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Special Feature TSA

This week I'm interviewing a student from Oxford University about the entrance exam for Economics and Management.

Hello William, so first of all what exactly is the TSA?

The TSA stands for Thinking Skills Assessment, an entrance exam for a range of subjects, including Economics and Management.

What does the TSA consist of?

There are two parts to the TSA. The first includes 50 multiple choice questions in an attempt to test applicants' problem solving and critical thinking skills. The second part is an essay which examines applicants' ability to express their ideas to others with clarity.

Are you meant to prepare for the TSA?

The exams are not based on prior subject knowledge so are intended to see how you think, putting everyone on a level-footing.

So is there anything you can do to prepare?

Looking at past papers will help you to see how the exam is structured and the sorts of questions which come up. Being familiar with the layout of the paper really helped manage my stress levels on the day. If you've taken Critical Thinking at school or can get hold of a textbook or online resource with critical thinking questions, it's worth having a look through them.

How much preparation did you do?

Pretty much all of the above but at at the end of the day it isn't intended to be an exam you can't really revise for, so don't stress out too much!

How important do you think the TSA was in obtaining your place at Oxford?

One of my tutors told me that for Economics and Management, the TSA is actually really important in deciding who gets invited to interview.

Can you give our readers any top tips?

* Look at some past papers * Read about what critical thinking is and how to do it. * Research some critical thinking questions. * Get used to analysing text in your every day life, thinking about the true meaning of sentences and paragraphs and focus on specific wording.

Most of all, you were obviously accepted by Oxford. Can you give us a brief summary of your experience?

Oxford is the most amazing place to go to University. There really is something for everyone. I have made so many great friends and found the time to fit lots of socials on on top of the workload.

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