As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Studying for a Liquor/Beer/Wine test. Need study tips!

GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Alright, so I recently got this new job as a server at this Irish pub down here in Texas. It's a pretty cool place, but since it's my first time being a server the job training's a little bit harder for me than everyone else who seems to have already gotten experience.

Anyways, throughout this entire week i've had to take a series of tests over various menu items, divied up on certain days (starters/soups/salads on day 2, salads (ugh!)/deserts/pizza on day 3, etc). Now the last test that I took I pretty much bombed because I didn't have enough time to review over the material on account of school the prior day, so i'll have to retake that again and pass it with a near-perfect score.

This is not what i'm worried about. Not by a longshot.

THIS is what scares the shit out of me. The alcohol test:

alcohollist1.jpg

alcohollist2.jpg


And memorizing them isn't the only thing here, oh no. I have to know what region they come from, the differences between certain items, glass sizes, etc. I honestly have no frikkin' clue how to study for the damn thing. It's just so MASSIVE.

In general I just don't really have any good study habits. I'll spend hours drilling away at the material only to discover that the person next to me spent far less time and got better results. I think my problem is that I over-study, and waste a shitload of time.

What are some good ways to study for this bitch of a test? Keep in mind that i'll have the entire day tomorrow devoted to studying for this thing if it's really necessary, as well as prior to 4:00 in the afternoon on Sunday, which is when I take the test. I'd like to re-review over all of my prievious material as well as this new stuff, but obviously it's the liquor test that is top priority.

So guys, any suggestions?


tl:dr - What's the best way to study for my alcohol/bar test?

Godfather on

Posts

  • Options
    rchourchou Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    flashcards.

    rchou on
  • Options
    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    rchou wrote: »
    flashcards.


    Did it already for my other tests, but man flashcards would take forever with this shit. I don't think I can do that this time around.

    Godfather on
  • Options
    tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Quite simply the only way to study for a "memorize and compare hundreds of items" test is to practice in a real situation. Give a friend the menu and have him order and ask questions about stuff. You wont learn something like this by just staring at it without context, it wont stay in your head.

    Surely the test isn't just "Write down our menu, all the prices, and one fact about each beer"

    Surely its questions like "Id like a Chiraz today, what do you recommend and why?" "What is your best tequila?" "I like Newcastle, but want something new, what beer do you think I might like?"

    Contextual questions, based on menu sections, like you'd really have to deal with.

    tbloxham on
    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • Options
    KilroyKilroy timaeusTestified Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    tbloxham's advice is good. I'd also recommend breaking the menu down into smaller sections; it's much easier to study huge amounts of information by studying small bits of a time.

    For example, you could write a list of just the domestic beers, and list them according to quality/taste/price/etc. Another list could be the imported wine, or the domestic bourbon, and so on. I know it still seems like a ton of information to remember, but it'll be a lot easier if you can think of several similar items as a group, rather than memorizing each individual thing.

    I'd also recommend that you sample some of the drinks that sound good to you. (Not necessarily while you're studying, though. ;-)) That way you can give some personal feedback to the customer, rather than just vomiting up something you've read. It'll really give the customer more confidence in your advice.

    Kilroy on
  • Options
    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    You're looking at too much. How much time do you have left to study?

    Focus on a single section every day, or two sections every day. Learn about every item in that section, and write a sentence describing every item, from memory, that compares it to at least one other item in the list. For instance, "Murphy's Stout is a stout similar to Guinness, except that it comes from [blank]. They cost the same."

    This assumes of course, that you know what a stout is. But you get my drift. This way you build links between the items in your head and you'll be able to jog your memory under pressure by taking queues from related items.

    And definitely break it down, a lot. Yes there's a lot to learn but you'll never do it if you're looking at the entire list at once.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
  • Options
    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Alright, so far i've covered Whiskies (Irish, American, Canadian), Scotches, Vodka, Bourbon and Cordials. After going over the mess that Cordials was, i've decided to memorize at least half of these. The test that i'll be taking won't require me to know every drink on the list, just enough to know the layout. It'll ask questions like "list 3 American whiskies, 8 scotches, 7 vodkas, etc". My best bet here is that if I can focus on the easy names on the list and study those exclusively I should have a shot at passing this test.

    I've been studying since 10:30 in my timezone, and it's 2:30 right now. I take 15 minute study sessions followed by a five minute break. It's been working so far.

    To answer DrDizaster's question, i've got till 4:00 sunday afternoon to study this stuff. I wasn't able to study it prior to yesterday due to the other server tests I had to take. This is all the time that I have really.

    My cousin will be coming over tonight; he's been a server for a long time, and is really good at what he does. He'll help me out with the common sense side of things, and (hopefully) studying this shit.

