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WSET Level 3 Help & Support

If you are sitting the WSET Level 3 and need online resources to help you pass, we are here to help. We have gathered all the information we can that may assist you in your studies, including podcasts with interviews and key course material, examiners reports and links to other online resources. While we would like to say that passing the WSET Level 3 could be put down to your tutor, at the end of the day, passing is more down to you, the student, than your tutor. The WSET course book "Wines and Spirits, Understanding style and quality" contains all the information required to pass the course. However, using the study guide and specification and knowing where the marks are awarded can help students to maximise their grade, moving up from a Pass to a Pass with Merit or Distinction. The following sections contain all the latest information to help you pass your Level 3 exam with flying colours!

 

Course Structures

There are different courses available which run across a number of consecutive days or weeks; below are some of the options and pros/cons:

Over 5 Consecutive Days

While popular, this course can prove too intense for some people. You can cover all the material but you must study each evening and risk studying with the effects of residual alcohol in your blood from the tasting that day (even when spitting, the body absorbs alcohol from your cheeks). We (Chris & Jane Scott) did of course spit when we did our WSET Level 3 over 5 consecutive days and it was tough. Best for those who are in a hurry and can give 100% focus to the course. Make sure before the course you have read the entire text bok and have done most of your study before starting the course.

Over 5 Consecutive Weeks, 1 Day a Week

This is the ThirtyFifty preferred way of presenting the Level 3 course material. The WSET recommend that you study for a minimum of 84 study to successfully complete the full programme. The hours will usually be a combination of tutored study and private study time. They recommend the teaching delivery time is not less than 28 hours. ThirtyFifty's course timings are from 10.00am to 5.30pm on 5 Saturdays, once a week.

WSET Level 3 Interviews and Pre-Course Prep

We prefer to run the course one day a week for five weeks. This gives students time to study and prepare for the course. Many of our students want to be prepared for the first day. We recommend that they listen to the interviews below. If you are doing five days then to be ready for the first day we suggest you listen to the following Key topics (Key topics have the Title "WSET Level 3 ......" more related topics are optional and for the dedicated.

  • Introduction
  • Wine Tasting and the Systematic Approach to Tasting
  • Factors Influencing The Style of Wine

WSET Level 3 SAT

The Systematic approach to tasting is an essential document to prepare you for your first tasting exam. Get the WSET Level 3 SAT

WSET require specific language when writing a tasting note. It is essential that you use this language and comment on all parts of the SAT.

Many of the interviews are from the UK Wine Show a weekly podcast produced by Chris Scott, who has been interviewing many leading wine figures since 2006.

Interviews you can simply play.

Below are a series of interviews designed to help students of the WSET Level 3. You can download the series as a podcast feed below or you can listen to the individual interivews.

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WSET Level 3 Introduction

WSET Level 3 Introduction

Welcome, We hope this audio guide will help you in preparing for your Level 3 exam. There are two types of files. Key files with the heading starting Level 3 .... Related Interviews are extra interviews on the topic but may include additional informaiton not required to pass the course.
More information »

WSET's Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting

WSET's Level 3 Systematic Approach to Tasting

The Level 3 SAT builds on the Level 2. We talk with Godfrey Spence about what is new. You may want to listen to the Level 2 SAT below before hand if you want to brush up. It is best listened to with the SAT sheet and a glass of wine to hand.
More information »

More related interviews

Jamie Goode on wine faults

Jamie Goode is an expert in the science of winemaking. His book Wine Science provides an indepth reference for wine producers across a range of issues. In this interview we explore common wine faults such as Brettanomyces and volatile acidity.
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WSET Level 2 Wine Tasting and the Systematic Approach to Tasting

WSET have formalised how to taste wine using the Systematic Approach to Tasting (SAT). We talk with Godfrey Spence on how to taste wines the WSET SAT way. It is best listened to with a glass of red wine in front of you.
More information »

Burgundy Overview with Olivier Normand

Burgundy Overview with Olivier Normand

Olivier Normand is a Burgundy courtier who acts as the export department for many small growers. Olivier gives us an overview of the region and the appellation system.
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More related interviews

Chablis with Nathalie and Gilles Fevre of Domaine Fevre

Nathalie and Gilles Fevre are the owners of Domaine Fevre in Chablis. We find out about the region and the wines of this famous French appellation.
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Burgundy with Pierre Boillot

