The Certified Cicerone exam consists of three parts: written exam, tasting exam, and a short demonstration. The written portion of the exam may be completed online, separately from the tasting and demonstration. To pass, candidates must achieve a grade of 80% or more overall and a score of 70% or higher on the tasting portion.

Written Exam: The written exam comprises approximately 150 short answer/fill-in-the-blank questions that cover all five areas of the syllabus. In addition, candidates will complete three essay questions: one each in the areas of beer service, beer styles, and brewing ingredients/process. Candidates receive up to three hours to complete the written portion of the exam.

Tasting Exam: The tasting exam consists of 12 samples divided into three sets of four. The first set covers off-flavor identification. Here you will be given a control sample and four unknowns.  Three of the unknowns will be spiked with a common beer off-flavor. Candidates must identify each sample giving the off-flavor name or stating that it is "same as control."  The second set of tasting samples covers style discrimination. For each of four beers you will be asked to tell whether it is more representative of style A or style B. The final set of samples assess your ability to identify flaws from improper handling in a range of beer styles. You will be told the style of the beer. Your job is to determine whether the beer exhibits flaws associated with mishandling. (Note: the four quality assessment samples require more detailed answers and are weighted higher than the previous samples.) Candidates receive up to 45 minutes to complete the tasting exam.

Demonstration: Candidates will be given a question relating to an aspect of the beer keeping and service portion of the syllabus. They will also be given a relevant item with which to demonstrate their response to the question. Responses are limited to 3 minutes and are videotaped for later grading.

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