    EDIT: Yeah, i've been breaking it down, don't worry. I've simply been writing down certain sections over and over again during the 15 minute intervals. I'll do it a couple of times if necessary, then move on.

    I'll be quizzing myself soon to see how little or how much I remember.

    Godfather on
  • Options
    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    This isn't looking too good for me fellas. I've been breaking it down, writing down sections over and over again, reviewing over prior sections from time to time and I still barely know anything. Am I studying wrong here? I skipped ahead to the second page and moved on to Draft/Imported/Bottled Domestic beer, but it's hard as hell to remember some of the stuff on the front page. On a side note, I don't drink or anything like that, so everything is a goddamn mystery to me at this point.

    I'm running out of time here, and i'm trying to narrow down my options at this point. Suggestions?

    Godfather on
  • Options
    aesiraesir __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Theres no real Wrong way to study. Just concentrate on it. And stay off the net. Just sit down and DO IT.

    (this is why being a busboy at a nice restaraunt is the shit)

    aesir on
  • Options
    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Oh man, you guys are gonna love this.

    So i've been studying that entire goddamn list all day right? Carefully dividing the sections up, studying/writing down the drinks for many hours, seeing no light at the end of the tunnel. Then as I check the curriculum for the next training day, I accidentaly check the previous days list, and lo and behold lies a list of what will exactly be on that test.The response is a mix of joy and anger, as I spent my entire Saturday studying way too much shit but was relieved that I knew what would be on there.

    And then shit hits the fan.

    Looking at day five, it seems that I have a final menu test that the trainer forgot to mention about. The entire fucking menu.

    I could have used the time today to have reviewed over all of the items, but now i've got a little bit of Sunday to pull it off. On top of all of this I still have to take the test that I flunked from day 4.


    Wow. Just wow.


    I'm horrified yet curious to see how this all plays out.

    Godfather on
  • Options
    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I recomend writing a bullet list on each section.

    Then write (i think it works better than typing) a sentance about it. Much like you would phrase it in a sentance like you were being asked about it. (ie Dr's guinness thing)

    Blake T on
  • Options
    EliteLamerEliteLamer __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Why the hell do you have to know where they come from? The best way and what most places do is just let you learn from experience. Honestly, you could be a fucking bartender if you learned all of that. omg 3.50 a beer???? Miller Lite costs the same price as New Castle? Wow, those prices are fucked up.

    EliteLamer on
    SEGA
    p561852.jpg
  • Options
    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    EliteLamer wrote: »
    Why the hell do you have to know where they come from? The best way and what most places do is just let you learn from experience. Honestly, you could be a fucking bartender if you learned all of that. omg 3.50 a beer???? Miller Lite costs the same price as New Castle? Wow, those prices are fucked up.

    Okay, so none of this is helpful at all so I don't want to see a single reply along these lines after my reply here on the matter but I do feel compelled to remark on a few of your statements.

    First, it matters where booze comes from because most variations in liquor are rooted in regional traditions and as such the region a given alcoholic beverage comes from frequently has a significant role to play in the finer nuances of how it will taste. Particularly due to the fact that most liquors made to higher standards of quality and tradition are still made in the place they originate from, for instance, Bacardi rum as compared to an import from Bermuda.

    If you were going to open a rum distillery and you did it outside the tropics, you would be importing your fruit and it wouldn't be fresh and it would have been refrigerated and everything else that alters the flavour for the worse. So people would likely take your rum far less seriously than if you did it properly, in a region with a good tradition of producing good rums.

    This sort of thing is especially important in wine production, but does have very strict relevance to every type of liquor. If you're happy swilling back whatever gets you drunk, good for you, but some of us like to enjoy liquor at a somewhat higher level of appreciation. If you're trying to serve one of us and you don't know the difference between a stout and a lager or between white rum and spice rum and dark rum and you can't make a suggestion based on knowledge of the locale and the basic properties of something we've stated as an old standby, then you're not doing a particularly good job.

    That said, it's hardly a deal breaker for most diners, but all the same, if you're working at a four star restaurant, there are certain expectations of what you'll know.

    Clearly he works for an employer that has no interest in having him learn by trudging along and failing to provide that standard of service for however long it takes him to figure out everything on his own as he goes. Hence, the test.

    I would suggest that explaining that you're not a drinker as a way to qualify your test results might help, but at the end of the day, it wouldn't matter to a restaurant critic if you like booze or not.

    Pheezer on
    IT'S GOT ME REACHING IN MY POCKET IT'S GOT ME FORKING OVER CASH
    CUZ THERE'S SOMETHING IN THE MIDDLE AND IT'S GIVING ME A RASH
Sign In or Register to comment.