Q: What are the pre-requisites for the Certified Cicerone® Exam?
A: Candidates must have passed the Certified Beer Server exam and they must be of legal drinking age.
Q: How do I study for the exam?
A: The knowledge and skills required to pass the Certified Cicerone exam may be acquired during the course of several years of work in the beer industry, through some months of intensive part-time study, or a combination of the two. Use the Certified Cicerone® Syllabus to guide your preparations. Also see our Cicerone Study Materials and our Resources & Links for courses, books, tasting kits and other resources that can help you prepare.
Q: What is the format of the exam?
A: There are three portions of the Certified Cicerone exam: written, tasting, and demonstration.
- The written portion consists largely of short answer and fill-in-the-blank questions plus three essay questions. Candidates are allowed up to three hours to complete the written exam. The format and content of the exam are the same regardless of whether it is administered in person or online.
- The tasting portion consists of three different exercises: off-flavor identification, style discrimination, and quality assessment, candidates are allowed up to a total of 45 minutes to complete all of the tasting exercises.
- During the 3 minute demonstration portion, you'll be asked a question related to beer service and receive a relevant item you will use to demonstrate your answer. The demonstration is video-recorded and graded offsite after the conclusion of the exam. This portion is always administered in conjunction with the tasting portion of the exam.
Refer to the Certified Cicerone® Syllabus for more details about the above and an outline of the knowledge expected of each candidate.
Q: What are the computer/system requirements for the online written portion of the Certified Cicerone exam and/or Advanced Cicerone exam?
- OPERATING SYSTEM: MAC: OSX Yosemite 10.10.5 or higher, PC: Windows 7, 8, or higher
- PROCESSOR/RAM: MAC: Intel / AMD Processor, 2 GB RAM, PC: Dual-core 2.4 Ghz CPU, 2 GB RAM or better
- RECOMMENDED WEB BROWSERS: Mozilla Firefox v20.0 or Higher Google Chrome v25.0 or higher
- CAMERA RESOLUTION: 800 x 600 resolution or better
- INTERNET CONNECTION: Cable Modem, DSL or better (300 kbps download, 250 kbps upload)
Q: How much does the Certified Cicerone® exam cost? (all amounts are USD)
A: The total cost is $400 (the written portion of the exam is $225 and the tasting/demonstration portion is $175, portions are purchased separately). Exam fees are non-refundable. Retakes are available if a passing score isn't achieved on the initial attempt(s), the cost is $175 for a written retake and $125 for a tasting/demonstration retake.
Q: How do I sign up for the exam?
A: To register for an exam - go to the Exam Schedule and find your preferred exam location and type.
Q: What is a passing score on the Certified Cicerone® Exam?
A: A grade of 80% overall and at least 70% on the tasting portion are required to pass. For more detailed information please see Certified Cicerone Exam Grading.
Q: How long does it take to receive my score results?
A: Typically, results arrive within 6 weeks. Please contact us if your exam was more than 6 weeks ago and you've not yet received your results.
Q: What is the pass rate for the Certified Cicerone® exam?
A: The pass rate fluctuates year to year; currently the average pass rate is just below 50% across all candidates.
Q: I don’t think I did very well on the exam. Can I schedule a retake before I see my results?
A: Yes, you may register for retakes immediately after you've taken the exam. However, keep two things in mind:
- Exam fees are non-refundable, so if you learn later that you passed (written, tasting, or the full exam) then you will not be eligible for a refund.
- You may only take the written portion of the exam once every 6 weeks.
Q: I'm interested in hosting a Certified Cicerone® Exam
A: If you have a group who would like to take the exam and have a suitable venue available, we will work to schedule an exam for your group. We will give priority registration to your group, and then open registration to the general public at least six weeks before the exam date. If you are interested in scheduling an exam for your group please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What are some typical positions/titles that a Certified Cicerone® might hold?
A: Anyone who works full-time with beer or beverages with a focus on beer can benefit from earning their Certified Cicerone® recognition. Typical positions include sales representatives for brewers, importers and wholesalers; hospitality and retail beverage directors and beer buyers; any staff member involved in beverage-related education or training; any one in a managerial/supervisory role in a beer-focused business such as brewery, beer distributor, bottle shop, beer bar, and suppliers of beer equipment or supplies.
Q: Who is the [youngest, oldest, first, etc.] Certified Cicerone®?
A: We do not collect information about candidates' ethnicity, gender, or age and therefore we can’t formally verify anyone's claim to titles based on those factors.
A: Current and complete Certified Cicerone exam policies are available at cicerone.org/cicerone-exam-policies#cc