Practical Exams Update – South Africa

We appreciate how much the cancellation of our exams has affected learners and we’re working hard on solutions to ensure they can gain their qualifications at the earliest opportunity. However, on the basis of official and local advice we have made the following changes to our South Africa exams for the remainder of the year:

  • For the regions of Eastern & Western Cape, Free State and KwaZulu-Natal exams, we plan to hold exams from late September – October. There will be no exams held throughout August and early September. Entries for these regions have already been received.
  • For exams in Gauteng, we plan to hold exams from October – November. Entries for this region have already been received. We will not be able to take bookings for Botswana, Swaziland and the surrounding areas for any further exams in 2020.

Please note, our ability to accept bookings and hold exams continue to be conditional on the current restrictions being lifted. We will provide an update to customers as soon as we can. Our Representatives will provide further guidance in due course.


This syllabus is designed to support and motivate the choral activity of a wide range of choirs, giving a sense of progression and achievement from the earliest levels. Exams are available at three levels – Initial, Intermediate and Advanced – and choirs can choose their own repertoire.

At each level, choirs perform vocal exercises followed by three contrasted choral works. As well as the boost to motivation that comes from working towards an exam, there's the opportunity for choirs to discover and perform some fantastic music of their own choice.

As with all our assessments, the performance is heard by one of our ABRSM examiners – all highly qualified, experienced musicians. For successful performances, all members of the choir present at the exam receive a celebratory certificate.

Whether you’re a choral member, teacher or director, we hope this syllabus inspires and supports your music learning or teaching. We wish you every success for your musical journey.

Please note that this syllabus is only available online.

What's in the exam?

  • For candidates of Grades 1–3 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 7–10 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 4–5 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 9–12 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

  • For candidates of Grades 6–8 solo Singing
  • Vocal warm-up exercises
  • 12–15 minute programme
  • Three or more contrasted items

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