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!

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you’re looking to Up Your Wine Game and Drink Better, consider booking a private in-person or virtual wine tasting experience.
Brianne Cohen Wine Educator
Brianne Cohen is a certified sommelier, wine educator, consultant, and writer based out of Los Angeles.

Since March 2020, Brianne has educated and entertained over 5,000 people through her “Virtual Vino” online wine tastings.

Brianne holds the WSET (Wine & Spirits Education Trust) Diploma certificate, one of the most coveted wine certifications in the world. When she’s not helping others Up Their Wine Game, she can be found judging at international wine competitions.

Brianne aims to make wine approachable and conversational, to surprise and delight with unexpected, distinctive wine finds, and to give people knowledge (and confidence) about wine in their everyday lives.

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As a wine writer, I frequently accept samples for review on my  website and on my social media channels. Please contact me at brianne@briannecohen.com to discuss sending samples for review. I promise to always be honorable with the samples. I will evaluate all wines in good tasting settings and with no distractions.

All reviews are my opinions, and mine only. Because of the volume of samples I receive, I cannot promise that all samples received will be reviewed, but I will do my best.

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