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General Category => Events => Homebrew Competitions => Topic started by: gmac on May 01, 2014, 12:26:59 PM

Title: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: gmac on May 01, 2014, 12:26:59 PM
I'm a bit confused by exactly what exams are required to move up to National. I don't have enough experience points yet but I can't really figure out what exams are required.
Can someone please fill me in on what exams are necessary? 
Thanks.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: gmac on May 01, 2014, 12:30:56 PM
I think I found it, didn't scroll down far enough on the site. Need to take the written proficiency exam next. Now to find one in Canada....
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: AmandaK on May 01, 2014, 12:43:11 PM
I think I found it, didn't scroll down far enough on the site. Need to take the written proficiency exam next. Now to find one in Canada....

The BJCP is moving to having quarterly regional written exams. That means that you should be able to find one more easily and the grader pool isn't as stressed.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: dkfick on May 01, 2014, 01:01:33 PM
I'm a bit confused by exactly what exams are required to move up to National. I don't have enough experience points yet but I can't really figure out what exams are required.
Can someone please fill me in on what exams are necessary? 
Thanks.
You need at least a score of 80 on your tasting exam and 10 points to be able to take the written exam.  The average score between your tasting exam and written exam then need to be 80+ in order to get to national rank (which also requires you have 20 judging points)
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: Jimmy K on May 01, 2014, 01:38:50 PM
I'm a bit confused by exactly what exams are required to move up to National. I don't have enough experience points yet but I can't really figure out what exams are required.
Can someone please fill me in on what exams are necessary? 
Thanks.
You need at least a score of 80 on your tasting exam and 10 judging points to be able to take the written exam.  The average score between your tasting exam and written exam then need to be 80+ in order to get to national rank (which also requires you have 20 judging experience points)
10 points for National can be from stewarding, staffing, etc. But you must have all 10 of the required judging points to take the written exam.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: dsmitch19 on May 01, 2014, 09:45:40 PM
I created this flow chart to help some interested in my homebrew club to more quickly understand the exam process without having to dig it out from the BJCP documents. If the version in the post is too small to read, you can see a bigger version on the web page I use to give info on the exams I administer here: https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home (https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home). I find it useful to visualize processes like this.

(https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/_/rsrc/1398097116298/home/bjcp%20process.jpg)
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: MDixon on May 01, 2014, 09:48:11 PM
Can I steal that graphic and share on the BJCP Facebook page? All credit will be given to you.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: gmac on May 01, 2014, 10:23:23 PM
I created this flow chart to help some interested in my homebrew club to more quickly understand the exam process without having to dig it out from the BJCP documents. If the version in the post is too small to read, you can see a bigger version on the web page I use to give info on the exams I administer here: https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home (https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home). I find it useful to visualize processes like this.

(https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/_/rsrc/1398097116298/home/bjcp%20process.jpg)

That's awesome. Exactly what I was stumbling to find. I scored exactly 80 on my tasting exam and I have 10 points or I think I should when the last comp gets entered so I shall start the search for a written exam. Now I just need to get 100 on the written to qualify for Master :) 
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: dsmitch19 on May 01, 2014, 10:39:39 PM
Mike, Steal away. :)

Gmac...good luck with that 100! ;)
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: jeffy on May 02, 2014, 12:02:49 AM
Nice chart. 
gmac, I think you'd only need a 95 on the written, since it's still 70% written versus 30% tasting, unless that has changed.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: james on May 02, 2014, 12:03:52 AM
I created this flow chart to help some interested in my homebrew club to more quickly understand the exam process without having to dig it out from the BJCP documents. If the version in the post is too small to read, you can see a bigger version on the web page I use to give info on the exams I administer here: https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home (https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home). I find it useful to visualize processes like this.

