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ABRSM Exams - Grades 1-8 and ARSM Practical / Grades 1-8 Theory Examination



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


To facilitate candidates sitting for the Online Theory Examinations, the HKEAA will launch a booking service of its online examination facilities, providing computer equipment and appropriate examination environment, in addition to on site invigilation.

For the first exam window in May/June, as a pilot scheme which will be run on 3 and 13 June, HKEAA will rent out its online examination facilities at the San Po Kong Assessment Centre to candidates (Grade 1 to 3: $312; Grade 4 to 5: $335). More dates option will be offered should the need arise. This is normally updated at 3 pm daily during the booking period. Booking will be accepted from 12:00 noon on 23 April (

 Date:21 April 2021



The HKEAA administers the ABRSM Practical Examinations (face-to-face), Performance Grades (remotely-assessed), Online and Paper-based Theory Examinations. ABRSM exams are the most popular music examinations 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)




Examinations & Registration Timetable

Starting from 2021, ABRSM is moving Music Theory at Grades 1 to 5 to an online examination. Grades 6 to 8 are offered as paper-based examinations.


To facilitate candidates sitting for the online examinations, the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA) will launch a booking service of its online examination facilities, providing computer equipment and appropriate examination environment, in addition to on site invigilation.


The next round of Grade 1 to 5 ABRSM online theory examinations will be held from 26 May to 23 June. As a pilot scheme which will be run on 3 and 13 June respectively, HKEAA will rent out some of its online examination facilities at the San Po Kong Assessment Centre to candidates. The booking fee for online examination facilities for Grade 1 to 3 examinations is HK$312 while for Grade 4 to 5 examinations, the booking fee is HK$335. We will closely monitor the situation and provide more seats and dates options for candidates in due course. The online examination facilities can be reserved on the HKEAA webpage starting from 12:00 noon on 23 April: (


  • Guide for Booking Services for Online Examination Facilities and Onsite Invigilation

    Practical examinations (Initial Grade to Grade 8 and ARSM) are usually held from April to May and August to early/mid-November. According to ABRSM, from 2021, they aim to provide regular sessions for remotely-assessed Performance Grades examinations throughout the year and will confirm dates as soon as they can.


    The registration schedule for examinations in 2021 is as follows:-


    Online Theory Music Examination (Grades 1 - 5)
    Examination Dates/Time Registration Dates/Time
    (Through ABRSM online booking service only)

    Tuesday 16 March 2021

    (Session Cancelled)

    Session Cancelled

    Wednesday 26 May 2021
    Wednesday 23 June 2021

    26 April 2021 (16:00)
    5 May 2021 (06:59)

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

    Saturday 19 June 2021

    4 May 2021
    15 May 2021

    Saturday 23 October 2021

    1 September 2021
    10 September 2021

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

    April/May 2021

    (Session Cancelled)

    Session Cancelled

    to early/mid-November 2021


    14 May 2021
    28 May 2021

    ^ The registration dates for face-to-face Practical Examinations 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 Examinations (Grades 1 - 8 and ARSM)
    Examination Dates# Registration Dates/Time
    (Through ABRSM online booking service only)

    5 January 2021
    31 January 2021

    1 December 2020
    8 December 2020

    1 February 2021
    21 February 2021

    7 January 2021
    13 January 2021

    1 March 2021
    21 March 2021

    2 February 2021
    9 February 2021

    6 April 2021
    26 April 2021

    2 March 2021
    10 March 2021

    May 2021

    (To be advised)

    8 April 2021 (14:00)
    15 April 2021 (06:59)

    June 2021

    (To be advised)

    6 May 2021 (14:00)
    13 May 2021 (06:59)

    July 2021

    (To be advised)

    3 June 2021 (14:00)
    10 June 2021 (06:59)

    August 2021

    (To be advised)

    1 July 2021 (14:00)
    8 July 2021 (06:59)

    September 2021

    (To be advised)

    10 August 2021 (14:00)
    17 August 2021 (06:59)

    # ABRSM plans to hold Performance Grades examinations throughout 2021. More information will be provided by ABRSM in due course.



    Examination Fees

    Practical, Performance Grades, Online and Paper-based Theory Examination Fees 2021



      Practical (HK$) Performance Grades (HK$)
    Initial Grade 1,140 -
    Grade 1 1,270 1,270
    Grade 2 1,460 1,460
    Grade 3 1,570 1,570
    Grade 4 1,720 1,720
    Grade 5 1,850 1,850
    Grade 6 2,050 2,050
    Grade 7 2,330 2,330
    Grade 8 2,790 2,790
    ARSM 4,020 4,020
    Prep Test 1,010 -
    Performance Assessment 1,850 -
    Primary 2,330 -
    Intermediate 2,790 -
    Advanced 4,020 -
    Interpreter Service Fee To be advised -
      Online Theory (HK$) Paper-based Theory (HK$)
    Grade 1 640 -
    Grade 2 680 -
    Grade 3 720 -
    Grade 4 840 -
    Grade 5 930 -
    Grade 6 - 1,070
    Grade 7 - 1,110
    Grade 8 - 1,150



    Entry Requirements

    There are no specific entry requirements for the Theory examinations, from Initial Grade to Grade 5 for the Practical examinations and from Grades 1 to 5 for the Performance Grades Examinations. For candidates entering Grades 6, 7 and 8 of Practical and Performance Grades examinations, 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



    Examination notices, results and certificates

    Examination notices (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

    Candidates who wish to apply for re-marking their Theory papers should submit their applications directly to ABRSM within six weeks of the publication of results. 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 Examinations 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 Examinations 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 Regulations of the current "Exam Information & Regulations" booklet.

      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 Examinations)
      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 Examinations, 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 Examinations. 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
      Tel : (852) 3628 8721 / 3628 8787
      Fax : (852) 3628 8790
      E-mail :
      Address : International and Professional Examinations Division
      17 Tseuk Luk Street
      San Po Kong Kowloon
      Our outbound calls will have caller display with phone number starting with “3973” for identification. For service quality assurance, our telephone conversation with the public may be recorded.




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