This guide will contain all you need to know about ABRSM in Singapore and how to prepare for your exams. We examine the following:
Table of Contents
What is ABRSM
ABRSM is an acronym for Association Board of Royal School of Music. It is an organization saddled with the responsibility of organising music education and examinations for music students. ABRSM covers the UK, Singapore and over 90 countries in the world. ABRSM came into existence in the year 1889 and its primary mandate is to groom and sustain musical passion and to motivate singers for great achievements. They derive delight from providing quality musical education to all individuals.
ABRSM in Singapore is conducted twice a year. They give room for learners to grow their musical talents while teachers are motivated to impart more of both music practical and music theory lessons on the learners. ABRSM in Singapore is involved in several academic activities which include tests, examination grading, and issuance of certificates and diplomas to learners.
The Purpose of ABRSM Examinations
Just like every other educational institution in the country, ABRSM in Singapore offers the examinations and tests to qualify candidates for certification. Some of the examination questions are theories while others are practicals. By combining the theoretical and practical, ABRSM can test and assess the understanding of the learners before granting them the chance to gain promotion to the next level.
The courses are based on well-structured syllabuses and lecture plans. The grading system is between grade one and grade eight and the tests are used as yardsticks to determine the performances of the students. The theoretical examinations are scribbled and the students are asked questions based on the lessons and syllabuses for the grade.
Benefits of taking ABRSM Exam
Students must combine both skills and understanding. Assessment is generally focused in the following areas:
Practical Grade Examinations
The Practical grades range between Grade one and Grade eight. Benefits of practical-based music examination include that the learners have a goal that he must work to achieve and you will also be able to decipher your current level of music aptness.
Overall, during the practical based exam, try as much as you can to continue playing at a comfortable pace. Do away with nervousness and maintain good confidence and be sure to learn all other tips for your ABRSM exam in Singapore.
How are the marks assigned?
The marks for the Practical and Performance Based exams are the same. This is because they are equivalent exams. With a total of 15 marks available, four songs will be allotted 30 marks each with the remaining 30 marks allotted to your performance as a whole.
Marks are assigned to each of the following parts separately. For your piece, it includes pitch, time, tone, shape and performance. Other graded points go to scale and arpeggios, sight reading and aural tests.
Points are awarded based on the following scale:
27 - 30
24 - 26
20 - 23
17 - 19
13 - 16
10 - 12
No work offered
- The overall mark in the entire practical-based exam is 150
- To pass the exam, a learner must score 100 marks
- To achieve a merit grade, a learner must score 120 marks
- To achieve distinction grade, a learner must score 130 marks
More details on this can be found here.
Update on Practical Graded Exams
The current pandemic situation makes the examiners unable to fly to Singapore to conduct physical examinations. The ensuing corona pandemic has crippled international flights. Therefore, ABRSM will now be conducting examinations via video recording.
Performance Grade Examinations
The performance Grade exam does not replace the practical grades rather a progressive for more learning. Students are allowed to switch between the performance or practical exams as they progress. The two exams are equivalent in demand and value, the only difference is that the performance grades place more emphasis on performance.
The performance Grade ABRSM exam in Singapore will be starting September 2020, for songs and instruments ranging from grade one to grade eight. Students will be asked to perform only four songs. In this case, there shall be no sight-reading, scales, and aural tests.
Tip: A useful tip here is to wear formal clothes and covered shoes.
How Are The Marks Assigned?
As indicated earlier, Performance is graded exactly as the practical grades. A total of 150 marks will be available. With 30 marks for each of your 4 chosen pieces/songs and the remaining 30 marks for your performance a whole.
How The Exam Is Conducted
Steps In Recording Video
Get more information on guidelines for performance grade exams here.
Theory Graded Examinations
Examinations for theoretical music grades 1 to 5 that require physical presence will now be internet-based examinations, this implies that physical examination will no longer exist in places where internet-based exams have taken effect. However, there is a very limited exception in this and the circumstances involved are special.
ABRSM Registration Schedule
Entries must be made by the applicant during the published entry period (www.abrsm.org/datesandfees) using the online entry form. Where online entry is not available, entries must be made by post using the paper entry form. We cannot accept entries by letter, email, fax or telephone. For more information on how to make an entry
The registration schedule typically comes out a few months before the registration date. To know about the schedule, kindly check here.
How COVID-19 Affects ABRSM
Practical-based and Performance Based Examination
The syllabus still remains the same. The practical based and performance based assessment share the syllabus and marking scheme. However, because of Covid 19 restrictions, the practical based exams have been suspended till further notice. The Performance based assessment however can now be done virtually through registering on the ABRSM website. The exam is done from home and graded virtually, however, nothing changes from the way and manner it is being graded.
The music theory examination is also online as well. Due to the covid-19 restrictions, the exams are now done through a software called PRnow. There are however rules and guidelines to the usage of this software to ensure that all examination guidelines and principles are followed.
Despite the Covid-19 restrictions, nothing has changed when it comes to the syllabus and basic principles. ABRSM in Singapore continues for residents but from the comfort of their home. Also, the books you need to prepare for each examination haven’t changed. The structure available has made it possible that with your dedication, reading and practice, you would be able to get the certification from ABRSM despite the pandemic.