Latest exam updates

Exam refunds

To support customers affected by ongoing COVID restrictions, for Practical and Performance Grade exams from 1st January to 31st May 2021 any absent candidate will automatically receive a refund. This includes Performance Grades where the candidate has been unable to record and upload their video. You do not need to contact us to request a refund. However, it will help us if you can log in to your account and cancel the exam. Find out more:

For Online Music Theory exams and any paper based exams taking place outside of the UK/Ireland we anticipate COVID restrictions will not prevent candidates from sitting their exam so absentee candidate will not automatically receive a refund and our normal Withdrawal, non-attendance and fee refunds policy still applies.

Music Theory exams – March 2021

  • Online Music Theory exams (Grades 1 to 5) – we are cancelling the online exams planned for 16 March. Exams in May and June will go ahead as planned.
  • Paper Music Theory exams (Grades 6 to 8) – the next exams will take place in June. Please note, dates and booking periods for Grades 1-5 and Grades 6-8 may be different from now on. For full details, see our dates and fees page.
  • Grade 5 Music Theory requirement - from 1 January to 30 April 2021 only, candidates can take Grade 6 to 8 Performance or Practical exams without first passing Grade 5 Music Theory. From 1 May 2021, the Grade 5 Music Theory requirement will return with flexibility about timing. If you receive an email asking for your proof of prerequisite, please ignore this. We will still release any results in line with the arrangements outlined here.

For more information click here.

Performance Grade booking

We will be offering Performance Grade exams every month for the remainder of 2021. Exact dates will be announced soon. Please check here for more information.

My musical journey

3 years ago
Yuanfan Yang

Yuanfan Yang

ABRSM Scholar Yuanfan Yang (based at the Royal Academy of Music) is 19 years old and already a multi-award winning pianist. Recent successes include winning the UK Liszt Society International Piano Prize 2015 and the 9th Grand Prix Interlaken Classics International Piano Competition 2016.

Hello, I’m Yuanfan and I’m a second year undergraduate at the Royal Academy of Music in London. I’ve always loved music and my first musical memory was playing the piano at my friend’s birthday party when I was six years old. My other friends were outside playing football, and I played a few notes and then moved on to Happy Birthday and Mary had a little lamb. I started having lessons after that and wanted to give myself a big challenge … so I skipped Grades 1 to 4 and passed my Grade 5 with Distinction when I was seven. I’ve been very fortunate with the support I’ve received during my musical journey. My headmaster at my local primary school encouraged us to sing and would ask to me to play the piano during school assemblies. My parents have also made huge sacrifices to help support my passion. When I started at the Academy, my family and I moved from the north of England to London and dad now travels to Leeds for work. As I’ve been so lucky with the support I’ve had, it’s really important to me to also give back. I remember going on a tour in Scotland, and spending part of it volunteering for a music workshop at a secondary school in Campbeltown with around 50 schoolchildren. I did a mini-recital for them playing music by Rachmaninov to more recent numbers like Let It Go and Pirates of the Caribbean. I also gave a masterclass providing tips on how to play, interpret and improvise music. It was so inspiring to see their reactions, to hear about their love of music and to help them with my suggestions and give them the benefit of my experiences. It’s always such an amazing feeling when people tell me that they’ve been inspired by the music I’ve played, especially if it’s a piece that I’ve composed. It makes me feel good, because I feel like I’ve made them happy. I really enjoy composing my own music and improvising, and here’s some of my improvisation in action.

Yuanfan’s improvisation is inspired by the four-note ‘whistle’ motif from The Hunger Games films, which feature music by James Newton Howard, also Visiting Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.



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