Author Topic: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available  (Read 6740 times)

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2012, 12:56:43 AM »
Since I'm Certified, it looks like I can't take the online exam.  I'll have to take the Judging exam (6 beers in 90 minutes) and score above 80 to be able to take the written exam (at a later date).  I have >10 judging points.

It appears that there might be some accommodation for otherwise well-qualified judges who wish to take the written proficiency exam, but fell a bit short of getting an 80% tasting score. I don't know how this will be handled, or how long it will last.

My wife is set to retake the exam in May and was offered the option of taking both the new written proficiency exam and the new tasting exam. She has 20+ experience points (mostly judging) and a 78% tasting score under the legacy exam.

If you're in a similar situation and are on track to retake the exam in the next few months, it couldn't hurt to email your Exam Administrator and ask if you can't be "grandfathered" in.

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2012, 01:36:29 AM »
Having looked closely at the online practice exam and the formats of the tasting and written proficiency exams, I think that the new exams will be about as hard as they were before.

The online proficiency exam appears to focus on the topics mentioned by Jonathan. There look to be a lot of questions which focus on style details, whereas previously you could gut out a 60% score on the essay exam by just describing the broad outlines of various beer styles with some errors and a lot of omissions.

On the other hand, the fact that it is multiple choice, true/false and multiple answer really helps. That sort of test challenges passive rather than active memory, so it's easier to make good guesses even if you're not sure of the answer.

My ignorant guess is that it's easier than the legacy written exam, but you'll still need to know your stuff in order to pass it.

The tasting exam is longer and perhaps more physically fatiguing than the tasting portion of the legacy exam, but it is basically the same format. Also, 6 beers rather than 4 gives a better chance for you to show your abilities, and the scoring section of the exam has been reworked to be a lot fairer; you now lose points based on how far off your scores are from the proctors' scores for each beer, rather than overall.

Just describe the beer in front of you, address each one of the descriptive elements listed on the scoresheet (i.e., "malt, hops, esters and other aromatics" for aroma), and try to be precise in your descriptions (i.e., "intense initial chocolate malt, backed by moderate toasty, bready and caramel notes" rather than just "malty") and you'll be fine.

The written proficiency exam has been altered to be less of a series of sprints and more of a marathon.

There are 6 questions, one question consists of 20 true or false questions (sort of like Part 3 of Question 1 on the legacy exam, the others are mostly recycled questions from the written portion of the legacy exam, but with a few new ones.

It's too early to say what questions will always be on the exam, but my guess is that the All-Grain Recipe question will be a perennial, as will the "compare 3 styles" question.

For the first question, you don't gain any points; you just lose 0.5% from your score for each wrong answer. That's harsh, but as the introduction to the test says, the questions are the sort of stuff that any National or better judge should know cold. It's a question you can blow through in 5 minutes tops.

The fact that you have more than 15 minutes to answer each of the essay questions indicates that the graders will be looking for a lot of depth in each answer. That probably means that bullet point answers, grids and all the other time-saving tricks used to answer questions on the old exam won't cut it. The graders will probably be looking for well-constructed essays of at least two pages.

Since the written proficiency exam is something of an unknown quantity, however, the graders will have to figure out what constitutes "National" or "Master" or "Thanks for playing" scores as they go along. It will probably be a couple of years before there is enough data to work with. It should be fun.

Summary: Possibly easier to get Recognized or Certified rank. About the same difficulty to get National or better rank, plus the extra hassle factor of having to take two different exams on two different occasions.

Offline MDixon

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2012, 05:06:07 AM »
First (directed at an earlier post T made), I will not allow anyone to even waste my time signing up for the taste exam unless they have passed the entrance exam.

Second, the format for the written exam is spelled out:
http://www.bjcp.org/docs/BJCP_Exam_Structure.pdf
Quote
five questions with each comprising 20% of the total score. Of the five questions, two are style-related, one is a recipe question, and two are technical questions related to ingredients or brewing process.

Third, don't have one, just thought it would be fun to type.
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Offline theDarkSide

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2012, 07:37:12 AM »
I just took the sample exam and only got 2 wrong ( one of the wrong answers was regarding if a judge could be certified without points ). 

Hmmm...maybe I should start studying and see if I can get at least provisional status for next year's 1st round.  My big concern would be the tasting exam...I really have a $hitty palate.
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Offline narvin

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2012, 08:03:51 AM »
First (directed at an earlier post T made), I will not allow anyone to even waste my time signing up for the taste exam unless they have passed the entrance exam.


So, why would I take the entrance exam if I don't know if there's going to be an available tasting exam?  I only see two tasting exams scheduled in my state in the next 18 months.  Both only seat 12 people, and are already filled.

Are they going to expand the size of these now that it's tasting-only, instead of essays as well?  Otherwise, it doesn't seem like there's an advantage to having the online exam.
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Offline gmac

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2012, 09:03:45 AM »
So help me understand. If I wanted to just sign up out of the blue without studying etc and take the on-line exam I can do that?
Assuming I fail, I can take it again at a later date?
If I pass, what happens?
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Offline bonjour

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2012, 09:19:33 AM »
You can sign up and take the on-line "BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination" out of the blue.
For an additional $10 fee you can retake it the next day (limited to once per day).

Passing this exam (it is pass/fail) you are given a non-ranked position of Provisional Judge. 

The next step is to take the "tasting" exam, the "BJCP Beer Judging Examination" ($40)

For Provisional judges, the score on the BJCP Beer Judging Examination dictates their rank. Those
scoring less than 60% will be Apprentice judges; those scoring at least 60% will be Recognized judges;
and those scoring at least 70% and with five or more experience points (at least 2.5 from judging) will be
Certified judges. For those scoring less than 60%, they must still pass (by retaking) the BJCP Beer
Judging Examination within the one-year timeframe initially established when they first passed the
BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination.

