• Frequently Asked Questions

    1. How Do I Become a Judge? Pass the Online Exam, then pass a Tasting exam.
    2. What If I'm Already in the BJCP? The rules are different. It depends on your current rank and exam scores. Read this document for the details.
    3. How Do I Register for a Tasting Exam? Look at the Exam Calendar, find an exam location, contact the Exam Administrator. Some exams are over-subscribed; you may be placed on a waiting list. Do not wait until the last minute to register.
    4. How Do I Register for a Written or Mead Exam? The same way, except these exams are rarely over-subscribed. They are held less frequently, though.
    5. How Do I Become a Grader? Be a National or higher ranked judge. Volunteer by contacting the Exam Directors.

  • Overview

    The BJCP Beer Judge Exam process is how a beer enthusiast becomes a beer judge in the BJCP. It covers:

    • Technical aspects of brewing, ingredients, brewing process and possible faults.
    • World beer styles, including characteristics, history, ingredients and brewing techniques.
    • The purpose of the BJCP and the criteria for the judging ranks.
    • Judging procedures and ethics.

    The BJCP Beer Judge Exam was revised in March 2012, and now consists of three exams:

    • The BJCP Beer Judge Entrance Examination, an online examination to screen prospective candidates.
    • The BJCP Beer Judging Examination, a practical tasting examination of six beers.
    • The BJCP Beer Judge Written Proficiency Examination, a written examination consisting of 20 True-False and five essay questions used to test skills and knowledge necessary for higher ranks. Exams can be scheduled quarterly.

    The revised exam program is described in detail in this document. Please review it in detail.

  • The Online Entrance Exam

    Entrance Exam Details   (PDF) You can take the entrance exam at any time; no advance registration is required. The cost is US$10. It consists of 200 questions, and must be answered in one hour. The exam can be taken once a day until it is passed. See the reference document for full details.

    Online Exam   Register and take the online exam at http://bjcp.coursewebs.com. Do not take this exam without studying; you will be wasting your money. Please read the Entrance Exam Details document, the BJCP Beer Exam Study Guide, the BJCP Judge Procedures Manual, and the BJCP Style Guidelines first. We highly recommend that you secure a Tasting Exam seat before taking the online entrance exam!

    Please note that the entire question pool is copyrighted by the BJCP. The questions are not allowed to be published or copied without the express written consent of the BJCP. BJCP members violating this copyright may be sanctioned.

  • Currently Scheduled Exams

    If you're interested in taking either the tasting or written exam, contact the person listed to reserve a place (walk-ins are rarely accepted). Exam administrators frequently conduct exam preparation sessions for a number of weeks prior to the exam, so early registration can be a big advantage. If you are taking the new tasting exam, be prepared to show your certificate from the online examination or your BJCP membership card.

  • Studying for the Beer Judge Exam

  • Exam Study Guide  (PDF). Newly revised for the 2012 exam, the study guide contains the necessary information needed to pass the exam. The questions given on the written exam are also included. The question pool for the online exam is not published.

  • Exam Program Description  (PDF). Detailed description of the BJCP Exam Program, previously part of the BJCP Study Guide.

  • Judge Procedures Manual  Important information that will help you prepare for the exam as well as when you judge at competitions. This is also available as a PDF file.

  • Completed Scoresheets  Sample scores sheets from the tasting portion of an actual exam, filled out by people who did very well.

  • So you want to be a Beer Judge?  (PDF) Introduction to Judging article from Zymurgy, July/August 2004. Some references are dated, but the general content is sound.

  • Mastering the BJCP Exam  (PDF) Presentation given at the 2003 Chicago AHA NHC by Gordon Strong, revised in 2012 for the new exam format by Scott Bickham.

  • Style Presentation  (PDF) An interesting view of the style guidelines, with one style per page in a summary format useful for studying. Based on the 2008 Style Guidelines. Note: These are provided by Karen Rudloff, and are not in any way "official" BJCP material. Please direct suggestions for changes to the author.

  • Off-Flavor Flashcards  (PDF) A set of flashcards covering the most common off-flavors/defects. They include how to recognize them and what to do about them. Note: These are provided by Sean Hewitt, and are not in any way "official" BJCP material. Please direct suggestions for changes to the author.

  • BJCP Exam For Dummies  (PDF) A guide focused on exam mechanics and methods for answering specific exam questions. Note: This is provided by Al Boyce, and is not in any way "official" BJCP material. Please direct suggestions for changes to the author.

  • First Time Judge Packet  (PDF) Reference material for new judges. This information is the same as the Member Guide, but in a format suitable for printing.

