You will have an extra five minutes for the exam to use as necessary.
You may be more comfortable with a familiar person to accompany you into the exam. We refer to this person as a chaperone. The chaperone should not be your parent or music teacher unless there is no other option. You must have advance written permission from ABRSM. Please review our guidelines for candidates requesting a chaperone.
Extra time for Sight-reading
You will not receive extra time for Sight-reading automatically. If you require this reasonable adjustment you should select the relevant option on the entry form. We may ask to see additional supporting evidence to support this request.
Large print tests
ABRSM’s default for large print tests is a 14mm stave on cream paper.
Specimen large print tests are available from Allegro Music and their contact details can be found at the end of these guidelines.
Modified print tests
Rather than a straightforward enlargement, ABRSM can make further modifications based on your preferences, for example, larger note-heads and beaming, or a larger font for performance directions.
If you require modified stave notation, you should send a covering letter at the time of entry along with a sample of the notation required. Please include details of all typographical specifications. You can email musical examples written in Sibelius or MuseScore to [email protected]
We produce Sight-reading tests on A4 landscape.
Further information on modified stave notation (MSN) is published by the UK Association for Accessible formats (UKAAF) and their contact details can be found at the end of these guidelines.
Sight-reading tests on coloured paper
If you require tests on coloured paper you should indicate this by contacting the access coordinator before the published entry deadline. You will need to post three sheets of the required paper to ABRSM at the time of entry.
Use of large print or modified scores in exams
You are welcomed to use your own large print or modified print copies in the exam provided you bring the original with you. This provision is made under the Code of Fair Practice published by the MPA, which allows you to make an accessible copy for your own use. No prior permission is required.
Sight-reading tests on separate sheets
If you require tests reproduced on a separate sheet of paper, you should indicate this by contacting the access coordinator before the published entry deadline.
You are welcome to use a tinted overlay for any part of the exam and no prior permission is required.
Aural repetition in place of Sight-reading
This test may be a more appropriate alternative for some candidates with severe learning difficulties or who learn music by ear rather than notation. If you select this provision on the entry form, we may contact you to confirm that this is the most appropriate option.
The aural repetition test consists of a short passage played three times on the piano by the examiner, who will first play and name the key-chord and starting note, and indicate the tempo before asking you to repeat the passage on your instrument. You will be given a short amount of time to try out the test following the second and final playing. You can obtain specimen tests from Allegro Music and their contact details are given at the end of these guidelines.
Organ, Trumpet, Horn and Harpsichord exams
These exams involve either a transposition exercise or a figured bass realisation. Any extra time will be split between the Sight-reading and these additional tests.
All examiners will follow the rubric printed in the new Specimen Aural Tests books to avoid any variations in the way in which the aural tests are delivered.
For tests requiring you to remember what they have been asked before the playing of a musical extract (as in the C or D test, depending on the grade), you will be allowed to take a pencil and piece of paper into the exam room to make a note of which features you need to listen for – making you less reliant on your short-term memory. The examiner will collect this piece of paper at the end of the exam.
Examiners may allow an additional attempt at the aural tests if they consider there is reason to do so, with no penalty. Any further attempts may be allowed at the examiner’s discretion. The examiner will be ready to prompt where appropriate, though this will affect the assessment.
Large or modified print tests
If you request a large or modified staff notation sight-reading test, you will receive a large print or modified copy of aural test B at Grades 4–8.
Tests involving singing
We are aware that some candidates with autism find singing particularly challenging or impossible. If this is the case, you should contact the Access Coordinator at the time of entry to discuss suitable alternatives.
Order of the exam
You may notify the examiner on the day of your preferred order, provided that it is logistically feasible – for example, it is better that elements requiring an accompanist are adjacent to cause minimum disruption.