ais exam rejection? Whatever your age and level of education, the ais exam should not scare you. In fact, no final exam, and especially the exam to become a sommelier, should frighten you. Why? Whether you started the sommelier course out of passion or with the desire to make it a profession, you are certainly a wine enthusiast. And if you are a wine enthusiast you really want to make the subject your own, so you should not make any of the mistakes that are really a threat to make you become a sommelier. Every week I receive e-mails from aspiring sommeliers who want the ais course exam questions. It's one thing to share my experience or to create a facsimile to frame what to expect during the exam, it's another to think about studying on ais exam questions from past years.

Firstly, the questions tend not to be repeated very frequently because the ais course syllabus is so vast. Secondly, this method of study is that of the head honchos who only care about the title and little about becoming good at the discipline they are following. This does not only happen at the sommelier course, but also at university. And it is precisely because of these mediocre students that the efforts of good students are penalised. To me, who has always been a bit of a 'geek', they honestly annoy a lot. Taking a sommelier course is an investment of time and money, so you should take it very seriously. But now we come to the 5 habits that risk getting you the ais exam rejection.

ais sommelier exam rejection

ais exam rejection/ mistake 1: study on questions from past exams

As mentioned above, the AIS course programme is vast, so although you may certainly find repeated questions, they will probably only be a fraction. Moreover, if you enrolled in the AIS course because you love wine and would like to learn more about this extraordinary world, why not study it properly? 

Certainly taking a look at or practising a few tests can be absolutely useful, but more for understanding the methods and timing. However, studying on the questions DOES NOT MEAN STUDYING, I find it rather a clumsy and crude attempt to memorise. All this clashes with a choice made with love, don't you think?

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ais exam rejection/ mistake 2: endlessly re-reading the same chapter

Rereading AIS books to the point of exasperation will do you no good. And even less will it help you to reread the same chapter ad nauseam. If you want to make the world of wine your own, just read it once in silence and then read aloud only the key concepts.

Reading the same chapter over and over again may help you memorise, but I am sure you will soon forget what was covered.

Diametrically opposed is the sniper technique, which takes its name from the snipers and suggests not creating crutches for your brain so as not to make it lazy. If endlessly rereading the same chapter only serves to bore your favourite neuron, thinking you only get one chance to read that particular chapter keeps it active and alert. So give yourself only one chance to read a chapter, read it silently carefully and repeat the key concepts aloud.

ais exam rejection/ mistake 1: not writing down key concepts

Speaking of key concepts, there is no better way to fix them than to highlight them in the book and write them down in your own words. To do this, I recommend you buy a A5 notebook like this one by Legamiwhich I find really perfect because it has a spiral, it's very comfortable to write on the front and back, the pen doesn't leak and it has a very handy pocket where I can put any mind maps or facsimiles of the tasting cards, dot cards and food-wine pairing graphics. I also use them at university and can no longer do without them, I have them in practically every type! By the way, this for incurable travel lovers with a map is my favourite, I just bought it for the Wine and Wine Marketing exam I'm giving in November 😍😍😍😍!

When you have found the perfect notebook for you, write down the key concepts neatly and above all in your own words, without copying what you read in the book. Reworking key concepts and writing them down in a notebook is the best way to really study. What's more, A5 notebooks fit into any bag or purse and you can take them with you at all times for revision... even if you're waiting for the tractor after being stuck in a vineyard!

ais sommelier exam rejection

ais exam failure/ error 4: Not developing key concepts aloud independently

At this point you have read the key concepts aloud, worked them out in a notebook... you are ready to develop them aloud and really make them your own. Let's be clear, you don't have to repeat what you have read in the book by heart: this is the best way to forget everything and get the infamous ais exam fail. You really have to rework what you have read in your own words and you can keep the notebook underneath with the key concepts. At this stage in fact you have to do some additional revision work that makes you really understand what you are studying and when you have understood something you hardly forget it!

ais exam rejection/ error 5: not doing wine tasting and food and wine pairing sheets

Put it away: you have to do AIS cards to the point of exasperation. Especially the food and wine pairing graphics is anything but trivial, so practising it every day by scaling a food, even if it is a biscuit or a sandwich, is essential. In the end, it takes no more than 10 minutes to make one and since you eat at least three times a day, you have no excuse not to get into this healthy habit. In the exam you will be asked to draw the polygon of the food and wine pairing chart and create the wine tasting card with all the entries from memory. So practise with every wine you drink!

ais sommelier exam rejection

To facilitate your study and help you pass the ais exam I wrote the book 'Sommelier: the illustrated manual' which you can buy online on my blog with free shipping. In the book you will find all my notes on wine and food, notes that I have collected as an ais student, as a wine blogger and as a graduate student in gastronomic sciences. The book covers all the topics of the ais courses but developed at university level, it is a textbook suitable for hotel schools and faculties of gastronomic sciences and oenology and viticulture. Don't expect just a summary of the ais books: rather a focused in-depth study of everything you need to pass the exam and make a great impression. You can read it with the advice I have given you in this article and I have no doubt that you will pass the ais exam brilliantly.

Drunk the wolf 🍀 and let me know how it went, even in a comment below this article!

Cheers 🍷


PS If the ais exam rejection has already knocked on your door, don't inflict punishments on yourself like drinking brick wine for a month in a row. Processing failures in the right key is what distinguishes a loser from a winner in life. Let us start with a key concept: nobody is perfect and infallible.

If an exam or event does not go as it should first take time: even the biggest obstacle seems less insurmountable after a glass of red wine and a good night's sleep. Don't blame yourself, it's no use, rather try to understand which stage of your study process was not effective. Try to process this small failure constructively to learn something new first of all from yourself: the only truly irremediable thing in life is an incurable disease, everything else is just a matter of perseverance. ☀️

Book "Sommelier: the Illustrated Manual" Special Edition 2024

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