Author Topic: BJCP Certification Thoughts  (Read 1694 times)

Offline flbrewer

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BJCP Certification Thoughts
« on: June 24, 2015, 07:42:35 PM »
Who has been through it? Which level did you get to? What did you think of the process?

Offline toby

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2015, 07:49:38 PM »
I'm currently Certified.  My tasting score is at National level, but waiting to take the Written to try and advance.  I think they're trying to improve the process and it's better than it used to be.

Offline denny

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2015, 07:56:20 PM »
I'm National, 1 point short of Master.  It's grueling but rewarding.
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2015, 07:59:05 PM »
Just made certified, just barely have a masters level tasting score and will be retesting next month. I think the training course was probably the part with value so if you can find a group near you I would totally recomend that. The exam is a nice goal though.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2015, 08:02:00 PM »
It's a lot of work and therefore quite an accomplishment. I'm Recognized and need one more judging session to reach Certified. In a few years when I have enough points to reach national I might test again.

There are a few top notch people in the organization. Some that I have met are James Golovich, Randy Scorby, and Steve Antoch.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 08:22:35 PM by klickitat jim »

Offline AmandaK

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2015, 08:19:11 PM »
I am BJCP Master. I took the legacy exam with a 90/84 written/tasting. It was not hard, but I studied for what I needed to study and I am a good test taker. I took the tasting in May of last year and got the 90 on the tasting I needed to rank up.

I think the process of learning how to become a new judge and knowing what to study is disjointed and somewhat archaic. I brought this up to Gordon at NHC and he agreed. So I am working on putting together a "BJCP Judge Training Course" that can be ported to any potential judge or any current judge looking to form a study group. Hopefully that will help anyone trying to get into it a pretty good shot at getting a pretty good score no matter their location or access to a local pool of judges.
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Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2015, 08:34:05 PM »
I'm not certified and haven't sat for an exam but that is because the LSAT, three years of law school exams and the bar gave me test-taking fatigue.

Amanda is right about the need to know how to study and how to take the test. Those two skills are often as important as learning the subject matter, especially as you try to get closer to a perfect score. It's often difficult for the test preparers to provide effective guidance on these subjects because they are not thinking about how to best learn what they already know or how to game the test they designed. You need people outside the system who have performed well to develop the prep materials.
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Offline Pinski

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2015, 08:42:48 PM »
I'm certified with an 83 tasting score and have not taken the written exam.  A friend and I were going to try and get in on a written before the guideline shift. I'm just feeling like I need to spend some time being certified, gain more experience and let the new guidelines settle in a bit.  Really glad to hear about Amanda's project to put together a study group outline.  I that will be really helpful to focus preparation.  I'm anxious to see how the new guidelines affect competitions, judging and exam preparation. 
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Offline AmandaK

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2015, 09:22:45 PM »
I'm certified with an 83 tasting score and have not taken the written exam.  A friend and I were going to try and get in on a written before the guideline shift. I'm just feeling like I need to spend some time being certified, gain more experience and let the new guidelines settle in a bit.  Really glad to hear about Amanda's project to put together a study group outline.  I that will be really helpful to focus preparation.  I'm anxious to see how the new guidelines affect competitions, judging and exam preparation.

The project I am working on is intended to get people into what is now your position, e.g. someone who scored well on the exam without a lot of actual experience. The "Advanced Judge/Grader Training", which is being worked on by another set of people, would be for people who have tested well on the Tasting and want to advance by way of taking the Written.
Amanda Burkemper
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2015, 09:26:50 PM »
Mead/Master. Just took beta cider exam.
Probably my biggest passion re: BJCP is improving Feedback. I want less of the "add more Munich" or "uncover your boil" guessing and more "here's how your beer differs from the style:..."

Another would be grading; I mostly grade the Written Exam; anyone is free to contact me on how to prepare for it.

...however I have little time for either right now. Busy with question pool for cider exam, my other big area of interest.

Practice with filling out scoresheets is critical to success on the exam. Write down what you experience - level, descriptor, attribute.
And obviously drinking some commercial examples (in good condition), while reading the relevant guidelines.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 09:32:00 PM by udubdawg »

Offline AmandaK

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2015, 10:14:41 PM »
Probably my biggest passion re: BJCP is improving Feedback. I want less of the "add more Munich" or "uncover your boil" guessing and more "here's how your beer differs from the style:..."

I think the weakest part of feedback is the assumptions. People need to look for multiple clues when judging to accurately give feedback. Not looking for multiple clues leads to feedback like "Watch sanitation" or "add more Munich".
Amanda Burkemper
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BJCP Assistant Education Director
BJCP Master/Mead

Redbird Brewhouse - There's Always a Project
Our Homebrewed Wedding, AHA Article

Offline kramerog

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2015, 01:40:01 AM »
Taking tasting classes for the exam has reopened my eyes to styles I thought I didn't like English IPA and Bavarian weizens of all kinds.  I'm planning to brew beers for these styles soon.

Online hopfenundmalz

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2015, 01:49:06 AM »
I am certified, and joust did a do over on the tasting last Saturday. Hopping for an 80 or above so that I can retake the written. I have enough points to be national once I get the scores.

Here is my take. I mean this in the best way possible, pointing out that we all have areas of excellence.

Some are good test takers.
Some are good judges.
Some are good Brewers.

Then there is Gordon.  ;)
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Offline dkfick

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 03:07:01 AM »
I am certified, and joust did a do over on the tasting last Saturday. Hopping for an 80 or above so that I can retake the written. I have enough points to be national once I get the scores.

Here is my take. I mean this in the best way possible, pointing out that we all have areas of excellence.

Some are good test takers.
Some are good judges.
Some are good Brewers.

Then there is Gordon.  ;)
Wow. I totally forgot I was suppose to supply 2 beers for that exam. After NHC and San Diego vacation afterwards it totally slipped my mind until I read this. Glad Fred had other people lined up. Though I did have the beers if I was reminded. Either way... Hope you scored well Jeff.

As to the OP... I'm National/Mead and took the beers cider exam at the NHC. For the tasting exam I recommend a beer studies course or just lots of practice filling out scoresheets and reading other scoresheets. For the written...it's all about the time. Practice writting answers for the questions in the pool as fast as possible...

As for what I get out of the BJCP... I'm not totally sure. I really enjoy judging at competitions, but I don't need to be ranked to do that. I suppose is nice to be recognized for the work you've put into honing my skills at evaluating and providing feedback on beers/meads. Also the more judges are better able to evaluate and fill out a scoresheet the less I have to facepalm when judging with them or receiving scoresheets. I think without an organization like the BJCP evaluation skills in this hobby of ours, and thus quality, would be sorely lacking.

That was a lot to type on my phone...Lol
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Offline udubdawg

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Re: BJCP Certification Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 01:20:09 PM »

As for what I get out of the BJCP...


Personally it greatly improved my brewing, more than any other thing has.  But in fairness I'm a technical, to-style, German-type brewer.  If one were a serial experifermenter I don't know that it would do the same.