Domaine Lucien Boillot is a wine estate in Burgundy producing wine in Gevrey-Chambertin, Pommard and Volnay. We find out about the different styles of Pinot Noir.
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Beaujolais Nouveau with Christophe Coquard

We talk with Christophe Coquard about Beaujolais Nouveau, the region, grape varieties and some of the unique methods in making Beaujolais Nouveau.
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Cru Beaujolais with Christophe Coquard

In this show this week we talk to Christophe about the 12 appellations of Beaujolais with a focus on the 10 Cru Beaujolais, the highest category of classification in the region.
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Italian wine with Ian D'Agata

Italian wine with Ian D'Agata

Ian D'Agata is an expert on regional Italian food and wine and managing director of the International Wine Academy of Rome. Ian gives an overview of the regions and key grape varieties to help get our heads around Italian wine.
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More related interviews

Barolo with Enrico Rivetto

The Rivetto family began producing wine in 1902 in the province of Piedmont in North West Italy. In this second interview with Enrico Rivetto we find out more about his Barolo wines.
More information »

Piedmont with Enrico Rivetto

The Rivetto family began producing wine in 1902 in the province of Piedmont in North West Italy. In this third and final interview with Enrico Rivetto we find out more about the Piedmont region.
More information »

Level 3 Central Italy

We talk with winemaker and writer Monty Walden about some of the regions in Central Italy. We also talk about the common use of French grapes in Tuscan wines and the Brunello di Montalcino, where the wines must be 100% Sangiovese.
More information »

Study Planning

The minimum home study time that the WSET recommend is 56 hours. We recommend the following study planning:

The exam comprises 50 multi-choice questions. The breakdown of how points are allocated is shown in page 23 of the specification, and you should use this as the basis for determining your study time allocation.

Link to Study Notes

TippleTips has written a great starting place for your revision with two excellent documents. An overview of the wine regins and key study notes. While we are aware of a couple of minor mistakes they are a great place to start. WSET Study Notes

Flash Study Cards

If Flash cards are more your thing then Cram have a number of flash cards based around the WSET L3 material. Again there is material that is not in the exam and minor errors but this is an excellent way to cram. WSET Study Flash Cards

WSET Wine Game App

The WSET has created an App to help students learn the key wine producing wine regions in the world. We have reviewd the App here. You can down load the App from the Apple store here. Sorry, no Android version yet.

Exam

The exam comprises two units. Unit One The Thoery of wines and Spirits of the World. Unit Two The Analytical Tasting of Wine. You must pass both units to gain the Level 3 certificate. However if you fail one paper you only need to re-sit the failed paper

Unit One - The Thoery of wines and Spirits of the World

The Theory of Wines and Spirits of the World is divided into two parts, a 50 multi-choice questions which will assess knowledge and understanding across the the subject. Part two is a paper requiring short written answers consisting of four question each worth 24 marks. The paper is 1 hour 45 minutes long. with a pass mark of 55% required in both parts to achive a pass.

Unit Two The Analytical Tasting of Wine

This consists of two blind wines where you will have to use the Systematic approcah to tasting. The paper is 30 minutes long. with a pass mark of 55%.

Below are the results you can attend and the marks required.

Commendation Mark
Distinction 80% and above
Pass with Merit Between 65% and 79%
Pass Between 55% and 64%
Fail Between 45% and 54%
Fail unclassified 44% and below

Mock Exam

Once you have completed your exam prep you can try a mock exam. Make sure you have plenty of time to learn from the types of questions to improve your study.

WSET Level 3 Unit 1 Multiple choice Practice Exam Questions WSET Level 3 Unit 1 Multiple choice Practice Exam Answers
WSET Level 3 Unit 1 Short Answer Practice Exam Questions WSET Level 3 Unit 1 Short Answer Practice Exam Answers
WSET Level 3 Unit 2 Wine Tasting Exam form

Unit 1 Theory Exam Technique

The Unit 1 exam comprises 50 multi-choice question, and four short written answers. The milichoice questions are worth one mark each and the four short answers are worth 24 marks each. You should allow approxiatly 1/3rd of your time or 30 minutes to the multichoice paper and 17 minutes to each of the short answer questions. From experience, students who have adequately prepared and are used to sitting exams can finish the Level 3 exam in time, so timing is not normally an issue. However, if it has been a while since you sat a test, English is not your first language, or you have struggled to keep up with your studies then following some simple steps can radically improve your chances of passing.

