must do this by the published time on the ‘exam date’.
  • As part of the upload process, the candidate (if 18 or over) or the responsible adult (present at the time of the recording) completes a declaration to confirm that the recording was made in accordance with our regulations.
  • If the responsible adult is not also the applicant who made the booking, they must be present when the recording is uploaded so that they can complete the declaration.

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