Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
ABRSM (the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) is an educational body and charity that provides examinations in music. The organisation is based in London but runs exams in centres all over the world. In addition, ABRSM provides a publishing house for music that produces syllabuses, sheet music and exam papers and runs professional development courses and seminars for teachers. The Royal Schools of the title are:
Over 620,000 candidates take ABRSM examinations each year in over ninety countries. ABRSM offers graded music exams as well as more advanced diploma qualifications.
ABRSM is a registered charity and is one of the 200 largest UK charitable organizations ranked by annual expenditure. For the year ended 31 January 2008, income was £30.2 million and expenditure was £29.9 million.
Graded music exams are amateur qualifications in music. They provide a structured framework for progression from beginner to advanced musician. In the United Kingdom, Grades 1-5 are equivalent to GCSE level and Grades 6-8 A-Level. They are (in most cases) offered from Grades 1-8 and have three standards of pass: a straight pass, a pass with merit and a pass with distinction. There is no