  • What about the Mead Judge Exam?

  • Information and resources on the Mead Judge Exam can be found on the Mead Resources page. A mead-specific Study Guide is available. The mead judge exam is scheduled, administered, and graded in the same way as the beer judge exam.

  • The fee for the mead exam is US$50 for first-time takers of any BJCP exam (i.e., non-BJCP members) and US$30 for existing BJCP members.

  • Exam Administrator Resources

  • How to Schedule an Exam  Requirements and procedure for requesting a BJCP exam in your city.

  • Exam Administrator Guidelines  Best practices and general guidance for organizing and running a BJCP examination, based on lessons learned from actual BJCP exams.

  • Proctor List  Active BJCP judges eligible to be an exam proctor without pre-approval by the Exam Directors.

  • Exam Payment  (Exam administrators only). This allows an exam administrator to use PayPal to submit the payment for an exam that has already been held.

  • Off-flavor Kits  (Exam administrators only). Information on how to order a Siebel off-flavor kit at a subsidized price for your exam preparation class. Order using the ordering application.

  • Exam Forms ·  Paperwork needed by exam administrators

    • Exam Cover Letter (transmittal letter to administrators) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Procedures – Judging (how to give the exam) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Procedures – Written (how to give the exam) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Procedures – Mead (how to give the exam) (PDF or Word)

    • Proctor Instructions (instructions and scoresheets) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Cover Sheet (examinee instructions) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Data (used to schedule the exam) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Scoresheets (used by the examinees) (PDF or Word)

    • Exam Beer Descriptions (to be completed by administrator) (PDF or Word)

    • Examinee Data Capture (Participant Info for an entire exam) XLS

    • Proctor Data (Proctor information for an entire exam) XLS

    • Exam Results (Exam results for an entire exam – Exam Directors only) XLS

    • Copyright release, may be required by some commercial copy businesses

  • Exam Grader Resources

  • BJCP Scoresheet Guide  Grading rubric for BJCP beer exams, and training information for producing quality scoresheets.

  • Exam Grading Process  Detailed information about the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of all exam graders and reviewers, including a detailed process flow and timeline.

  • Exam Grader Policy  The Exam Directors are probably the most dedicated, hard-working, and valuable people we have in the BJCP, but they could accomplish very little without the hard work donated by the many members who do the actual grading of exams. People sometimes wonder about how we handle the selection and management of exam graders, so we have codified the policy in this document.

  • Report to Participant – Judging  (blank judging RTP form in Word 2003 .doc format). Short format (no checkboxes).

  • Report to Participant – Judging  (blank judging RTP form in Word 2007+ .docx format). Checkbox style.

  • Report to Participant – Written  (blank judging RTP form in Word format). Example form, but won't work for most exams since the questions will be different.

  • Report to Participant – Mead  (blank mead RTP form in Word format).

  • Exam Scoring Guide used by exam graders. This also available in Word format.

  • Lead Grader Guidelines  Advice, recommendations and best practices for lead graders (PDF format).

  • Grading Scoresheets  Advice, recommendations and best practices for creating and grading quality scoresheets (Word format).

  • Exam Grading Form – Judging  Spreadsheet used by graders for recording individual scores on the judging exam (Excel format). Last updated: 09 October 2014.

  • Exam Grading Form – Written  Spreadsheet used by graders for recording individual scores on the written exam; now formatted to allow cutting and pasting directly into RTPs (Excel format). Last updated: 27 August 2014.

  • Exam Grading Form – Mead  Spreadsheet used by graders for recording individual scores on the mead exam (Excel format).

  • Grading Cover Letter – Judging  Template cover letter sent to graders of a judging exam set (Word format).

  • Grading Cover Letter – Written  Template cover letter sent to graders of a written exam set (Word format).

  • Grading Cover Letter – Mead  Template cover letter sent to graders of a mead exam set (Word format).

  • Exam Grader Tools  Tools submitted by graders that aren't officially supported, but may be of use to other graders.

  • Expense Reimbursement Worksheet  Spreadsheet used by program members to request expense reimbursement.

  • Exam Protest Policy

    The process for contesting a grade given on a BJCP exam.

  • Retroactive points

    If you believe you have acquired point (judging, stewarding, or staff) before you took the exam for the first time, send an email to the IT Director with the competition name, date, your role (judge, steward, staff, etc.), and how many points you are claiming. If the organizer included you in the report, we will award you credit immediately. If not, we will ask you to contact the organizer to vouch for your service.