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WSET Diploma, module D3 semester 2

Has anyone in the Community done WSET Diploma D3 “Wines of the world” please? I am embarking on it later this year all being well and was wondering whether anyone who has done the module has any tips, advice, guidance please?
I know that WSET have revised the Diploma but I expect that this module may not be much different from previous years. I know that it is very large in scope!
Thanks

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Good luck Andrew with Unit 3…what a monster. I took it about 18 months ago, not sure if the format has changed since then. I tried to give myself as much time as possible…I think I started 3-4 months before the exam, going through each of the keywords for each region/country and building up a ‘library’ of information. That took me about a month and was actually an interesting process. I purchased many of the books in the bibliography but in fairness only read key sections as I just didn’t have the time to read cover to cover…the Oxford Companion being the Bible and then anything else is ‘fluff’. I then broke the remaining time down into a revision schedule and worked through it, probably 1-2 hours a day. I then revisited the more ‘important’ regions again nearer to the exam. I guess it depends on how you revise…my long term memory is fairly c**p so I tend to remember stuff nearer to exam day
Lastly is just to remember all the viticulture and vinification stuff and bring the whole lot together! I wish you the best of luck on your journey.

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Thanks DJB79, that is very helpful. I have completed D1 and D2 although exams have been postponed, in the mock papers some of the examiners comments were odd and some of the questions were not brilliantly phrased and on occasions ambiguous! Starting D4 (sparkling wines) next month.
One point is that to date I have done the course online and have concluded that is really not the best way…

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Hi Andrew, I’m also embarking on D3 later in the year, I was able to take D1 & D2 examinations and successfully passed them but my D4 & D5 exams for June 9th are postponed until October some time . Have you read the examiners report on D1 & D2? It’s pretty scathing to be fair. The whole dip process has been changed from September 2019 which is why D1 is now essay type questions . The D1 fail rate was around 55% and 62% for D2 .
I’m doing block release in Edinburgh but we still have to hear plans for later in the year ! There is a fairly useful Facebook group diploma group , I’ll pm you the details a bit later on. Maybe we can help each other through this . :wink:

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Hi Andrew, think we’re probably in the same boat right now! I began my course in April (it was postponed a little due to Covid 19 and has all been undertaken online). Did you start in January?

I have to say that the amount of reading even for D1 has been pretty intimidating! Although I guess it’ll be good training for the beast that is D3

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Hi Andrew. I totally agree that some of the WSET questions can be less than clear at best. I did mine via the West of England wine school which was excellent. I imagine online can be challenging especially around the tasting element? That is what we focused on most in class as the theory was very much self driven

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Thanks Rosie, yes I started D1 in January and finished D2 a few weeks ago.

Hi Leah
Thanks, yes I did read examiners’ reports and they always focus on two shortcomings. The first is that candidates frequently don’t put in enough detail and secondly often do not read the question properly. As regards the latter I have helped a few students with history exam technique. My first piece of advice is always look at the verb in the question because that is what the examiner wants you to do.
I look forward to getting the details on a PM. Always happy to help!

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I’m afraid I can’t offer any golden bullet in terms of unit 3 success but when it comes to studying the topics and revision then the unit
specification is your friend. With such a massive amount to learn it helps with discipline to have the list of Wine Companion entries always at hand. Check them off as you progress.
As you go you get into a bit of a rhythm extracting the useful info for each topic, which speeds the process up. I hate ending up with a sea of black ink to look back at so made lots of mind maps with colour and illustrations.
The classroom sessions for unit 3 rattle along quite fast so don’t be surprised if you find yourself teaching yourself things from the book for the first time!

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There isn’t a book anymore :wink:

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Whoops! Sorry, I wasn’t very clear… I meant the Oxford Companion a.k.a. The Bible :innocent:

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AHA!! It absolutely is the bible :wink:

What have the trust said about tasting practise for rescheduled classes? I assume they’re keen to move to online learning. That isn’t much help for classroom tasting practise which is a part of the course fees and isn’t exactly cheap to replicate at home.

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Because the website is difficult to navigate when the trust announces an update, it can be hard to find. Whilst a month or so ago all May and June exams were cancelled, the Covid 19 update page now says that D2 exam is rescheduled for 9th June 2020 subject to local government guidance (or something like that).
I did see somewhere on the page that the trust was working to make samples available by post, but when I looked again I could not find it! So my suggestion is keep scouring the web pages! (Daily!)

That sounds like an organisational nightmare!

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That’s putting it mildly… I received an email this week to say my D4 & D5 exams would be moved and they would do it free of charge ! :rofl::see_no_evil:! Why even put that in there ! :joy::joy:

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Hi Andrew
I’ve passed 5 out of the 6 papers, and the unit 3 tasting, so I just need the unit 3 theory which I’m due to sit in October. I say “just” it’s really tough, especially if you’re not in the trade as you have to learn everything by rote rather than absorbing it as part of your job. They also throw in a few “nasties”, for example, when I sat the theory paper there was a full question on Switzerland which they promptly then dropped from the syllabus. They have made other changes, such as adding in Jura and China.
There is a manual on the WSET website which I downloaded as .pdfs and printed out (all 656 pages of it) to make it easier to study.
I studied at the London school but they very much focused on tasting and tended to leave it to students to study theory on their own.

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Hi Adrian
Many thanks, and yes I had heard unit 3 is daunting! Firstly well done on passing all the other units.
I was never in the trade but just kept buying books over the years and reading them. Typical amateur approach!
I must stock up on printer cartridges and paper. I have signed up for unit 3 starting early November.

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Hi Andrew. I got the printing done on good quality paper at my local print shop for about £35. It took a while creating the .pdf though.

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Hi Andrew, I am setting up a tasting group in Central London to get together 1/2 x a week. Would you be interested in joining us?

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