3. The BJCP Mead Exam

The BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination consists of 200 questions to be answered in a 60 minute time period. There is a mixture of multiple choice, true-false and multiple answer questions which are designed to test a prospective mead judge’s knowledge of mead styles, mead characteristics and the mead making process. The key reference for the style-related questions is the BJCP Style Guidelines, and prospective judges are encouraged to become very familiar with this document before attempting the entrance exam. The 200 questions are drawn from a large pool of questions so each examination will potentially be different. The BJCP does not intend to publish the list of questions in the pool as that will invalidate the quality of the examination – a published pool would be too easy to query for answers without the examinee actually learning the material. The BJCP will monitor for questions that are made public and will work to remove said questions from the examination pool.

The BJCP Mead Judging Examination is closed book and requires the judging of six meads as if one were at a competition, with the scoresheets evaluated on the basis of scoring accuracy, perception, descriptive ability, feedback and completeness. Grading is done by volunteer National and Master judges, with their scores and feedback reviewed by both a BJCP Associate Exam Director and a BJCP Exam Director. These reviews ensure that the scores from different exams and graders are consistent between different exams and with the criteria expected for the different judging levels.

The Mead exam was jointly sponsored effort with the Mead Makers International (MMI, formerly the International Mead Association). Members of the MMI helped with the exam questions and study materials.

Mead Exam Details

There is no prerequisite for taking the BJCP Mead Entrance Exam. The exam is open to BJCP judges and those not in the BJCP.

All participants taking the BJCP Mead Judging Examination must have either passed the web-based BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination or scored at least 60% on the written portion of the BJCP Legacy Mead Examination

Anyone who passes the BJCP Mead Judging Exam will receive a BJCP Mead Judge pin and certificate.

Mead Exams do not count towards program (rank) advancement. An existing BJCP judge may not advance in rank based on the score received on the BJCP Mead Judging Exam. Non-BJCP members passing the BJCP Mead Judging Exam may not advance in rank without taking the BJCP Beer Exam.

More detail on the Mead Judge Designation can be found in that section.

Mead Entrance Exam Detail

Questions on the BJCP Mead Entrance Exam cover the following topics:

  • The BJCP Mead Program
  • BJCP judging procedures and ethics
  • Mead Balance and Style Attributes
  • Varietal Honey Identification and Usage
  • Non-Honey Ingredients in Mead
  • Identifying/Troubleshooting Mead Characteristics and Faults
  • Mead Making and Process Control
  • Mead Troubleshooting

Mead Judging Exam Details

Examinees will judge six meads as in a competition using variants of the standard scoresheets. Meads judged should include at least one mead from each major BJCP style category:

  • M1 Traditional Mead
  • M2 Fruit Mead
  • M3 Spiced Mead

including at least one varietal mead. At least one should be flawed and at least one should be a very good example. Within the M4 Specialty Mead category only M4A Braggot is a potential candidate for inclusion on the exam; M4B Historical Mead and M4C Experimental Mead will not be used as exam meads.

Mead Entrance Exam Question Pool

The questions in this exam are comprised of an assortment of 200 True-False (TF), Multiple-Choice-Single-Answer (MCSA) and Multiple-Choice-Multiple -Answer (MCMA). The MCSA questions will always have one selection that is the best answer to the question, while the MCMA questions will have one or more selections that are correct. There is a 60 minute time limit for answering these 200 questions. Some of the questions on this exam are difficult, and answering a sufficient number of them correctly will require thought and advance preparation.

There is sometimes the perception that an exam with multiple choice and TF questions will be easier to pass than a written exam; this is not the case with the BJCP Mead Judge Entrance examination. A prospective judge who would not have been sufficiently prepared to pass the written portion of the BJCP Legacy Mead Examination will likely not pass the BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination. Those who pass the BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination are provisional mead judges and must take the BJCP Mead Judging Examination to become a BJCP Mead judge. Due to the nature of the web-based BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination, the complete list of questions will not be made available since that would facilitate the creation of an answer key that would defeat the objective of having an entrance exam that tests on knowledge and understanding rather than rote memorization. However, examples of each type of question are even below, and it should be clear to those studying for the BJCP Mead Judge Entrance Examination how similar questions were generated from the BJCP Style Guidelines and other references on mead styles and the mead making process.