Frequently Asked Questions about the WSET

How can achieving WSET certification help me?
The WSET is recognized worldwide as a preeminent wine and spirits educational program offered in 26 countries and holding 11,000 certification exams yearly. Employers worldwide recognize the thorough and rigorous curriculum of WSET and honor its certifications as a basis for promotion and advancement within the hospitality and beverage industries.

How does it differ from other programs?
This program is more structured with a complete curriculum and texts from foundations to advanced levels. Most other certification programs offer self study courses. This is a 4 tiered program beginning with Foundations and proceeding to Intermediate, Advanced and the Diploma courses. In the UK, only those with the Diploma are eligible to sit for the Master of Wine exam.

If I already know something about wine, should I start at the foundations level?
The Foundations level is geared towards the novice in the Hospitality and retail trade and is basically a one full day course. If you think you know a fair amount about wine, we recommend that you take the Intermediate Certificate level course because each level covers a broad range of topics and information with depth of detail and level of understanding increasing at each level. The WSET curriculum also covers areas which most students are not familiar with, such as Central and South Eastern Europe, and Beer and Spirits production as well as detailed information on viticulture and vinification. Mastery of the information and skills acquired at the Intermediate level is significant for success in the advanced course.

How long are the courses offered?
The Intermediate course is 9 weeks long, meeting once a week. We are offering the Intermediate course 3 times this academic year. The classes begin at 7:00pm and last 2.5 hours. The Advanced Certificate level lasts for 15 weeks beginning January 20, 2009.

What is included in the cost of the courses?
The cost includes lectures, wine tastings, text book and supplementary study guides, examination fees and parking at our facility. Glassware is provided.

What are the requirements for passing the WSET levels?
At the Intermediate level there is a 50 "question multiple choice exam, covering all aspects of wine, beer and spirit production.. For the Advanced level there is a 60 question multiple choice exam, a written short essay component with 4 parts and a tasting component. A passing grade constitutes 56% or higher, with 70% or above garnering "Pass with Merit" and 86% or higher awarding "Pass with Distinction." Candidates in the advanced program must achieve consistent scoring in all sections of the exam to qualify.

How do I find out the results of the certification test?
As it is the most rigorous examination format, all tests go to the UK. Usually it takes a month for the Intermediate level and 6 to 8 weeks to receive the certificates and pins for the Advanced level.