Level III: Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination  

As of 2014, the structure of the CMS Advanced Sommelier program changed. CMS Advanced Sommelier Course and Advanced Sommelier Examination have been divided into separate programs given at least two months apart to allow for:

·         Focus on learning without the pressure of an examination

·         A period following the course for candidates to assimilate the information and better prepare for the exam

The Advanced Sommelier Course is a pre-requisite for sitting the Advanced Sommelier Examination. Both are geared to individuals with extensive experience serving beverages in a restaurant. You must sit for the Advanced Course at least once every three years until you pass the Advanced Sommelier Course.

 

2015 Advanced Sommelier Course 

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·         A three-day educational program which explores the CMS standards in beverage sales and service in greater depth. There is no examination incorporated with this program

·         This is NOT an all-encompassing survey style program as in years past; it features 6 or so specific topics presented as templates to apply to the study of the rest of the beverage world

o    Scheduled topics for 2015 can be found on the Advanced Application Page.

·         CMS will offer TWO Advanced Courses in 2015

·         More information and the application can be found on the Advanced Application Page.

 

2015 Advanced Sommelier Examination 

·         A three-day examination testing CMS standards in beverage sales and service

·         The examination is given in three parts:

o    Practical restaurant beverage service and salesmanship in a dining room setting

o    Written Theory

o    Deductive Tasting of six wines

·         CMS will offer THREE Advanced Examinations in 2015

·         More information and the application can be found on the Advanced Application Page.

Students must achieve a minimum score of 60% in all three sections to pass the examination. Students must also pass this examination before being considered for invitation to sit the Master Sommelier Diploma examination.

The Advanced Examination is exponentially more challenging than the Certified Sommelier Examination. Students are expected to have a high level of preparation in terms of theoretical comprehension, deductive tasting skills and practical restaurant service ability before sitting the Advanced Sommelier Course and/or Advanced Sommelier Examination. Approximately 30% of all candidates pass the examination.

PLEASE NOTE: The Court of Master Sommeliers Europe will not implement the changes to these qualifications and will continue to offer a five day Advanced Course and Examination. Please see the Examination Site Policy (link) for further details on where Candidates may sit depending on their geographic location and exam history.  The respective Boards of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas and the Court of Master Sommeliers Europe work together to ensure that the level of the qualifications remains the same no matter where candidates sit for them. Candidates should note that the only differences to the qualifications are the format in which they are offered.

 

Who can take the Advanced Sommelier Course and/or Advanced Sommelier Examination?

·         Entrance into the pre-requisite Advanced Sommelier Course and the Advanced Sommelier Examination is via a selection process conducted by the Court of Master Sommeliers Examination Committee and the Examination Director.  The following criteria are weighed in no particular order:

o    Those who apply for Advanced Sommelier Examinations with no previous Advanced Sommelier Course experience are given preference for Advanced Sommelier Course seats

o    Previous CMS Advanced Sommelier Course and/or Examination experience and performance

o    Previous CMS Advanced Sommelier Course and/or Examination applications

o    Strong restaurant beverage service experience

o    Professional Recommendations – Master Sommelier recommendations when possible are suggested. In the application process need to provide the name(s) and email address(s) of those who will provide your recommendation; an automated email will be generated when you submit your application.

o    Certified Sommelier Examination performance

·         Students may apply to sit for Advanced Sommelier Course once per calendar year until they pass the Advanced Sommelier Examination

·         You must sit for the Advanced Course at least once every three years until you pass the Advanced Sommelier Examination.

·         Advanced Sommelier Course is not available to Master Sommelier Diploma examination students.

·         Students must have passed the Certified Sommelier Examination prior to the application deadline.

·         Students must have at least three (3) years’ minimum experience, five (5) years suggested, in the front-of-the-house restaurant service industry.

 
Any student who does not pass any part of the Advanced Sommelier Examination on three successive attempts will be required to wait one year - and re-sit the Advanced Sommelier Course - before applying for the Advanced Exam again.

 
Advanced Sommelier Suggested Reading