If you are sitting the WSET Level 3 Award in Wines and need online resources to help you pass, we are here to help. We have created a series of materials to helps students to pass their exams using the powerful active recall method of learning.
Everyone studies differently, but in general, most of those who answer questions as they read, will greatly improve their recall of facts, and ensure they understand concepts. We know our system works because in 2020 we had a student pass rate of 82%, this is very high compared to the average 60% pass rate for most providers of the WSET L3 wine course. Our process is very simple but incredibly powerful in preparing you for the WSET Level 3 theory exam.
For each chapter do the following:
Find out what you need to learn. Read and highlight the appropriate section in the specification.
Each chapter is divided into sections.
Read the first section, highlighting anything you think is important, based on the specification.
Use our Flash Cards for that section with the text book in front of you.
Repeat the above, reading each section until the chapter is complete.
Make a note of things you do not understand.
Attend class, ask questions about things you still don't understand.
Go back through the Flash Cards with the book open in front of you, refer to the text book if you want. As you go rate each card. Most of the flash cards have a default of 'medium'. Adjust the difficulty level of each card, based on your experience.
From time to time go through the chapters using the Flash Cards.
Do our mid-course Mock Exams, after day 3 on a 6 day course (up to Chapter 31)
When you have completed the whole course attempt our three full Mock Exams.
We believe that having to recall facts you have just read means you are more likely to store the information in long term memory, rather than purely reading, which tends to be stored in short term memory. We have provided two tools, Exam Practice Questions and Flash Cards to markedly improve your exam scores. The flash cards help you learn the facts in the course and, with over 2,400 cards, we've got all of these facts covered. Our exam style questions test facts but also concepts. To do well in the Level 3 theory exam you must have excellent recall of both facts and concepts. This type of learning is recommended by leading educators around the world.
It is important to read the specification, this is something many students don't do but is invaluable for two reasons: The WSET Level 3 text book has a lot of additional information that will not be covered in the exam, knowing what to focus on can save a lot of time. It has been shown that if people are primed about important information they are more likely to remember it when they see it.
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 6 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 book and have done most of your study before starting the course.
Over 6 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 hours study to successfully complete the full programme. The hours will usually be a combination of tutored study and private, home study time. They recommend the teaching delivery time is not less than 28 hours. ThirtyFifty's course timings are from 8.45am to 5.30pm on 6 Saturdays or Mondays, once a week with the exam on the afternoon of Day 6.
Over 500 multi-choice & short written answer questions to help you pass the WSET L3 Award in Wines, available for £20.
The exam comprises two units. Unit One - The Theory of Wines 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 Theory of Wines of the World
The Theory of Wines of the World is divided into two parts. Part One comprises 50 multi-choice questions which will assess your knowledge and understanding across the the subject. Part Two is a paper requiring short written answers consisting of four questions, each worth 25 marks. The paper is 2 hours long, with a pass mark of 55% required in both parts to achieve a pass.
This consists of two blind wines where you will have to use the Systematic Approach to Tasting. The paper is 30 minutes long, with a pass mark of 55%.
Below are the results you can achieve and the marks required.
80% and above
Pass with Merit
Between 65% and 79%
Between 55% and 64%
Between 45% and 54%
44% and below
We have written over 500 WSET L3 Exam Practice Questions. Some can be done as you do the course, others are more exam-like, with a mini exam on approximately two fifths into the course for you to get a feel for exam style questions. Once you have completed your exam prep.
Unit 1 Theory Exam Technique
The Unit 1 exam comprises 50 multi-choice questions and four short written answer questions, all within 2 hours. The multi-choice questions are worth one mark each and the four short answers are worth 25 marks each. You should allocate approximately a third of your time or 40 minutes to the multi-choice paper and 20 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 on 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 multi-choice 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 do not manage to pass the paper the first time with ThirtyFifty, there is the opportunity to resit the exam with us for a fee of £90 for one paper or £110 for both papers. The exam date would be the next available course with the exam being held on the final day of the course.