Author Topic: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!  (Read 5030 times)

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #30 on: February 26, 2015, 08:38:31 PM »
I got mostly master level completeness and descriptions, my feedback was between certified and national, but I fubard a couple scores (one too high, one too low as compared to the proctors) which ends up counting against you twice because those scores are going to be based on perceptions,  right? So I gave a Leffe a 39, too high. And a RIS that I got soy age in a high 20s, too low. In the end I am happy and confident with my judging ability and at the same time not not implying someone else screwed up. Certified (once I have the points) is right where I should be. Nothing to be ashamed of for a self taught judge whos been brewing less than 3 years. And still plenty of room to grow.

My suggestion for anyone getting into judging, be confident but open to input and change. Judges should have an opinion. But not fight tooth n nail over it. Its ok to be wrong. How else do you learn?
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 08:41:10 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2015, 09:21:13 PM »
I got mostly master level completeness and descriptions, my feedback was between certified and national, but I fubard a couple scores (one too high, one too low as compared to the proctors) which ends up counting against you twice because those scores are going to be based on perceptions,  right?
Maybe - my last exam I had master level perceptions and apprentice level scoring one beer. I'm still wondering what went sideways there.
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2015, 09:51:01 PM »
My suggestion for anyone getting into judging, be confident but open to input and change. Judges should have an opinion. But not fight tooth n nail over it. Its ok to be wrong. How else do you learn?

Right on, buddy. Right on.

BTW - congrats to all you new judges getting excellent scores on the tasting exam. I'll look forward to judging with you in the future!  8)
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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #33 on: February 26, 2015, 10:06:40 PM »
I plan to stay certified until I have the points for national. At that point if I know for certain I could score high 80s and I have time to do what nationals do, I'll retest.

There's nothing wrong with scoring high enough for Certified on your first attempt.  It took me two attempts to achieve a Certified-level score (granted, I was naive/arrogant enough to believe that I could pass the beer judging exam with zero preparation on the first shot).  I probably would not have achieved the score that I did on my second attempt if I have not taken Mike D's advice to heart.  I made certain that I left little to no white space on my score sheets.

There's a lot that goes to into passing the beer judging exam other than beer and brewing knowledge.  The beer judging exam mostly tests one's ability to smell, taste, and describe.  Sadly, like vision, one's ability to smell and taste deteriorates with age; hence, I urge younger brewers who many be interested in sitting for the exam one day to not put that day off.  Any disadvantage that you may have when it comes to brewing experience and knowledge is more than offset by a young keen sense of smell and taste when sitting for the beer judging exam.

« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 02:11:54 AM by S. cerevisiae »

Offline gmwren

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #34 on: February 26, 2015, 10:31:53 PM »
I took the same exam as Mark and scored an 80. I actually could have done better, but I tried to game the system. I had always heard there would be one really bad beer, one really good beer, and a lot in between. So after three really bad beers, the 4th was very, very good, so assumed it was the ringer. Unfortunately, it was not exactly to style. I committed the worst sin a judge can do and did not judge the beer in front of me. I judged a ringer. I learned a lesson and was thankful for the score.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2015, 01:08:53 AM »
This sounds encouraging by all accounts.  I just don't know how my numbers will compare to the proctors, who have substantial experience in assigning numerical scores to the five scoring categories.  The rest I think I can get through reasonably well, even with an old worn out palate.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #36 on: February 27, 2015, 01:34:41 AM »
This sounds encouraging by all accounts.  I just don't know how my numbers will compare to the proctors, who have substantial experience in assigning numerical scores to the five scoring categories.  The rest I think I can get through reasonably well, even with an old worn out palate.
Its pretty subjective. But keep this in mind. 50 is perfect, nothing at all could ever be improved on, like at all. For example, an Anchor Steam, at the brewery, fresh off the faucet, in a year when all of the ingredients were all at their prime, might get somewhere between 42 and 48, even though it defines the Cal Common style. 30 "can" win a gold medal at NHC, in theory.

Having said that, I believe the best approach is to score em as you see em and let the chips fall where they may. I wouldn't worry about trying to think like someone else, or as they say, game it.

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #37 on: February 27, 2015, 03:16:48 AM »
The exam that I sat with gmwren was my first shot at the exam.  I had no idea as to what I had bitten off.  I went from not knowing how the BJCP was organized to sitting for the entrance and beer judging exam literally within the span of a week.  Looking back and knowing what I know now, it's amazing that I was able to get that far. Luckily, I did not know enough about the beer judging exam to attempt to "game" it.

I had the opportunity to re-sit for the beer judging exam early last fall as a high number on a waiting list.  I am glad that I  spent time judging before sitting for this exam session because no doctored beers were served.  The real world flaws in the beers served during this session were much more subtle than the heavily doctored beers that were served at the exam that I sat with gmwren (he was not kidding when he stated that three awful beers were followed by a beer that appeared to be ringer).  I just did my best to describe the beers that were placed in front of me, and I made certain that I filled the white space on each score sheet.  My motto is now, "When in doubt, fill the score sheet out!"

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #38 on: February 27, 2015, 03:27:49 AM »
The exam that I sat with gmwren was my first shot at the exam.  I had no idea as to what I had bitten off.  I went from not knowing how the BJCP was organized to sitting for the entrance and beer judging exam literally within the span of a week.  Looking back and knowing what I know now, it's amazing that I was able to get that far. Luckily, I did not know enough about the beer judging exam to attempt to "game" it.

