You will have an extra five minutes added to the exam to use as necessary.
Extra time for sight-reading
You may use up to three minutes of the extra time to study the sight-reading test instead of the usual half-minute. You are welcome to indicate that you are ready to play before the three minutes has elapsed, but the examiner will not ask you to play before this time.
Supporting evidence for this reasonable adjustment will be required.
Enlarged print tests
ABRSM produces enlarged tests with a 14mm stave on cream paper by default.
Modified print tests
Rather than a straightforward enlargement, ABRSM can make further modifications, e.g. 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 to [email protected]
Please be aware that we can produce papers on either A4 or A3, but you will need to consider how the font and staff size will impact on the paper size needed. Further information on modified stave notation (MSN) can be found in the contact information on this page.
- Candidates who have an SpLD and who require enlarged print should select code N
- Candidates who have an SpLD and who require modified print should select code P
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.
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. Examiners will be aware that candidates may lose their place and have particular difficulty finding their place again.
Use of enlarged or modified scores in exams
You are welcome to use your own enlarge 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.
Aural repetition in place of sight-reading
This test may be a more appropriate alternative for some candidates with severe learning difficulties. We advise that you consult the specimen tests before selecting this provision to ensure that this is a suitable 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 the access coordinator.
This alternative is not a standard arrangement and is considered on an individual basis. If you would like to be considered for this alternative, you will need to include the standard D code on the entry form and then send an email requesting this provision to the access coordinator. Supporting evidence will be required for this reasonable adjustment.
Organ, Trumpet, Horn and Harpsichord exams
These exams involve either a transposition exercise or a figured bass realisation. The extra time will be split between the sight-reading and these additional tests.
Candidates who have an SpLD may take the scale manual into the exam room for reference only. This means that you may have the scale book open on a music stand and glance over if necessary. If the examiner deems you to be reading from the music, you will not be disqualified but neither will you be able to achieve full marks for this section. No prior permission is required.
Examiners will be aware that a candidate may forget which scale they are playing, and will allow you a replay. Examiners will also be aware that candidates may need some processing time to recall the key signature and finger patterns required. No penalty will be made for a lack of ‘prompt’ responses. If you need to replay numerous scales, however, this may impact on the mark awarded.
Right and left
Examiners have been asked not to refer to ‘right hand’ or ‘left hand’ scales but to ‘this hand’ or ‘the other hand’, demonstrating if necessary.
Every examiner will follow the rubric printed in the new Specimen Aural Tests books, thus avoiding any variations in the way in which the aural tests are delivered.
For tests requiring candidates 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. Where there is significant hesitation on the part of the candidate, the examiner will be ready to prompt, where appropriate, though this will affect the assessment.
Large or modified print tests
If you have requested large or modified print notation sight-reading, you will automatically receive aural tests in the same format.
Order of the exam
Examiners will be aware that the order in which the various sections of the exam are attempted may affect candidates with an SpLD. 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 to both candidate and examiner.
Candidates with an SpLD may bring a copy of the words of their songs for reference only. Please be aware that reference to the words that is deemed to inhibit communication will mean that you may not be able to achieve the highest marks for your songs. Supporting evidence for this reasonable adjustment is required.