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ABRSM - Music Theory Examinations / Practical Grades (face-to-face examinations) / Performance Grades (digital examinations)
ABRSM - Music Theory Examinations / Practical Grades (face-to-face examinations) / Performance Grades (digital examinations)

The HKEAA administers the ABRSM Online and Paper-based Theory Exams, Practical Grades (face-to-face exams) and Performance Grades (digital exams). ABRSM exams are the most popular music exams in Hong Kong. 




Subjects Offered in Hong Kong
Piano Horn Alto Saxophone (not ARSM)
Organ Trumpet Tenor Saxophone (not ARSM)
Violin Bb Cornet (not ARSM) Descant Recorder (not ARSM)
Viola Eb Cornet (not ARSM) Treble Recorder (not ARSM)
Cello Flugelhorn Singing
Double Bass Eb Horn Harpsichord
Guitar Baritone Practical Musicianship
Harp (ARSM Only) Ensembles Percussion
Flute Trombone Soprano Saxophone (not ARSM)
Oboe Bass Trombone Baritone Saxophone (not ARSM)
Clarinet Tuba Saxophone (ARSM only)
Bassoon Euphonium Cornet (ARSM only)
Harp (Pedal) (not ARSM) Singing for Musical Theatre Recorder (ARSM only)
Harp (Non-pedal) (not ARSM)




Examination, Registration Timetable & Fees

From 2 August 2021 onwards, candidates can choose when to book and when to take an Online Music Theory exam. Once the exam is booked, candidates have 28 days to take the exam. Candidates can choose any date and time during this period.


Booking Services for Online Examination Facilities and Onsite Invigilation for
ABRSM Online Music Theory Exams (Grades 1 – 5)

[Starting from 1 Jan 2023, the fee for using this service is $453. (Grade 1 to 5)]

To facilitate candidates sitting for the Online Music Theory Exams, the HKEAA launches services of its online examination facilities, providing computer equipment and appropriate examination environment, in addition to onsite invigilation.

HKEAA rents out its online examination facilities at the San Po Kong Assessment Centre to candidates (Grade 1 to 5: $442). Various date options will be offered for online booking in each month, subject to the examination facilities availability and the maintenance schedule of the ABRSM exam system. The below are the sessions we are offering for Dec 2022 and Jan 2023. We will update the information and release more spots for bookings on the 15th of each month (on the following day if it falls on a holiday) when possible.


Exam Dates

Exam Time

December 2022
5 December 2022 (Monday) 15:00 - 17:00
12 December 2022 (Monday) 15:00 - 17:00
17 December 2022 (Saturday) 09:30 - 11:30
20 December 2022 (Tuesday) 15:00 - 17:00
23 December 2022 (Friday) 15:00 - 17:00 
January 2023
6 January 2023 (Friday) 15:00 - 17:00
10 January 2023 (Tuesday) 15:00 - 17:00
14 January 2023 (Saturday) 09:30 - 11:30
16 January 2023 (Monday) 15:00 - 17:00
27 January 2023 (Friday) 15:00 - 17:00

For booking and more details:

Booking Instruction

Making a booking

Exam Information


Paper-Based Exams (Grades 6 - 8)
Examination Dates/Time Registration Dates
(Through ABRSM online booking service only)

Saturday 18 February 2023(10:00)

12 December 2022(15:00)
20 December 2022(23:59)

Saturday 8 July 2023(10:00)

11 April 2023(15:00)
22 April 2023(23:59)

Saturday 28 October 2023(10:00)

28 August 2023(15:00)
8 September 2023(23:59)

Face-to-face Practical Exams (Initial Grade and Grade 1 -Grade 8)
Examination Dates^ Registration Dates^
(Through ABRSM online booking service only)

Late March to April 2023

23 January 2023(15:00)
30 January 2023(23:59)

July to August 2023

Choral Singing and Ensemble

10 March 2023(15:00)
17 March 2023(23:59)

Other Subjects

5 April 2023(15:00)
12 April 2023(23:59) 


^ The registration dates for face-to-face Practical Exams will be kept under review by ABRSM as they can only accept bookings if travel and government restrictions are lifted and the situation allows. ABRSM will provide an update nearer to each booking period.