I had the opportunity to re-sit for the beer judging exam early last fall as a high number on a waiting list.  I am glad that I  spent time judging before sitting for this exam session because no doctored beers were served.  The real world flaws in the beers served during this session were much more subtle than the heavily doctored beers that were served at the exam that I sat with gmwren (he was not kidding when he stated that three awful beers were followed by a beer that appeared to be ringer).  I just did my best to describe the beers that were placed in front of me, and I made certain that I filled the white space on each score sheet.  My motto is now, "When in doubt, fill the score sheet out!"
Good to see that you listened to some of the tough critics and tried again, and had a better result.

I need to try the tasting again.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #39 on: February 27, 2015, 12:24:43 PM »
The main thing I'm stessing about is that I addd a few notes on a few beers on the back of the page because I can write small or I can write neatly but I can't seem to do both. When the sheets were scanned and sent to the graders only the front of the page was scanned. This makes perfect sense to me I just wish I had thought about it before going all Beth Zangari on the sheets.
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Offline MDixon

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #40 on: February 27, 2015, 12:41:45 PM »
Only the front side is scanned and photocopied. It's part of the instructions:
http://www.bjcp.org/forms/Exam_Cover_Sheet.pdf
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Offline braufessor

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #41 on: February 27, 2015, 02:04:00 PM »
I took the exam a few weeks ago, and I would say the two things that really stuck out to me (for those who may be taking it in the future) were:

1.) The bad (sub 20) and very good (high 30's- low to mid 40's) beers were very easy to score I thought.  If you know the style guideline (basically) of the good beers, it almost checks itself off.  The worst beer is usually a lot about process flaws..... which leads to other problems like its appearance, its aroma, flavor, etc.  It also makes it easy to give some advice.   I found the 25-35 type beers harder to judge.  Each had something that was pretty decent.  Each had some things that were lacking.  In hindsight, the one descriptor that I really wish I would have thought of at the time for those beers was "one dimensional."  As I pondered my judging on the way home, that was something that occurred to me.  Some aspect of the beer (malt, hops, etc.) was present and good but then something else was throwing the beer off like astringency, or harshness, etc. and it just left the beer lacking overall.  They were not major flaws - but seemed to me like water issues, or maybe recipe balance issues, or perhaps simply yeast health and a fermentation that was not quite where it needed to be.

2.) The other thing I felt was challenging was coming up with quality, concise descriptors and adjectives.  It is hard to naturally think up a useful adjective when you are under the gun.  I felt like I could have phrased things better than I did.  So, simply practicing writing out score sheets, and having some various descriptors that you have practiced using is a big help.

*I found it helpful to use the BJCP Checklist Scoresheet as a "studyguide" for descriptors.
*I found it helpful to write scoresheets on the classic style examples and then compare them to the sheets Gordon strong has posted on the BJCP site.
*Having entered quite a few competitions was helpful, simply from reading a lot of scoresheets of different quality.

Offline toby

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #42 on: February 27, 2015, 04:06:48 PM »
Sadly, like vision, one's ability to smell and taste deteriorates with age; hence, I urge younger brewers who many be interested in sitting for the exam one day to not put that day off.  Any disadvantage that you may have when it comes to brewing experience and knowledge is more than offset by a young keen sense of smell and taste when sitting for the beer judging exam.
Except that the proctors are also vulnerable to those same effects of age, so unless you have a significant portion of the examinees sense something that the proctors don't, those keen senses won't be as helpful.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #43 on: February 27, 2015, 06:19:21 PM »
Only the front side is scanned and photocopied. It's part of the instructions:
http://www.bjcp.org/forms/Exam_Cover_Sheet.pdf

I have no animosity towards the BJCP about that. It was my own fault 100%. I will continue to give as much feedback as I can when actually judgeing but if I have to retake the tasteing exam I will remember to keep it to the front page only.
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Offline santoch

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Re: BJCP Tasting Exam....I Passed!
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2015, 04:46:37 AM »
The exam that I sat with gmwren was my first shot at the exam.  I had no idea as to what I had bitten off.  I went from not knowing how the BJCP was organized to sitting for the entrance and beer judging exam literally within the span of a week.  Looking back and knowing what I know now, it's amazing that I was able to get that far. Luckily, I did not know enough about the beer judging exam to attempt to "game" it.

I had the opportunity to re-sit for the beer judging exam early last fall as a high number on a waiting list.  I am glad that I  spent time judging before sitting for this exam session because no doctored beers were served.  The real world flaws in the beers served during this session were much more subtle than the heavily doctored beers that were served at the exam that I sat with gmwren (he was not kidding when he stated that three awful beers were followed by a beer that appeared to be ringer).  I just did my best to describe the beers that were placed in front of me, and I made certain that I filled the white space on each score sheet.  My motto is now, "When in doubt, fill the score sheet out!"
Good to see that you listened to some of the tough critics and tried again, and had a better result.

I need to try the tasting again.

Agreed-  I'm really glad you didn't throw in the towel.  Judging seems very easy from the outside looking in, but as you have proven, its more than just drinking a bunch of free beer.

Get signed up to judge now.  It's competition season!

Also, the NHC 1st round is coming soon, too.  That's a great place to get more experience.  The judge directors will pair new judges with experienced ones, provided you let them know you are in your first few months, so make sure you tell them.  There are plenty of highly experienced guys around at the big events, so chances are good you'll get to judge with one or two of them.

Steve

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