I thought it might prove beneficial to detail some preliminary information regarding the BJCP Exam changes coming in April. Please note, the following information is preliminary and questions should not be posed until the OFFICIAL information is provided on the BJCP website. Please do not email the Exam Directorate with questions regarding anything which follows.
Beginning in April the web-based entrance exam will go live for those who have not taken the BJCP exam. It will cost $10 and will consist of 200 randomly generated questions from a question pool of thousands of questions. Unlike the previous exam the online exam will not have a published question pool. The questions are a mixture of true-false, multiple choice, and multiple answer questions. The test is automatically graded and is pass/fail. Until the exam is passed the examinee is not in the BJCP, once they pass, they are a Provisional Judge. Those that pass will have to take a tasting exam within one year to become a BJCP judge. For these new judges, their performance on the tasting exam determines their BJCP rank, 60 would be Recognized and higher than 70 would be Certified. One cannot attain a rank higher than Certified until they take the BJCP Written Proficiency Exam.
The tasting exam is expanded from four to six beers and the time allowed for the exam is 90 minutes. The cost for Provisional Judges is $40 and the retake fee is $15. For existing judges, the score earned on the new tasting exam will be combined with an existing essay score from the traditional exam to determine your combined score. Each part of the exam is now 50% of your score instead of the previous 70% essay and 30% taste. No combined scores are recalculated for existing judges except when a retake of one portion or the other happens. The judge rank will never go down and a judge will not advance without retaking the exam.
The essay exam becomes the BJCP Written Proficiency Exam and will be required for those wishing to advance to National or higher ranks. The fee for this exam is $15. To qualify to sit for the Proficiency Exam, potential examinees must have scored at least 80% on the tasting exam and have a minimum of 10 judging experience points. The time limit for this exam is 90 minutes and it will now consist of 20 T/F and five essay questions. The study guide will be updated in the near future to reflect the changes.
I think most people should be pleased with changes. The biggest issues I foresee will be the lack of tasting exams and the glut of people who will inevitably take the web-based exam and who have not prepared for it. Over time both of these kinks will iron out and this certainly is a positive step for the BJCP Exam!
Note: This is NOT an official release by the BJCP.