(https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/_/rsrc/1398097116298/home/bjcp%20process.jpg)

That's awesome. Exactly what I was stumbling to find. I scored exactly 80 on my tasting exam and I have 10 points or I think I should when the last comp gets entered so I shall start the search for a written exam. Now I just need to get 100 on the written to qualify for Master :)

It should be a lot easier to find a written in the future with the new quarterly exams, I believe you just have to find an active exam grader to administer the test.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: MDixon on May 02, 2014, 12:17:57 AM
Jeff - it is now 50/50
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: jeffy on May 02, 2014, 01:49:53 AM
It's a good thing I don't have to take it again then.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: Jimmy K on May 02, 2014, 12:47:33 PM
I created this flow chart to help some interested in my homebrew club to more quickly understand the exam process without having to dig it out from the BJCP documents. If the version in the post is too small to read, you can see a bigger version on the web page I use to give info on the exams I administer here: https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home (https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/home). I find it useful to visualize processes like this.

(https://sites.google.com/site/arizonabjcpexams/_/rsrc/1398097116298/home/bjcp%20process.jpg)
That's a nice chart. I keep reading all over BJCP that apprentice is disappearing, but they don't seem to actually be making it disappear.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: udubdawg on May 02, 2014, 01:58:10 PM
That's a nice chart. I keep reading all over BJCP that apprentice is disappearing, but they don't seem to actually be making it disappear.

well, what people keep telling me is that nobody fails anymore, so I suppose if that were true then Apprentice would disappear.

Though I did grade one exam in 2013 that did not pass. 
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: Jimmy K on May 02, 2014, 02:38:42 PM
That's a nice chart. I keep reading all over BJCP that apprentice is disappearing, but they don't seem to actually be making it disappear.

well, what people keep telling me is that nobody fails anymore, so I suppose if that were true then Apprentice would disappear.

Though I did grade one exam in 2013 that did not pass.
I read in a report, maybe the annual report, that there is a low percentage of tasting exam fails so they think the online exam is working at weeding out the unprepared, but it's not zero.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: santoch on May 03, 2014, 02:33:40 PM
I agree that the online exam has weeded out a lot of would-be failures. I don't think I've heard of a tasting failure yet, but it is possible.  I don't think I graded any that failed since the new exam replaced the old one, but I know I came very close and the Exam Directors have final say.  The ratio is far lower now, though.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: Pinski on May 03, 2014, 08:33:14 PM
Any sage advice for somebody taking their first shot at the tasting exam here in a couple weeks?
Things to be absolutely certain of, or areas to focus on? Any tips are appreciated.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: klickitat jim on May 03, 2014, 10:27:33 PM
Any sage advice for somebody taking their first shot at the tasting exam here in a couple weeks?
Things to be absolutely certain of, or areas to focus on? Any tips are appreciated.

I haven't taken it yet. Does that help?

My plan though will be to not over think it, and comment on what I'm seeing, smelling, tasting, and feeling. What kind and how much of each. If something's missing, or present but not supposed to be, mention that. Give a couple improvement suggestions. Hopefully get all of that done in about 12-15 min.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: dsmitch19 on May 04, 2014, 12:42:10 AM
Pinski,

Judge the beer in front of you. Be as descriptive as possible (try to answer "how much?" and "what kind?" for each descriptor). Make sure you comment on each of the little words/phrases under each section (e.g. hops, malt, esters, other aromatics in the aroma section). Provide accurate and useful feedback. Try not to leave any lines blank.

I think it is helpful to understand how the exams are scored, so I would recommend reading the exam scoring guide that is online: http://www.bjcp.org/docs/BJCP_Scoresheet_Guide.pdf

Also, Mike Dixon, the BJCP Communications Director, wrote up a nice post on his blog about Mastering the Tasting Exam: http://mashbang.wordpress.com/2013/11/05/bjcp-mastering-the-taste-exam/

Good luck! Don't forget to relax and enjoy. You'll have plenty of beers to drink in the 4-6 months while you wait for your exam score (3-4 months if you are lucky). :)
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: Pinski on May 04, 2014, 05:31:12 PM
Thanks guys, I'm feeling pretty good about it and looking at it as the beginning of a journey rather than a final exam. 
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: Jimmy K on May 05, 2014, 01:01:37 PM
Any sage advice for somebody taking their first shot at the tasting exam here in a couple weeks?
Things to be absolutely certain of, or areas to focus on? Any tips are appreciated.
Here are some prep materials I wish I had before taking the exam - especially "Five common mistakes on the BJCP tasting exam".

