I failed my intro theory test

Hi. I'm looking for advice on how to move forward from this set back. I just took the intro exam and failed. I felt that I had done enough to at least get a 60% or more. I guess I didn't. That's not the part I'm most upset about. I paid (like all of us did) the $595 for the course and test. When I didn't get called that I passed, I went to the MS and asked if I could at least know my score. All 4 that I had asked said that they weren't allowed to give me my results. I feel like the purpose of the course and hopefully the guilde is to promote wine knowledge and better prepare to sell and share wine. So how am I to know where I went wrong if I am not told. Just asking if this is common 

  • On any exam you'll take during the CMS path you'll never be told if you were wrong or right, just a general review of what you could do better. They don't tell you I believe because they do not want 60% somms because for your costumer you must strive for 100%. Just go over the book, right down the question you remember and see if you got the right answer, what another small detailed appear and you didn't put notice to. It is a self learning process through the CMS.

    Good luck! 

  • It's part of the process.  I failed Advanced 2x while dropping a tray of champagne flutes not once, not twice, but three times during my service portion the first time while spilling champagne on MS's.  It happens, you'll get through it, and be better for it.

    Now you know what the exam looks like, how the questions are organized, and better where the holes in your knowledge are.  Self reflect and think what you really need to work on, take a break and then go back in 6 months and crush it. Everything you need to know to pass the intro exam is in the coursebook given with it.  If you study and know all that information cold, you'll be good.

  • Thank you! It is a process... I'll definitely re take the test... 

  • I appreciate your advice.. good luck on your endeavors as well! 

  • It's tough. It's easy to get discouraged, especially in the beginning. Wondering why you're bothering with this at all has probably crossed you mind but it's a process and it's often the case that those who seem to sprint ahead hit a wall further on. A fellow who blew past me back way back when I started on the Introductory, has now attempted the Advanced four times now. Don't know if he'll continue with it. Another who stayed to a steady pace but was at the exact same level as me when starting is now one of the newest Masters.

    No one wants to hear that it's all about breaking you down to be better but that's how it works unfortunately and as you move up each step, that one which drove you bonkers previously will seem like nothing. Stick with it, review the books more and try studying for the next level up. The new World Atlas of Wine is just arriving. Use that as you bible. If it helps, have a read of a piece I wrote up awhile back about the Introductory. https://www.hudin.com/court-of-master-sommeliers-level-1-introductory/


  • Hi Jaynene, 

    Firstly, congratulations for taking the shot at the intro exam! 

    Some words of encouragement for you... 

    Although you didn't achieve the result you had wished for on the intro exam, you learned so much. John Szabo, MS, said it well a few years ago when we were taking our Certified exams; "you should all commend yourself for being vulnerable and taking the exam. No one has passed or failed, you've learned and will only be better the next time you step up and take a shot or walk out on the floor".

    We're all brothers and sisters in arms in this field we find ourselves in. The entire Court model, IMHO, is based on mentor ship. Find a group of  people where ever you can and journey together, even better if you have members who are at all different levels of the CMS. Next, now having perspective, set a massive goal for yourself - I'm going to go back and get top honors. Map out a game plan and hit the books hard, you will surely accomplish this goal. 

    Personally, I always give the advice that you are not simply trying to beat a test, the test is merely a stepping stone. The process prepares you to be a well rounded service rock star and empower all of your peers around you to do the same. All you'll be doing next exam is going to pick up your pin. 

    If you ever have any questions in your journey feel free to reach out to me at anytime. 

    Go get it! 

  • It's normal to want answers so you can improve. The court will not grant you the answers you seek. It's sort of tough love. The Master's job is not to make sure you fail, they all want success for us. In not revealing the answers, it allows you to strive to exceed the expectation. Nose to the grind, schnoz in the glass for knowing what different wine tastes like. I was doing my intro but you bet I was blind tasting, developing a profile, mumbling the grid like it was the serenity prayer every morning.  Don't lose your love for wine and don't let this stop you. Know that when you do test again, you'll be even better than you were, and that is a victory in and of itself. 

  • During the service portion of my certified exam I had to pass on a question about madeira. After the reception I went up to the MS who i served and said “hey so about that Madeira question, what was the correct answer?” He basically said “I could tell you the answer, but you will learn so much more by finding out the answer on your own and exploring the subject yourself.” And it made a ton of sense, as much as I wanted to know the answer right then and there, it wouldn’t have done me any good service by just being told. So yes of course you want to know specifically what you got wrong immediately, but you’ll probably learn so much more by not. Just keep the drive and go at it again and you’ll nail it

  • As someone said, at the end of the day your wine knowledge is better than before. It was not a waste of time. I do hope you try again and pass! By the way, I have my test coming up in two weeks. Do you have any advice on what I should study or focus on? I'm currently freaking out and scared.