WSET Diploma Unit 3 Exam
Unit 3, Light wines of the world, is graded by a day-long exam. The dates are set by WSET -- usually the second Tuesday in January and the second Tuesday in June. Our Unit 3 classes run from January through May, so we always offer the exam on the June date. We may also offer the exam on the January date, provided we have at least six people willing to take the exam.
The schedule for the day-long exam usually is:
10 to 11 a.m.- Tasting of 6 wines, three white, three red. One set of three wines will be from the same grape variety; the other set of three wines will have a "common factor" relating to, for example, the climate they come from or some common factor of vinification or maturation. You will get most available points from your description of the wines and some additional points from correctly picking the common grape/factor.
11-11:30 - Break
11:30-12:30- Tasting of 6 wines, three white, three red. One set of three wines will be "partly specified," i.e. you will be told "all of these wines are..." and you will have to describe them, with particular attention to their relative quality levels. The other set of three wines will be "unspecified" -- they could be any wines from anywhere in the world.
12:30-1:30- Lunch (we often supply lunch)
1:30-4:30- Theory exam (we may supply coffee and tea in the afternoon to help you stay awake). There will be seven essay or short-answer questions. One question will be mandatory. You will have your choice of answering four of the six other questions. Some of the questions will require an essay format; others will indicate that an essay format "is not required." For all of the questions it is important to stick to the exact question -- you can't "b.s." on these essays. The grader for a question will have a marking key listing all facts directly answering that question, and will check off those facts that appear in your answer. If you decide to answer the question you wish had been asked rather than the question that actually has been asked, whole paragraphs of your answer may be irrelevant to your grade, no matter how factually accurate those paragraphs may be.
The afternoon essay questions and the identity of the wines will be posted on the WSET website two days after the exam is given.