For those that are not familiar with homebrew competitions, there is a certification process to recognize beer tasting and evaluation skills.   I was lucky enough to have experience judging at competitions before taking the exams, which definitely helped.  

The process starts with a 200 question entrance examination, which simply reports back as either pass / fail.  

Then there is a tasting exam.   You are given 6 beers, some of which may have been flawed.   Identify your perceptions, give recommendations for improvement, and score the beer accordingly.   I took the test in May 2014, and received my results in December 2014; the score: 91

The next step will be to improve my written examination (essay based).  I took the essay exam in May 2015, and scored an 84.  This now puts me as a National level judge, which represents about the top 15% of judges.   I'd like to do better on my written exam to earn a master certification. 

January 2016 I took the BJCP mead exam.  It also starts with an online entrance examination, then you complete a tasting of 6 meads.  Luckily they retired the written portion, and have removed ranks from the mead endorsement.  I scored an 87, which I'm pretty happy with the results. 

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