Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Exam Results Are Here!

After 12 LONG weeks waiting for my test results, they are here!

Let's recap. In June of 2015 I embarked on a 2-year adventure known as the WSET Diploma program. This program consisted of 20 in-person classes, 6 exams, and 1 research paper on topics including the wine business, viticulture (grape growing), vinification (winemaking), spirits, fortified wines, sparkling wines, and still wines of the world. Leading up to the last exam on June 14 I passed all 5 exams I attempted and passed the research paper. Only 1 exam separated me from my WSET Diploma certification: the dreaded Unit 3 exam. This exam is (roughly) 4x the size of the other exams. It consists of 12 blind tastings and 5 essay questions. However hard you think this exam is, I'd say to multiply that by about 5. It's an unreasonable amount of information to prepare for and to retain for this one exam.

Over the last 5 years the average pass rate on the theory portion is 48% and 70% for the tasting portion.  See HERE for my impressions immediately after the exam.  I didn't state it in the blog post, but my gut was that I passed the tasting portion (that was the easy part, right?).  I wasn't so sure about the theory exam.  That one was a doozy and everyone will admit is the more difficult of the 2 exams. 

Here we are and yesterday I receive an email with the subject line: WSET Diploma-Unit 3 Exam Results.  YIKES!!  I didn't even blink, take a breath, or think, I just clicked "open". 

If you are reading this email, this means that you passed the theory paper you took for Unit 3 last June.  Unfortunately you did NOT pass the tasting portion of the exam.

Wow, really?  I was SO happy, yet so bummed.  I managed to pass the more difficult part of the exam yet fail the easier part?  How is this possible?!?!?  I didn't know whether to cry or jump for joy.  I've had a few hours to process this and I can say that I am VERY relieved.  The theory portion of the exam is a monster.  I put in over 300 hours of theory study alone and only had to use about 5% of my knowledge for the exam.  On the other hand, the tasting exam is straight-forward.  I just need to taste more...bottom line.  If I taste more, and practice ONLY in exam conditions, I am sure to pass. No doubt.

That's where I am.  I'm incredibly proud of how far I have come.  And believe it or not, I look forward to immersing myself in tasting over the next few months and tacking the last, and final tasting exam that separates me from my WSET Diploma certification.

Stay tuned as I decide when to take the re-sit of my tasting exam.  Cheers and thank you to all the support from family, friends, and you, my readers.  Every note of support and encouragement is greatly appreciated!


  1. I will taste wine with you anytime

  2. Let me know when you're tasting -- I need to stay in tasting shape!

  3. Congratulations lady. You rocked the hardest party. You will get that tasting part too.

  4. Way to go on the hard part - now the fun part is practicing up for the tasting again. You can do it. #gogetit