How To Prepare For Your WSET Level 3 Exam?

If you are about to take your WSET Level 3 Exam, congratulations! You are about to clear an advanced level qualification for professionals working in the wine industry and enthusiasts. However, the WSET Level 3 Exam is different, in terms of structure from WSET Level 1 and 2. The preparation for this award also requires more time and effort from the candidate. But with a proper strategy, which you can put into effect the day you decide to take up this challenge, the task will seem less intimidating.

I have been associated with Sonal Ma’am since Level 1 and Level 2, and now Level 3 has been a great experience. The interactive offline classes have given me great confidence in my wine knowledge. It is great to be associated with Sonal Holland Wine Academy.       

- Zaosh Irani

Who should take WSET Level 3 Exam?

Before you invest time, hard work and money, you need to understand who is the right candidate for this award. WSET Level 3 Award is for those who want to develop a deeper understanding of the world of wines. This Award primarily focuses on grape growing and winemaking. It gives you all the knowledge that you need to be able to assess and explain the style and quality of a wine with precision. Upon successful completion, you will receive a WSET certificate and a lapel pin. You will also be able to use the associated WSET-certified logo.

The course consists of two units. In Unit 1, you’ll study the key factors in the production of wine (such as location, grape growing, winemaking, maturation and bottling) and how they influence the key characteristics in still, sparkling and fortified wines. Unit 2 will teach you how to apply the Systematic Approach to Tasting Wine (SAT) to taste wines, describe their characteristics and evaluate their quality. Unit 1 will be assessed by a closed-book exam consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions and a short-written answer paper. Unit 2 will be assessed by a blind tasting of two wines.

Also Read: Everything You Need To Know About Chardonnay

How Is WSET Level 3 Exam Different?

This Award requires a minimum study time of 84 hours, including 30 hours of classroom or online delivery time with a WSET courses provider. While WSET Level 1 and 2 exams only consist of multiple-choice questions, Level 3 will require you to pass a blind-tasting exam and a short written answers test as well. Candidates need to pass all three to earn the certification. Since it involves the blind tasting of an alcoholic beverage you should be of the legal drinking age in your country while undertaking this exam.

Tips To Prepare For WSET Level 3 Exam

The addition of blind tasting and written exam means that your previous preparation strategy will only work partially for WSET Level 3. Here are some tips that can come in handy:

  • Get cracking on the course material: The preparation for your theoretical exam should start as early as possible. So don’t stall ordering your course material, and as soon as you get it, start going through it. Getting a hang of course material will also give you an idea about the language and writing style for your short answers.
  • Time Management: The WSET Level 3 exam’s theory paper will consist of both MCQs and short written answers. With WSET Level 2 exams you gained the experience of attempting 50 MCQs in 60 minutes, however, in WSET Level 3, you’ll have to solve the same number of MCQs and attempt short answer questions in 120 minutes. Proper time management will help ensure that you can spend enough time on your answers, ramp up the rate at which you solve MSQs. The only way to do this is to practice MCQ test papers and time yourselves. Also Read: 5 Tips To Grow Your Career In Wine
  • Participate in Blind Tastings: Take part in as many blind tastings as possible, to get a feel of what it’s like to apply all the theoretical knowledge that you have gained so far. If you have some fellow applicants living in the same city, you can pool resources with them and organise a tasting for yourself. Sharing observations with each other will also help you better your tasting strategy.

Here are some additional tips for your theoretical exam:

  1. Write your answers in short sentences that are easy to understand and evaluate. Pay attention to what the key terms used in the questions are. For instance, words like  describe, explain, define etc., all need you to approach the question differently and will affect your score.
  2. Give plenty of examples with your answers
  3. Spare a few minutes towards the end to revise your answers and ensure that you haven’t missed out on any important points
  4. Thoroughly practice the SAT structure for the blind-tasting exam
  5. Memories the wording for SAT and only use terms mentioned in the guidelines to describe the wines. For example, if you say light finish for a wine with short finish- the correct terminology, then your answer will be judged as incorrect.

Click here: To Enrol for WSET Level Award in Wines with the Sonal Holland Wine Academy.

Originally published 24th August, 2023

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