way to go. I'm looking forward to my prep class and test later this year. good luck!
I definitely recommend taking a prep class if one is available. I did not take it. In fact, I only started to review the BJCP study materials on Sunday evening. However, I am definitely the exception, not the rule. The test is open book. However, one has exactly 18 seconds to answer each question; therefore, one needs to know the material fairly well. For me, the multiple choice questions where the candidate is asked to select all of the answers that apply were the toughest to answer.
It really helped me to work a competition as a steward before taking the entrance exam. It's not a prestigious position, and you may get ribbed about being your flight's beer wench. However, working as a steward at competition exposed me to all of the facets of a competition, not just judging. As a steward, I had to interface with my flight judging panels as well as the cellar master, competition organizer, and the judge director. I also filled out the cover and flight summary sheets for the flights that I worked. While a steward is not an official evaluator, stewards are allowed to sample the entries in an unofficial capacity as part of the apprenticeship process.