Experience in Wizard 101 is gained two ways: By completing quests and simply by dueling. When a character gains enough XP, he increases in level.
Experience from quests
Every quest has a specific amount of XP associated with it. It does not change. A character earns the XP upon successful completion, which may involve defeating a specific enemy, speaking to an NPC, or some combination.
Experience from dueling
The formula for gaining experience from a duel is fairly straightforward, and does not change regardless of location, school, level, etc.
Players earn 3 XP for each pip used in a fight.
That is, if you add up the pips on the cards you play and multiply by 3, that's the experience you gain.
Important caveats and notes:
- You only receive experience upon victory in a duel.
- If you flee a duel and return (e.g., by porting to a friend), you will only receive experience based on the spells you used from the time you returned.
- For the purpose of calculating experience, both 0-pip spells (e.g., blades, traps, wand spells) and X-pip spells (e.g., Tempest, Judgement) count as 1-pip spells and give 3 XP each.
- Spells that fizzle do award experience, as do healing spells, even those that take effect after the duel ends.
- Passing gains no experience. Obvious, but people ask.
Thus it is conceivable that a player could use a combination of healing spells and Reshuffle to enter an infinite fight and earn infinite experience.