We think it is best to make multiple passes through the exam paper. Some questions you will know the answer straight away. Others maybe 50:50 and some will be 'I have no idea but I may be able to work it out'. We suggest the following exam technique:

Go through and answer all the questions you are certain about. Questions you are unsure fill in the answer sheet with your best guess (you can change it later on if needed), but if you run out of time at least you have an guess. Do not get bogged down at this point any question you are unsure of mark the exam question sheet with a ? margin. Also mark the question paper with basic notes on the question sheet to help you later on, such as a light line through obviously wrong answers or underline a key point.

Every 10 questions check that the number you are filling in aligns with the question (yes I have made this mistake and this check has saved me from a disaster!).

After your first cut through, move onto the short answer questions. Aim to allow 15 minutes per question. If you have time go back through the multichoice questions you marked with a ? Read the question carefully and cross out answers you know are wrong. Make sure the exam reflects the best answer you can.

If you still have time go back through your short answer questions. read the question carefully and check your answer reflects the question.

Finally, make a final pass through the short questions not marked with a "?". Often silly mistakes can be spotted in the answers you were most confident about.

If you run out of time at least you would have given your best answers you can and have at least given a guess for all questions.

Unit 2 Tasting Exam Technique

The Unit 2 exam comprises of a blind tasting of two wines.

If you have done your tasting with ThirtyFifty then the extra document Decoding the WSET SAT will mean you should know the examiners marking criteria in detail. Other APP's may have there own methods of commuinicating this.

Aromas

Many students have not had there ability to smell examined before. They are of course very nervous about this. Please remember that aromas & flavour characters are 5 marks for red wines or 6 marks for white wines marks out of 25. This is important but manageable. Focus on the easy 19-21 marks. Remember that unless you have abused the system there are not negative marks for writing too much. For example if you think the wines smells of red fruits but you are not 100% certain, then don't panic list all the likely red fruits. This is acceptable. Note the examiner needs to alert the examining body if we think the student is simply guessing randomly

Other Levels

If you have sat the course with ThirtyFifty you will know exactly how we will mark based on measurable values in our Decoding the WSET Level 3 SAT. Otherwise it is essential to make sure that you have worked out how your examiner tastes. The text book does not give explicit values for many parts of the SAT. This is sensible, for example different countries may have different price levels so a book designed for multiple countries can not reflect a single country. However we are aware that in some instance where multiple tutors teach a single group and they have differing views. This can create a lot of uncertainly about exact levels. So where a number of course experts assist in the tutoring it is essential you match your tasting values against the examiners.

Resit Fees

If you do not manage to pass the paper the first time either with ThirtyFifty or another provider, we do allow students to resit the exam with us for a fee of 100. The dates below are the next available courses with the exam being held on the final day of the course. Dates for the first half of 2016 will be released in October 2015.

WSET Level 3 - London Dates

We run regular WSET courses in London and from time to time in other locations in the UK. Below are forthcoming dates:

Date Tasting Location Availability Price
Mon, 5 Jun 2017
Mon, 12 Jun 2017
Mon, 19 Jun 2017
Mon, 26 Jun 2017
Mon, 3 Jul 2017
WSET Level 3 Award in Wine, 5 Day courseBrowns, St Martin's Lane
WC2N 4AA
5 places left £629
Buy
Tue, 22 Aug 2017
Tue, 29 Aug 2017
Tue, 5 Sep 2017
Tue, 12 Sep 2017
Tue, 19 Sep 2017
WSET Level 3 Award in Wine, 5 Day courseThe Double Tree by Hilton London Greenwich
SE10 8FR
15 places left £629
Buy
Sat, 30 Sep 2017
Sat, 7 Oct 2017
Sat, 14 Oct 2017
Sat, 21 Oct 2017
Sat, 28 Oct 2017
WSET Level 3 Award in Wine, 5 Day courseThe Double Tree by Hilton London Greenwich
SE10 8FR
12 places left £629
Buy

The start time is 8:30am for a prompt 8:45am start.