http://unyha.com/index.php/competitions/bjcp-judge-training/217-bjcp-exam-resources.html (http://unyha.com/index.php/competitions/bjcp-judge-training/217-bjcp-exam-resources.html)
 
Also, looking at the grading guide dsmitch posted is useful to learn what they are looking for. Hit the major characteristics. The graders create a 'rubric' of sorts using the proctors' scoresheets using characteristics noted at low or greater. So listing lots of very low or faint characteristics isn't really going to boost your score, but will take up time.  I also had some consistency problems mentioned in the '5 mistakes' guide. For example, forgetting to mention intensity for some items. Or mentioning diacetyl in aroma but not saying if there was slickness in mouthfeel. Or for one I mentioned an improvement when I hadn't listed the problem above. So that kind of consistency helps - of course, that also takes practice.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: MDixon on May 05, 2014, 02:35:22 PM
Examinees can outperform the proctors on exams and are rewarded for their efforts when they do. I say list everything you possibly can on the taste exam in detail.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: AmandaK on May 05, 2014, 06:17:57 PM
Examinees can outperform the proctors on exams and are rewarded for their efforts when they do.

Well that's comforting. Just re-took the tasting and didn't have a speck of white space on any of the lines or underneath the descriptor check boxes. Here's to hoping the super-completeness & epic feedback was worth it!  :D
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: johnf on May 12, 2014, 06:09:26 PM
Any sage advice for somebody taking their first shot at the tasting exam here in a couple weeks?
Things to be absolutely certain of, or areas to focus on? Any tips are appreciated.

Late to the party but:

Perception and scoring accuracy: Not much you can do now. You just have to be right. Being good at identifying common faults is the big thing. The good news is that the proctors are often far enough apart it is hard to take a lot of points off for perception. This is often the best score on exams that score relatively low.

Completeness: Always comment on malt, hops, esters, diacetyl, DMS, alcohol, anything else that is expected in the beer but missing (clove in a hefeweizen). Do this to an exaggerated extent. No white space.

Description: never describe anything simply as malt, hops, or fruity. Bready malt, citrusy hops, peach esters, etc. Always use level descriptors and specific ones (high, low) not weasely ones (some, a decent amount of). Feel free to be a little flowery but that isn't very important.

Feedback: Constructive feedback on every beer. That beer you gave a 45 to? Saw something about improving it. This can be really minor like I feel like this barleywine would be even better with another year but say something. On flawed beers lots of specific feedback. Study the causes of common flaws and give technically correct feedback. I love it as a grader when an examinee shows that they realize a flaw can have multiple causes/solutions. You should probably give some positive feedback on bad beers too. I'm a big believer that sandwiching criticism is counterproductive but most people aren't. Definitely don't be rude. I do chuckle when I grade scoresheets that say they can't discern any malt or hop characters over the overwhelming sourness and then start the feedback by saying they can tell it was a really great beer before the infection.
Title: Re: BJCP moving up the ranks question
Post by: james on May 12, 2014, 11:37:43 PM
Feedback: Constructive feedback on every beer. That beer you gave a 45 to? Saw something about improving it. This can be really minor like I feel like this barleywine would be even better with another year but say something. On flawed beers lots of specific feedback. Study the causes of common flaws and give technically correct feedback. I love it as a grader when an examinee shows that they realize a flaw can have multiple causes/solutions. You should probably give some positive feedback on bad beers too. I'm a big believer that sandwiching criticism is counterproductive but most people aren't. Definitely don't be rude. I do chuckle when I grade scoresheets that say they can't discern any malt or hop characters over the overwhelming sourness and then start the feedback by saying they can tell it was a really great beer before the infection.

Even worse is No malt aroma/flavor... Really?  Was it vodka or water you were given?

Another point on feedback from my limited experience grading.  This one should be easy to get high marks for but almost everyone I've seen does poorly.   People often do great on completeness hitting all the topics they need to, but get to overall and stop reading.  It says "Comment on overall drinking pleasure associated with entry, give suggestions for improvement"

Pick a word the same/similar as the scoring guide and go with that.  "Excellent beer, would love to sip this in front of the fireplace on a cool winter night".   Unless you gave them a 50 somewhere in there it needs to be obvious why its not a 50.  If everything was great and " to style" then why did you take all those points off?