Fred Bonjour
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AHA Governing Committee; AHA Conference, Club Support & Web Subcommittees



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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2012, 09:41:43 AM »
The one year time limit seems kind of restrictive given the lack of available exam slots.  I'd suggest that at first you maybe make it two years.  Then as you get a new schedule of tests worked out you can decide if you want to narrow the window.

On the other hand, I'd encourage those wanting to take the test to let people know that you'll take "on standby", I got in on short notice in January and there were actually still slots open for that one.
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Offline thetooth

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2012, 09:47:23 AM »
First (directed at an earlier post T made), I will not allow anyone to even waste my time signing up for the taste exam unless they have passed the entrance exam.


So, why would I take the entrance exam if I don't know if there's going to be an available tasting exam?  I only see two tasting exams scheduled in my state in the next 18 months.  Both only seat 12 people, and are already filled.

Are they going to expand the size of these now that it's tasting-only, instead of essays as well?  Otherwise, it doesn't seem like there's an advantage to having the online exam.

I agree with Narvin.  I don't see a reason to bother taking the entrance exam if the results will expire before you can get into a tasting exam.  At the very least, your results should carry until the BJCP can provide the next level of testing, even if that's 18 months+ out.

Offline richardt

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2012, 09:57:26 AM »
Since I'm Certified, it looks like I can't take the online exam.  I'll have to take the Judging exam (6 beers in 90 minutes) and score above 80 to be able to take the written exam (at a later date).  I have >10 judging points.

It appears that there might be some accommodation for otherwise well-qualified judges who wish to take the written proficiency exam, but fell a bit short of getting an 80% tasting score. I don't know how this will be handled, or how long it will last.

My wife is set to retake the exam in May and was offered the option of taking both the new written proficiency exam and the new tasting exam. She has 20+ experience points (mostly judging) and a 78% tasting score under the legacy exam.

If you're in a similar situation and are on track to retake the exam in the next few months, it couldn't hurt to email your Exam Administrator and ask if you can't be "grandfathered" in.
While I'd like that opportunity, it doesn't look like the rules permit it:
Quote
To qualify to take this examination participants be an existing National or higher ranked judge OR must
have scored at least 80% on either the BJCP Beer Judging Examination or the tasting component of the
BJCP Legacy Beer Examination and must have a minimum of 10 judging experience points. There will
be no exception to these requirements. Exams submitted to the BJCP for grading that were written by
participants not meeting these requirements at the time of the exam will not be graded and the fee will not
be refunded.
A minimum of three participants are required to schedule the BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency
Examination, but the Exam Director may grant a waiver in special circumstances. This examination is
scheduled separately from the BJCP Beer Judging Examination though sequential BJCP Beer Judge
Written Proficiency and BJCP Beer Judging Examinations will be allowed with a short break between
the examinations – each is treated as a separate examination

Offline james

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2012, 11:32:41 AM »
First (directed at an earlier post T made), I will not allow anyone to even waste my time signing up for the taste exam unless they have passed the entrance exam.


So, why would I take the entrance exam if I don't know if there's going to be an available tasting exam?  I only see two tasting exams scheduled in my state in the next 18 months.  Both only seat 12 people, and are already filled.

Are they going to expand the size of these now that it's tasting-only, instead of essays as well?  Otherwise, it doesn't seem like there's an advantage to having the online exam.

I agree with Narvin.  I don't see a reason to bother taking the entrance exam if the results will expire before you can get into a tasting exam.  At the very least, your results should carry until the BJCP can provide the next level of testing, even if that's 18 months+ out.

I've told my local club members not to bother with the new test yet unless they are going to travel for the tasting exam.  I'm going to setup a local exam for next year and tell them to wait till within 12 months of the exam to take it.

Offline MDixon

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #41 on: April 04, 2012, 09:47:53 AM »
Narvin and Tooth, any exam site can set the rules they want. I don't want someone wasting my time taking up an exam slot for which someone else is already qualified.

My rules going forward are starting to look like:
A $50 deposit in addition to full exam fees with the deposit retured after the exam has been given. I'm tired of people backing out at the last minute. It's a waste of my time.

So for any prospective BJCP judges, if you sign up for an exam site, be darn sure you show up.

And yes, I may be slightly bitter. ;)
It's not a popularity contest, it's beer!

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2012, 12:36:31 AM »
Narvin and Tooth, any exam site can set the rules they want. I don't want someone wasting my time taking up an exam slot for which someone else is already qualified.

My rules going forward are starting to look like:
A $50 deposit in addition to full exam fees with the deposit retured after the exam has been given. I'm tired of people backing out at the last minute. It's a waste of my time.

So for any prospective BJCP judges, if you sign up for an exam site, be darn sure you show up.

And yes, I may be slightly bitter. ;)
I can't say I blame you Mike, I've gotten screwed by people backing out too many times.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline MDixon

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2012, 05:09:19 AM »
I will add the BJCP documents do suggest one sign up for the tasting before taking the online exam. While I can see the logic in that, I really don't understand why I would hold a seat for someone who cannot legitimately sit for my exam. Maybe I should rethink my position and go ahead and charge for the exam and the deposit money BEFORE they even take the entrance exam. At least that way they would have skin in the game.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: BJCP Entrance Exam is now available
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2012, 05:18:31 AM »
Last exam I took, only five people showed up.  As much of a shortage as there seems to be for seats, I was really surprised.  Some people have no sense of responsibility.
Lennie
Hannibal, MO