About the Exam

About the Italian Wine Scholar Exam

To become an Italian Wine Scholar and receive the IWS credential candidates need to pass the exams for Unit 1 and Unit 2 with a composite score of 75% The scores from both exams are added together and averaged for final assessment.

Students with a composite score of 85-90.5 pass with HONORS. Candidates scoring 91-100 pass with HIGHEST HONORS.

Passing the exam for unit 1 or unit 2 alone does not confer the Italian Wine Scholar credential.

Preparing for the exam:

In order to prepare properly for the exam, you must read and study the manual carefully. At first, it may seem a daunting body of knowledge to tackle…but we would like to give you a few tips.

What is important?

  • Pay close attention to superlatives (biggest, smallest, highest, lowest, newest, oldest, youngest).  Note the facts associated with words such as “first” and “last.” They make for good exam questions.
  • Learn the Italian wine terms and their English equivalents.
  • Know your soils, geography, mountains and rivers.
  • Know your grapes and their synonyms.
  • Become conversant in Italy’s DOC(G)s and the primary grape(s) grown within their confines.
  • Know your history and the key individuals who have figured prominently in the development of the wine culture of any given region.
  • Study the specifics of wine production for white, rosé, red, sparkling, late-harvest, and passitos.
  • Study your maps. You need to know where the wine regions and their DOC(G)s are located.
  • Pay attention to the need-to-know icons.

The exam is comprehensive. It will cover all the wine regions of Italy. This means you must study everything!


Disclaimer: WSG offers wine study courses that are targeted to both beginners and those more experienced in the wine industry. While WSG has received many accolades, awards, and testimonials, WSG is not an accredited institution or school. WSG does not guarantee or warrant that any employer or school will recognize WSG wine study courses. While WSG knows that it is a well-recognized institution within the multi-national wine community, it cannot guarantee anyone success in their profession or vocation.

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