Path to Beer Connoisseur

Since I created this website, the most frequently asked question has been about how to study for the exams administered by the Cicerone® Certification Program. I teach a college course called Psychology of Learning and Memory, and I applied the following three science-based learning strategies to pass each of the three exams on my first attempt.

  1. Learn to fill the knowledge gap. The syllabus clearly outlines what is expected. Identifying your knowledge gaps by comparing the expectations and your knowledge level help you strategize on filling that gap. For example, I annotated some books and became familiar with the BJCP Style Guidelines.

  2. Learn in the same environment as the exam. We perform better when the study environment matches with the exam environment because of the ease of recalling information. In my experience, the exam was held in a quiet and well-lit room with desks and chairs. emulating such an environment helps train.

  3. Learn by taking mock exams. There is no better way to prepare for the exam than by taking the exam. For the Certified Cicerone® Exam, you can find a sample exam on the program website. For the Advanced Cicerone® Exam, I found this blog post by Chris Cohen (the creator of the Beer Scholar), these flashcards by Emily Sauter (the author of Pints and Panels), and this blog post by Ray Daniels (the founder of the Cicerone® Certification Program) to be quite helpful.

I hope that you find this helpful for your future beer studies!


Asa B.

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