Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination

The third step in the sommelier journey is the Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination. Unlike the Introductory Sommelier Course, the Advanced Sommelier Course and Examination are held independently of one another. Students must first attend the Advanced Sommelier Course before applying for the Advanced Sommelier Exam.

Advanced Sommelier Course

A three-day educational program exploring the Court of Master Sommeliers standards in beverage sales and service in greater depth. The course consists of classroom-style lectures designed to give candidates a template for upper-level exam study and a clear understanding of expectations at the Advanced Sommelier Examination, and small breakout tasting sessions which allow for individualized feedback and advice. 

  • Recommendations prior to applying:
  • Advanced Sommelier Course Eligibility:
    • Applicant has passed the Certified Sommelier Examination at the time of submitting the application.
    • Applicant must have a minimum two years of restaurant experience in a service/sales position within seven years of the date the application is submitted. Current employment must be in the restaurant/hospitality or beverage industry.
    • Applicant has NOT previously attended the three-day Advanced Sommelier Course.

Advanced Sommelier Course is a prerequisite to the Advanced Sommelier Examination. Applicant cannot apply for the Course and Examination in the same year.

Please see the Examination Site Policy that defines where a candidate may attend the course depending on geographic location and exam history.

Advanced Sommelier Course Dates and Locations

  • Advanced Sommelier Course – Dallas, Texas – June 17-19, 2024
    • For students living in the United States
  • Advanced Sommelier Course – Seoul, South Korea – April 16-18, 2024
    • For students living in South Korea and other Asian countries
  • Advanced Sommelier Course – Mexico City, Mexico – August 7-9, 2024
    • For students from Mexico, Central America, South America, and Spanish speaking Caribbean countries and US territories

Advanced Sommelier Examination

  • The Advanced Sommelier Examination tests the Court of Master Sommeliers standards in beverage sales and service. The exam represents a significant elevation over the Certified Sommelier Examination in required experience, knowledge, and skill level.
  • The examination consists of three sections:
    • Theory (written)
    • Tasting (verbal)
    • Practical
      • Hospitality and Service
      • Business of the Sommelier

The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas (CMS-A) launched a modified format for the Advanced Sommelier Examination in 2022. This evolution provides candidates with greater access to the examination and improved feedback. 

 

The new format, which is outlined below, mirrors the format of the Master Sommelier exam in which the Theory portion of the exam is separated from the Practical and Tasting portions of the exam. All three portions of the exam still must be passed in the same calendar year. Students applying for the Advanced Sommelier Exam will NOT be required to take the Sommelier Knowledge Assessment (SKA).

CMSA member smiling at the camera while holding a glass of wine and a sommelier certification

Theory

Candidates pursuing the Advanced Sommelier Certification will be required to successfully complete the Theory portion of the exam first. The Theory portion remains a written exam that will now be administered at a local-to-you, industry-leading Pearson VUE testing center.

  • Upon passing the Theory portion, candidates will be invited to sit the Practical and Tasting portions later in the year.
  • Candidates that do not pass the Theory portion must wait until the next calendar year to retake it.
  • Candidates are still required to pass all three portions of the examination within a calendar year; if a candidate passes Theory but does not pass the Practical and/or Tasting portions, they must begin again with Theory the following year.

Hospitality & Service Practical and Tasting

The Hospitality & Service Practical and Tasting Portions of the exam will continue to be administered in-person by a team of experienced Master Sommelier examiners at appropriate hospitality venues.

Group of women having a discussion

Who is Eligible to Take the Advanced Sommelier Examination?

  • Advanced Sommelier Examination Eligibility:
    • Applicant has attended the three-day Advanced Sommelier Course at the time of submitting the application.
    • Applicant must have a minimum three years of restaurant experience in a service/sales position within seven years of the date the application is submitted.
    • Current employment must be in the restaurant/hospitality or beverage industry.
  • Passing requirement: A candidate must achieve a minimum of 60% on each section within one calendar year.
  • All eligible applicants are invited to sit for the Advanced Sommelier Theory examination. In the following cases, they will be required to wait an additional year between efforts to allow for the preparation necessary for a reasonable chance of success:
    • A first attempt at Practical without at least a 40% score
    • A second consecutive year’s attempt at Practical without at least a 50% score.
    • A third consecutive year’s attempt at Practical without at least a 55% score.
    • Note: There is no required minimum score on any attempt at the Tasting portion

Advanced Application Process

  • Applicants can only apply for the course or exam, not both
  • Application fee of $100.00 due at time of application submission
  • Letters of recommendation are not needed for ANY CMS-A programming application.
  • Applications open on October 1 and close on November 1 of each year.

In 2023 the CMS-A expanded the capacity of the Advanced Sommelier Course from 150 to 200 seats and expanded the metrics as to how we allocate seats to include not only a candidate’s performance on the SKA but also to include additional factors for inclusion of underrepresented communities. Our aim is to continue to encourage unique perspectives, promote a more inclusive dialogue, and serve as a more accurate representation of the make-up of the hospitality industry as a whole.


Eligible students who apply for the Advanced Sommelier Examination will be required to successfully complete the Theory portion of the exam first. Information on scheduling the Theory exam at a Pearson VUE center will be provided via email to candidates whose applications are accepted. The Advanced Sommelier Theory Examination will have an unlimited number of seats to accommodate all qualified applicants who meet the eligibility criteria.

Advanced Dates & Application Process

The Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas will offer three Advanced Sommelier Courses, one Advanced Sommelier Theory Exam and two Advanced Sommelier Practical and Tasting Examinations in 2024.

Advanced Sommelier Courses

Dallas, Texas – June 17-19, 2024 – $1799

Seoul, South Korea – April 16-18, 2024

Mexico City, Mexico – August 7-9, 2024 – $1799

Advanced Sommelier Theory Examinations: $399

Pearson VUE Testing Center – February 22, 2024

Pearson VUE Testing Center – Date Est. 1-2 weeks after February 22 for students living in South Korea & Asia

Advanced Sommelier Practical and Tasting Examinations

July 15-16, 2024 Phoenix, AZ – $999

Fall 2024 Seoul, South Korea

 

Candidates who pass the 2024 Theory Examination are invited to sit the Practical and Tasting portions

Eligibility

  • To apply for the 2024 Advanced Sommelier Course:

    • Applicant has passed the Certified Sommelier Examination at the time of submitting application.

    • Applicant must have a minimum two years of restaurant experience in a service/sales position within seven years of the date the application is submitted. Current employment must be in the restaurant/hospitality or beverage industry.

    • Applicant has NOT previously attended the three-day Advanced Sommelier Course.

    • Advanced Sommelier Course is a prerequisite to the Advanced Sommelier Examination.

    • Applicant cannot apply for the Course and Examination in the same year.

  • To apply for the 2024 Advanced Sommelier Exam:
    • Applicant has attended the three-day Advanced Sommelier Course at the time of submitting application.
    • Applicant must have a minimum three years of restaurant experience in a service/sales position within seven years of the date the application is submitted.
    • Current employment must be in the restaurant/hospitality or beverage industry.

NOTE: The Court of Master Sommeliers, Europe continues to offer a five-day Advanced Course and Examination. The respective Boards of the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas and the Court of Master Sommeliers, Europe work together to ensure a common global standard. The only difference is the format in which the programs are offered. See Examination Site Policy for more information.

Scholarship Info

SommFoundation provides scholarships for the Advanced Sommelier Course & Examination and Master Sommelier Diploma Examination. Please visit their website at www.sommfoundation.com/scholarships for more information.

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