Got WSET 3 tasting exams coming your way? Here is how to pass!
1- Know the grade scale and use it well
You will have to taste 1 white wine (on 20 points) and 1 red wine (on 21 points) in 30min. There are some criteria that only give you 1 point whereas others give you 5 points…
Here is the breakdown of all the points that you can get on the tasting exam:
Appearance – only assess Intensity + Colour
Clarity – 0
Intensity – 1
Colour – 1
Other observations – 0
Nose – only assess Intensity + Aroma characteristics + Development
Condition – 0
Intensity – 1
Aroma characteristics – 5 (that is where you want to spend the most time!)
Development – 1
Palate – assess everything except for Mousse
Sweetness – 1
Acidity – 1
Tannin – 0 for white wine / 1 for red wine
Alcohol – 1
Body – 1
Intensity – 1
Flavour characteristics – 3 (just write the exact same characteristics that you wrote on the nose!)
Finish – 1
Conclusion – no need to explain your assessment or find the grape variety/region/country
Quality level – 1
Potential for ageing – 1
2- Know the SAT by heart for your WSET 3 tasting exams
Yes, by heart! The more you memorize all the elements of the SAT before the exam, the more you will be able to focus on your tasting (instead of trying to remember what you have to assess…)! You have almost no information on your exam paper. So when the exam starts, I advice you to write all the elements that you have to assess on your draft. Here you make sure that you will not forget anything that will cost you less points on your grade! Also, knowing the vocabulary of the wine aromas will help you spend less time figuring out what you smell.
3- Practice on the typical wines
There is no tricky bit in the WSET exams. You will only get typical examples of the wines you’ve studied during the course. So make sure you have tasted a few samples that are representative of each appellation!
4- Write dry tasting notes for each style of wine you see in the theory part
Before tasting any wine, ensure you know how a wine is supposed to be! When you have read your chapter on the Loire Valley, write tasting notes for a typical Sancerre for example. Then get to the tasting and see if it matches your notes! My wine tasting flashcards will help you in this matter!
5- Be in the perfect conditions for your exam day
Exams are stressful. And stress is not what you need to get a pass! So try to minimize your sources of stress (news, TV,…) and increase your sources of relaxation (meditation, yoga,…). Getting rid of any stress will help you focus on your exam. In the same vein, avoid anything that’ll disturb your perceptions on the exam day: no spicy food/coffee/smoking/perfume… Eat as neutral food as possible!
6- Book your coaching session with me to pass your WSET 3 tasting exams!
I offer one-on-one online sessions to help you prep as well as possible for your exam day We cover all the requirements, how to assess the wine properly, the reasoning, time management, tastings,… and more! Check out the details here!
And here is how to nail your WSET 3 tasting exams! Now I wanna hear from you.
How are you preparing for your tasting exams?
Let me know in the comments below!
P.S.: If you’ve got WSET 3 exams coming your way, don’t forget to book your one-on-one online coaching session with here!
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