Nine things you should know before studying WSET Level 3

It gets competititve

I knew I’d entered a new world of anxiety in lesson three. At Level 2, classmates would talk in low voices and compare their notes as they went. It was an imperfect system, but it was ours.

But this was different. In one lesson, I was stuck on a tasting note for Riesling, which is my Achilles heel. I went into a mini meltdown and all the tasting notes I’d revised evaporated from my memory. Panicked and desperate, and knowing I’d have to think of something to bring up in the group discussion afterward, I tried to casually glance over my shoulder to my neighbour’s sheet of paper (DON’T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT).

My neighbour put her pencil-case between us and obstructed my view.

Like any errant child who hasn’t done their homework, I was outraged. This wasn’t an exam. This wasn’t even meant to be marked at the end. What was her problem? But then it hit me.

First: I’m 25 and need to grow up.

Second: as I’ve said before, you’re expected to complete a minimum 52 hours of revision in your own time. Let’s say you’re a bartender and you’re earning £7 per hour on a zero-hours contract, and you’re self-funding this course. You’ve already spend upwards of £600 enrolling in the first place, and you’re now going to lose more than half of that in potential wages because you need to study. Your time is precious, and so is your fellow oenophile’s. You may be classmates, but you shouldn’t expect people to let you freeload.

Not that I’m bitter or anything.

But remember, you can still be friends. Just don’t act like a kid.

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