All, firstly let me apologize for asking a question that I am sure has been asked millions of times before...however, I can't seem to find a direct answer. With he Intro exam, you get a book...and the exam questions all come from the workbook. However, for the certified exam...what should I be studying? Are there specific books the exam is based on? Are we expected to know everything from everywhere? Any direction would be greatly appreciated!
I most heavily referenced the Guildsomm study guides for the majority of my studying. I started off by reading through a couple of times and making notecards... make sure you are referencing maps to help contextualize what you are reading. There will be a lot of information in the study guides that is on a more advanced level than certified, so I would not focus too long on really specific info (especially on less prominent growing regions), but reading through it will help on the chance that you do get a tough question on the exam. Focus on your most notable growing regions, and know your key producers.
As far as service goes, study classic cocktails & be able to recommend 1-2 cocktails for each base spirit. Know their basic flavor profile, the main ingredients, etc. Have some wines in mind (vintage, producer, and region) to recommend as pairings, and be able to explain why they are a good pairing. Don’t forget about beer & sake.
Looking back, I studied a little bit too in depth for Certified, but that is not a bad thing and in the actual exam I felt really confident. I tried to put at least an hour in daily for about 5 months. Good luck!