Performance Grades Exams (Initial Grade and Grade 1 - Grade 8 and ARSM)

Since August 2022, digital Performance Grade and ARSM exams are available on demand. There are no booking periods and exam sessions. Instead, applicants can book the exams at any time and submit the exam videos when they make the bookings or within the following 28 days. Find out more about Performance Grades



Examination Fees
Practical, Performance Grades, Online and Paper-based Theory Examination Fees 2022


  Practical (HK$) Performance Grades (HK$)
Initial Grade 1,220 1,003
Grade 1 1,350 1,118
Grade 2 1,550 1,285
Grade 3 1,660 1,382
Grade 4 1,820 1,514
Grade 5 1,960 1,628
Grade 6 2,170 1,804
Grade 7 2,470 2,050
Grade 8 2,960 2,455
ARSM 4,260 3,538
Prep Test 1,070 -
Performance Assessment 1,960 -
Primary 2,470 -
Intermediate 2,960 -
Advanced 4,260 -
Interpreter Service Fee 305 -
  Online Theory (HK$) Paper-based Theory (HK$)
Grade 1 678 -
Grade 2 721 -
Grade 3 763 -
Grade 4 890 -
Grade 5 986 -
Grade 6 - 1,130
Grade 7 - 1,180
Grade 8 - 1,220


Practical, Performance Grades, Online and Paper-based Theory Examination Fees 2023


  Practical (HK$) Performance Grades (HK$)
Initial Grade 1,300 1,024
Grade 1 1,440 1,141
Grade 2 1,660 1,312
Grade 3 1,780 1,411
Grade 4 1,950 1,546
Grade 5 2,100 1,662
Grade 6 2,320 1,842
Grade 7 2,640 2,093
Grade 8 3,170 2,507
ARSM 4,560 3,612
Prep Test 1,140 -
Performance Assessment 2,100 -
Primary 2,640 -
Intermediate 3,170 -
Advanced 4,560 -
Choral Singing
Primary 2,640 -
Intermediate 3,170 -
Advanced 4,560 -
Attendance Fee 1,780 -
  Online Theory (HK$) Paper-based Theory (HK$)
Grade 1 705 -
Grade 2 750 -
Grade 3 794 -
Grade 4 926 -
Grade 5 1,025 -
Grade 6 - 1,210
Grade 7 - 1,260
Grade 8 - 1,310


Entry Requirements
There are no specific entry requirements for the Theory Exams, from Initial Grade to Grade 5 for the Practical Exams and from Grades 1 to 5 for the Performance Grades Exams. For candidates entering Grades 6, 7 and 8 of Practical and Performance Grades Exams, a pass in Grade 5 or above of Theory / Practical Musicianship Examinations / solo Jazz subject is required. For candidates entering for ARSM, a pass in Grade 8 Practical in the instrument being presented (or listed alternative) is required.


Examination Registration
For examinations to be held from 2021, applicants should register through the new ABRSM online booking service. For more details, please visit ABRSM website



Admission forms, results and certificates
Admission forms (if any), results and certificates will be issued by ABRSM.



Certificate Replacement Service
Starting from 2021, applicants should submit their application directly to ABRSM. For details, please visit the ABRSM's website



Theory Re-Marks
For paper-based exams (Grade 6-8), candidates who wish to apply for re-marking their Theory papers should submit their applications directly to ABRSM within four weeks of exam date. Late application is not accepted. For details, please visit the ABRSM's website



Data Privacy
Personal data of applicants/candidates are used by the HKEAA and the Examination Board for delivery of examination and assessment services. Whether you provide the requested personal data is voluntary. However, if you fail to provide all the data, or if any of the data are inaccurate or incomplete, the HKEAA may not be able to accept your entry or provide all or part of the examination and assessment services. The personal data submitted may also be used for:
  • Assisting tertiary institutions and other government/public organisations in their admission processes;
  • Assisting tertiary institutions and other government/public organisations in respect of their requests for information in granting scholarships;
  • Assisting tertiary institutions and other government/public organisations to confirm the candidates' eligibility for financial assistance or other forms of subsidization, in which case, the necessary personal data of the candidates may have to be disclosed to the concerned organisations for verification;
  • Certifying candidates' examination results in response to legitimate requests;
  • Processing any refund or payment in relation to the examination;
  • Conducting educational research and analysis in an anonymous format in which the identities of candidates are not traceable; and
  • Marketing the services and products of the Examination Board (including examination services, courses, events, publications, and other examination materials or resources) subject to the consent of the applicants/candidates.*

The HKEAA may also transfer the personal data of applicants/candidates to third parties for use for the above purposes or other directly related purposes, including government/public organisations, schools and educational institutions, banks (for processing refund or payment), and service providers providing various administrative or technical services to facilitate the delivery of the examination and assessment services including but not limited to data punching, registration process, despatch of examination documents, and the capture, disposal or other processing of data.

    In compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, access to all personal data will be made available, on payment of a fee, to anyone who can establish his/her right to be informed of such data as are retained by the HKEAA. Please also note that applicants’/candidates’ personal data/correspondence/other information received by the HKEAA may be transferred to the Examination Board concerned for delivery of examination and assessment services and for any of the abovementioned purposes or other directly related purposes. In general, upon completion of an examination or examination series and all the connecting examination services, the HKEAA will transfer all such data to the Examination Board who will then assume full control of such data. By then, applicants/candidates should approach the Examination Board direct for their personal data/information handling policies if necessary.

