Advanced search

ABRSM exam- is there any way to ask for special consideration?

(9 Posts)
TheRobbingBastards Tue 09-Jun-15 19:12:50

DS is due to take his Grade3 oboe at the end of the month.
He had an operation on his eye at the end of April and has been unable to play for five weeks after, then a gentle return rather than all out fanfares.
His teacher used the lessons during this time to work on theory and aural work so no real worries there. Currently he's practising daily and doing well, but the rest has affected his muscles and he's worried he will fail (FWIW his teacher seems happy enough and it sounds ok to me, but then I don't have a musical bone in my body)
Is there any mechanism for applying for special consideration? We have already said that so long as we see that he's put in the practise, the outcome doesn't matter to us. It's more the concern that he would like to pursue music professionally and I'm concerned that anytime he's asked for his exam results, a poor result could reflect badly?

Wafflenose Tue 09-Jun-15 20:34:02

I'm pretty sure they can't take this into consideration when marking, but they would be happy for you to defer on medical grounds. The official line is that they will refund up to 50% of the exam fee when they've seen a medical note for things like this, although I had a pupil who got a voucher for a free re-entry. She had been seriously ill over a period of time, and in hospital for part of that, so entered and passed the following term at no additional cost to her parents.

A pass (or even a fail, for that matter) rather than something higher is not going to reflect badly on him EVER. I'm not sure who you imagine might think anything like this? Many professional musicians have never sat any grades at all, some didn't get distinction for their Grade 8 and it's all irrelevant really, except perhaps getting a good Grade 8 for entrance to a music degree. Nobody is going to care what he got for Grade 3.

(I got into university with a Pass at Grade 8, rather than the distinction they asked for. I got good A-level results, and sat Grade 8 one term after Grade 7, for the stupid reason that my teacher wasn't keen on the venue which would have been used at a later date...)

balletgirlmum Tue 09-Jun-15 20:39:31

The only result he will ever be asked for is his current one eg. If he applied for a youth orchestra or summer course now they will want to know his grade.

If he applies to music college age 18 they will assess his level at audition, they may ask for the result of his last exam.

You would need to check the exam board criteria but special consideration is usually for things that affect you on the day of the exam eg, family bereavement or injury that affects how you play on the day.

Wafflenose Tue 09-Jun-15 20:47:35

Here is their policy:

As balletgirlmum said, it's for things that happen on the day. Here is the important bit for you:

"These arrangements are intended to allow for those who suffer sudden minor illness or injury at the time of the exam and do not include those who are injured in advance of their exam or are ill at the time, for whom the recommended course of action is withdrawal and application for a refund of up to 75%, on submission of medical evidence to ABRSM. It is not advisable for a candidate who is unwell to attend for an exam, nor for those experiencing illness or injury to be assessed under disadvantageous circumstances that cannot be taken into account by the examiner.

"Where the illness or injury is very minor and rescheduling the exam within that session of exams would be helpful (practical exams only), every effort is made to find an alternative appointment, although this may mean attending at an alternative centre."

Musicmom1 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:01:53

Hi we had this two years in a row - first time with the cello where post op her hearing was very limited after a major op, and then after a second major op she wasn't allowed to play clarinet for 6 weeks; she then had a few weeks only to get back into shape. As neither were high grades (important fact for both stamina and the more difficult cello tuning) and as she was pretty exam ready pre-op both times, and dd really wanted to go ahead as something to look forward to (strange child), we let her do them. Our stewards helped her in and out the rooms and carried instruments etc as she could not get any knocks, but we did not ask for special circumstances as the rules didn't really allow. I am sure we would have deferred the exam if it had been a high grade that was important for something, as she just wouldn't have been back to the required stamina.

Charis1 Tue 09-Jun-15 21:07:39

My Ds did a guitar exam 24 hours after having a cast removed from a broken elbow. No special consideration at all, I don't think these are the types of exams you get specail consideration for, they just want to know how you play on the day, full stop. In that sense it is a very fair exam, but in another sense, the exams are purely for personal satisfaction, anyway, so does it really matter if someone has an off day for some reason and doesn't get it?

Ds passed.

TheRobbingBastards Tue 09-Jun-15 21:32:22

Thanks all smile
When I say that his grades would be considered, we are currently still umming and ahhing over an application for a scholarship to private school. The criteria says that the level of pass will be considered rather than the actual grade level- I guess to stop pushy parents racing kids through grades with mediocre passes, at the expense of children who have passed the lower grades better and with more skill.
Ultimately I suspect that this will not be our path now, but I still have to consider it as an option.

He has a lesson tomorrow (his second back) so will email his teacher and get her opinion. Had I realised the timescales involved initially I would have deferred, it's just that the operation date came typically after we had paid the exam fees.

balletgirlmum Tue 09-Jun-15 21:53:35

In which case don't put the grade on the application form even if he dors take it. Just state exam not taken due to illness.

Musicmom1 Tue 09-Jun-15 22:02:56

Hi I was going to add that the mark 'matters' for a few things such as some scholarships and JDs - so you don't have to have taken grades at all, but if you have they like to see a high mark (some dont count a pass, others want distinctions) so if younput it on the form, I would just add a note with very positive wording about him insisting on taking it after... And what a great result given all that smile also the teacher will be able to write something in their reference re commitment, is actually playing at higher level, etc etc.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: