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WSET Level 2 Help & Support

If you are sitting the WSET Level 2 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 2 could be put down to your tutor (ThirtyFifty had a 100% pass rate in the 2012/2013 stats report), at the end of the day, passing is more down to you, the student, than your tutor. The WSET course book "Wines and Spirits, Looking Behind the Label" 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 2 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 3 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 2 over 3 consecutive days and it was tough. Best for those who are in a hurry and can give 100% focus to the course.

Over 3 Consecutive Weeks, 1 Day a Week

This is the ThirtyFifty preferred way of presenting the Level 2 course material. The WSET recommend that you study for a minimum of 28 hours 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 16 hours. ThirtyFifty's course timings are usually from 9.00am to 5.00pm on 3 Saturdays, once a week.

WSET Level 2 Interviews and Pre-Course Prep

We prefer to run the course one day a week for three 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 three days then to be ready f the first day we suggest you listen to the following Key topics (Key topics have the Title "WSET Level 2 ......" more related topics are optional and for the dedicated.

  • Introduction
  • Wine Tasting and the Systematic Approach to Tasting
  • Factors Influencing The Style of Wine
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Noir
  • Burgundy and Beaujolais

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 2. You can download the series as a podcast feed below or you can listen to the individual interivews.

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WSET Level 2 Introduction

WSET Level 2 Introduction

Welcome, We hope this audio guide will help you in preparing for your Level 2 exam. There are two types of files. Key files with the heading starting WSET L2 .... Related Interviews are extra interviews on the topic but may include additional informaiton not required to pass the course.
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WSET Level 2 Wine Tasting and the Systematic Approach to Tasting

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.
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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 Factors Influencing The Style of Wine

WSET Level 2 Factors Influencing The Style of Wine

Wine is a product of the soil, climate, viticulturist (wine growing) and vinification (wine making) practices. Each has its own influence on the style of the wine producers.
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More related interviews

Sioban Harnett Viticulturist at Cloudy Bay Part 1

Sioban Harnett is the viticulturist at Cloudy Bay, New Zealand's iconic winery. We talk about the different jobs of a viticulturist throughout the growing season.
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Mariela Molinari of Catena on altitude effects on wine

Bodega Catena Zapata has high elevation vineyards in Mendoza, Argentina producing world-class wines. We spoke to Mariela Molinari, assistant winemaker, to find out how altitude affects wine.
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Jamie Goode Grape Biology Overview

Jamie Goode is a wine writer and leading wine blogger with a PhD in plant biology. In this interview Jamie gives us an overview of grape vine biology.
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WSET Level 2 Chardonnay

WSET Level 2 Chardonnay

Jancis Robinson described Chardonnay as the tart of the grape world, as it would lie down anywhere and do what the winemaker told it to do! We find out how this flexible quality variety can make a huge range of wines in a huge range of claimtes
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WSET Level 2 Burgundy and Beaujolais

WSET Level 2 Burgundy and Beaujolais

In this series of Short interviews we find out about the key regions in Burgundy and the different grape varieties and style of wine produced in Beaujolais.
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More related interviews

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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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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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.
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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.
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WSET Level 2 Sherry

WSET Level 2 Sherry

Sherry is a fortified wine, find out what fortification is and how the two key styles of Sherry can be the base for a number of different sherry styles.
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More related interviews

Gonzalez Byass and Fino Sherry with Jeremy Rockett

We speak to Jeremy Rockett marketing director of Gonzalez Byass, about Gonzalez Byass and fino Sherry.
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Different styles of Sherry with Jeremy Rockett of Gonzalez Byass

We speak to Jeremy Rockett, marketing director of Gonzalez Byass, about some of the different styles of Sherry and how they are made.
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WSET L2 Port

WSET L2 Port

Port is a traditional fortified wine from the Douro Portugal, but depending upon the quality of grapes and the ageing process, there are a number of different styles that can be produced. We explore the styles and how they taste.
More information »

More related interviews

Taylor's Port with Rod Smith MW, Mentzendorff

Rod Smith MW explains the different port styles made by top producer Taylor's and how to store and serve it. We taste Taylor's 1985 Vintage Port to discover how it has aged over the past 21 years.
More information »

Study Planning

The minimum home study time that the WSET recommend is 12 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.

Before Day 1

After Day 1

  • Read the study guide.
  • Day 1 Notes: Read the relevant sections, making notes.
  • Day 1 Test: After each section do the questions in the Study Guide.
  • Day 2 Prep: Read the relevant sections of the book, making notes.

After Day 2

  • Day 3 Prep: Read the relevant sections, making notes.
  • Exam Prep: Review all your notes.
  • Go though the Study Guide making sure your notes include all terms and descriptions.

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.


The exam comprises 50 multi-choice questions with a pass mark of 55%. Below are the results you can attend and the marks required.

Commendation Mark
Distinction 85% and above
Pass with Merit Between 70% and 84%
Pass Between 55% and 69%
Fail Between 45% and 54%
Fail unclassified 44% and below

WSET Level 2 Sample Practice Exam Questions

Once you have completed your exam prep you can try a Sample Questions from Practice exam and mock exam answers. We suggest you do not do this until you have finished reading the book and made notes. The results can help you focus on the areas you struggle with.

Exam Technique

The exam comprises 50 multi-choice questions with a pass mark of 55%. From experience, students who have adequately prepared and are used to sitting exams can finish the Level 2 exam in 40-50 minutes, 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). 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, go back through the 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.

Make a final pass through all questinos 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.

2012-2013 Examiners Report Summary

The examiner felt that Sparkling and fortified wine section was poorly answered by students, quoting the examiner: "I must again report that too many students are struggling to correctly answer questions on fortified and sparkling wines...the questions are no harder than other subject areas and so the low pass rates indicate that students are not learning this area of the specification."

Resit Fees

If you do not manage to pass the paper the first time either with ThirtyFifty or another provider, we do allow additional students to resit the exam with us for a fee of £70. The dates below are the next available courses with the exam being held on the final day of the course. Dates for the second half of 2014 will be released after March 2014.