Examination Boards

In the UK there are two primary examination boards for string players: the ABRSM & Trinity.


Created to build an examining board ‘inspired by disinterested motives for the benefit of musical education… which would genuinely provide a stimulus and an objective for a high standard of achievement’, ABRSM was founded in 1889, in a collaboration between the Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music.  Operating from a high level of integrity has allowed the ABRSM to thrive, with over 600,000 candidates in over 93 countries taking an exam each year. 

The ABRSM provide comprehensive support for pupils and teachers.  SoundJunction is a multi faceted platform of resources for pupils, and there are various courses and online resources to assist in the development of teachers.  

Please click here to view the ABRSM syllabus

Highlights from the syllabus:

  1. Brahms Andante tranquillo: 2nd movt from Sonata in A, Op. 100 (performed by Anne-Sophie Mutter): Grade 8 Violin
  2. Bruch Romance for Viola, Op. 85 (performed by Miles Hoffman): Grade 8 Viola
  3. Saint-Saëns Allegro appassionato, Op. 43 (performed by Jacqueline du Pre): Grade 8 Cello


Trinity provide examinations in music, drama, arts activities and the English language.  Founded in 1877, Trinity provide examinations that focus on assessing the pupil's skill whilst allowing the pupil to select some of the areas in which they will be assessed, enabling the pupil to explore various facets of playing an instrument, and providing a sense of empowerment from the ability to navigate their studies.

Today, Trinity have over 600,000 candidates in over 60 countries taking their exams,  and their international presence is rapidly expanding.  Trinity are fully accredited by Ofqual and are internationally recognised by various educational authorities throughout the world.  Trinity provide a broad teacher training programme, SoundEd, in conjunction with the Open University, presented through workshops and online resources.  

Please click here to view the Trinity syllabus

Highlights from the syllabus:

  1. Brahms Hungarian Dance no. 7 in G (from Romantic Violinist) (performed by Maxim Vengerov): Grade 8 Violin
  2. J C Bach Concerto in C minor, 1st movt: Allegro molto ma maestoso (performed by Henri Casadesus): Grade 8 Viola
  3. Bloch Prayer, no. 1 from Jewish Life (from Ernest Bloch Music for Cello & Piano (performed by Amit Peled): Grade 8 Cello