     * If you have given consent to the Authority but wish to withdraw your consent for your personal data to be used for this purpose, please send a letter of request to the Authority.



    Examination Regulations and Syllabuses

    Examination Regulations and Syllabuses are available for download from the ABRSM website (

    Please note that AM sessions of Practical Exam normally refer to the examinations taking place between 9:00am and 12:30pm while PM sessions refer to the examinations between 1:45pm and 5:15pm.

    Any issues about the examination must be raised in writing within seven days after the examination.

    The examination data including entry records, question papers, answer scripts and results, if any, will normally be destroyed and erased from the computer system 6 months after the examination date. Therefore, all examination documents including candidate information checklists, admission forms and mark forms, if any, cannot be re-issued after destroy and erase of data.

    Playing one or more of the prepared pieces from memory in Practical Exams is optional. Candidates playing from memory must bring copies of the pieces for the examiner's use. No one is allowed to listen outside the examination room, nor is anyone allowed to remain near the door except the waiting room supervisors or other representatives of the ABRSM. Candidates may not bring any unauthorized material or equipment into the examination room. Any candidate infringing this rule may be disqualified.

    Interpreter Service
    Practical Exams will be conducted in English. ABRSM interpreter service in Hong Kong provides for full spoken English/Cantonese translation throughout the examinations. Interpreters communicate with Examiners fully in English and with candidates fully in Cantonese. Musical terms are also spoken in a standardized Cantonese format, unless these musical terms are Italian, French or German in which case they are not translated to either English or Cantonese, but spoken in the original language. Interpreters are unable to accede to any personal requests, beyond their brief, as set out above. ABRSM interpreter service must be applied at the time of registration.

    There are no tests in the ARSM which require a candidate to respond to questions from the examiner, so an interpreter is unlikely to be needed. However, ARSM candidates may apply for the ABRSM interpreter service if they wish.

    Examiners in the past reported cases of candidates playing their pieces from photostat copies. Candidates are reminded that the copyright law forbids the reproduction of published materials and action may be taken against those who present themselves for examinations using photostat copies of the test pieces. Examiners have been asked to report any such cases which come to their notice. Examiners may refuse to examine candidates who do not observe this regulation.

    Wrong music pieces
    Candidates offering a wrong piece or study or not being prepared to perform the whole of the work specified in the current or previous year's syllabus for the Grade under examination will be liable to disqualification. Teachers and candidates are requested to pay particular attention to the current "Exam Information & Regulations".

    Candidates must provide their own accompanist in instruments where an accompaniment is required. Their teacher may act as the accompanist but the examiner will not do so. Accompanists must therefore be punctual. Particular attention should be paid to the capability of the accompanist. A poor accompanist can jeopardize the success of a soloist particularly in the higher grades where the set pieces call for a high degree of technical proficiency from both players.

    Stringed & wind instruments
    Candidates examined in stringed or wind instruments are reminded that their instruments need to be tuned to the piano in the examination room immediately before the examination either by themselves or the accompanist. According to the syllabus, in Initial Grade – Grade 5 the teacher or accompanist may tune the candidate's instrument (or advise on tuning) before the exam begins. The examiner will not do so. In Grades 6-8 and ARSM candidates must tune their instruments themselves.

    Aural Test
    Candidates should refer to the current syllabuses for the Aural test.

    Bulky Instruments (Practical Exams)
    Applicants and candidates examined in the following subjects should make their own arrangements for their exam venue. Their instruments should be set in a suitable room, which is easily accessible and free from noise and other disturbances. For Practical Exams, transportation for the examiners must be provided without cost to ABRSM or the Authority. Please refer to the syllabus for details.

    Please note that ABRSM will announce updates on registering venues for bulky instruments in Practical Exams. Please visit ABRSM website for updates before the registration period

    As stipulated in ABRSM Exam Information & Regulations, applicants hosting a Visit have a duty of care towards examiners as well as candidates and their escorts and, as such, they are advised to carry out a risk assessment and to make appropriate arrangements to comply with health and safety legislation. ABRSM or HKEAA cannot accept liability for any damage, injury, expense or loss (including consequential loss) incurred during the course of a Visit.

    Organ Double Bass Harp (ARSM only) Harp (Pedal) (not ARSM)
    Ensembles Harpsichord Percussion Harp (Non-pedal) (not ARSM)
    Snare Drum Timpani Tuned Percussion Percussion (Combined)



    Tel : +44 (0) 20 7636 5400
    Fax : +44 (0) 20 7637 0234
    E-mail :
    Website :
    Address 4 London Wall Place
    London EC2Y 5AU


    Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority
    International and Professional Examinations Division
    Contact Information: