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Advanced Cicerone Overview

The 3rd-level rank of Advanced Cicerone was introduced in 2015 to distinguish those individuals who had advanced their knowledge to an expert level. 

Those who achieve this certification possess expert knowledge of beer and excellent tasting ability. Such knowledge generally results from several years of additional study and tasting after achieving Certified Cicerone®. Well-prepared candidates will have excellent and extensive style knowledge, hands-on experience managing beer service, direct familiarity with brewing process and ingredients, and frequent and repeated experience in beer and food pairing.

Prerequisites: Must have passed the Certified Cicerone exam. Candidates for this level of certification must be of legal drinking age.

Exam Cost: Initial test: $795 (USD); Retake tasting: $250 (USD); Retake written: $375 (USD). Exam fees are nonrefundable.

Passing Score: A grade of 80% overall and at least 75% on the tasting portion are required to pass. For more detailed information please see Advanced Cicerone™ Exam Scoring Breakdown further down the page. 

 

Exam Policies (Postponement, Rescheduling) 

  • If you postpone your exam registration to a later date, you will be charged a rescheduling fee.
  • If you're postponing more than 3 months from your exam date, you will be charged a rescheduling fee of $100 (USD), and will get the remainder of your fee in a coupon code towards another Advanced Cicerone registration.
  • If you're postponing less than 3 months from your exam date or if you fail to attend the exam you are registered for without previously contacting a member of the Cicerone Certification Program staff, you forfeit your entire registration.

Exam Details

This one-day exam is given eight to twelve times each year at a variety of locations. Candidates for Advanced Cicerone will participate in a day-long examination that includes multiple written, oral, and tasting components. The written component will consist of questions in various formats from multiple choice to fill-in-the-blank and essays where extensive knowledge will be asked for. Two oral examinations will be conducted and will cover various aspects of the syllabus. Taste assessments will include a significant range of off flavors, blind assessment of beer styles, and descriptive analysis of blind samples. A grade of 80% overall and at least 75% on the tasting portion are required to pass the Advanced Cicerone exam.

Advanced Cicerone Preparation

Advanced Cicerone Syllabus

The Advanced Cicerone Syllabus presents an outline of the knowledge tested in the exam. Review it to guide your studies and assess your readiness for the exam.

Knowledge Area Responsibilities

Candidates for Advanced Cicerone certification must demonstrate expert knowledge of all issues related to brewing, beer, and beer service. The full Advanced Cicerone syllabus is your guide to preparation.  All of the resources recommended for the Certified Cicerone exams should be considered in your preparation for the Advanced Cicerone exam in addition to more advanced resources including many of those recommended for Master Cicerone® Exam preparation. In-depth theoretical and hands-on practical knowledge of draft systems of all types is required. Comprehensive and in-depth beer style knowledge is expected including tasting experience with multiple commercial examples of each style. Candidates must be able to recognize a specific list of off flavors as given in the syllabus. AROXA™ flavor standards will be used in testing.

Travel to classic beer producing areas in Europe can be beneficial. Brewing beer alone or with others can help to ensure thorough knowledge of the brewing process and its variations. Experience preparing and presenting beer and food pairings is strongly recommended. Throughout the exam, candidates will be expected to describe beer (and food) flavors using concrete and specific terms that accurately cover the full spectrum of flavor.

 

Advanced Cicerone Scoring Breakdown

Those preparing for the Advanced Cicerone exam should be sure to review the Advanced Cicerone Syllabus. This syllabus outlines all the knowledge that may be tested during the exam and is organized into five knowledge areas:

  • Keeping and Serving Beer (20%)
  • Beer Styles (22.5%)
  • Beer Flavor and Evaluation (22.5%)
  • Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes (20%)
  • Pairing Beer with Food (15%)

Overall, the Advanced Cicerone exam will be graded so that each of these knowledge areas accounts for a certain portion of the overall grade as shown in parenthesis after each section above.

 

  Written Exam Oral Exam Tasting Exam
Keeping and Serving Beer 20.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Beer Styles 17.50% 5.00% 0.00%
Beer Flavor and Evaluation 7.50% 0.00% 15.00%
Beer Ingredients and Brewing Processes 20.00% 0.00% 0.00%
Pairing Beer with Food 10.00% 5.00% 0.00%
Totals percentage of overall score 75.00% 10.00% 15.00%

Exam Schedule & Details

Advanced Cicerone exams are given 10 to 12 times each year at sites across the United States, as well as at select international sites. Exam spots are awarded by lottery.

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