The TSA 2018: Read all about it!

So you've got TSA 2018 to do? While a stellar set of GCSEs and A-level results, combined with a carefully crafted personal statement (potentially reviewed by UniAdmission's own team of experts) will go a long way to helping you secure an Oxbridge interview, for many applicants, there is an additional stage in the process!

Author: Zayra Morales

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The TSA 2018: Read all About It!

So you’ve got to do the TSA 2018?

Whilst a stellar set of GCSEs and A-level results, combined with a carefully crafted personal statement (potentially looked over by UniAdmission’s own dedicated team of experts) will go a long way towards helping you secure an Oxbridge interview, for many applicants, there is an additional stage to the process!

As if negotiating the application wasn’t tricky enough already, many courses at Oxford nowadays feature a pre-interview test to help them further distinguish between candidates.

Who has to take the TSA 2018?

One such exam that is a prerequisite expected of students before interview stage is the TSA 2018, or Thinking Skills Assessment, which is a requirement for the following courses below.

*Check carefully – it’s not only social sciences subjects that are required to do this test!*


  • Economics and Management
  • Experimental Psychology
  • Human Sciences
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics
  • Chemistry (Section 1 Only)
  • History and Economics (Section 1 Only)

What is the TSA 2018?

The Thinking Skills Assessment is a written test that is comprised of two sections. The first is a fifty-part multiple-choice paper for which you are allocated 90 minutes; whilst the second is a short essay in which you are given 30 minutes to complete.

Section 1

Section 1 features questions offering you five possible answers that will stretch your reasoning and critical thinking skills (To the parents reading this article, elements of this will resemble job aptitude tests).

We’ve got a fantastic TSA Critical Thinking blog post here >>>

The question can generally be categorised into the following types and will test the following skills:


The key to succeeding in section one is making sure your reasoning and thinking skills are up to scratch and ready when the test comes. Polish up on your maths and numeracy, especially if you haven’t studied any more maths after GCSE. Do not leave practice until the last minute!

Improve Your Chances with TSA 2018 Tuition

Working with tutors who scored in the top 10% nationally, you will have the expertise and knowledge to succeed in your TSA exam.

Our TSA tutoring package includes ongoing support and essay marking, TSA textbooks, full practice papers, and additional resources.

With all of this and more at your fingertips, our bespoke tutorship will tackle those problem areas you’re most concerned about.

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TSA Section 2

Section 2 of the TSA 2018 is a requirement for the vast majority of students taking the exam. It’s often the more confusing and mysterious of the two.

You will be given a list of open-ended questions (typically four, but at least three) to choose from that should require no extra or outside knowledge. This is a test that hopes to find the best Human Sciences and Economics students! That being said, some tests will lend themselves to Economics, whilst others will lend themselves towards Philosophy, as well as everything in between.

Why You Need to Take TSA Section 2

TSA 2018 Section 2 will test your abilities to present cogent and clear arguments in an effective and convincing manner. Much like writing an essay at A-level or GCSE, you will be asked to write arguments and counter-arguments before making a conclusion that weighs up the merits of both sides.

Read up on TSA Section 2: The Essay here >>>

It is very important to practice writing these essays. What’s equally important is having a professional check the quality of them to give you feedback. Unlike a multiple choice exam, there is no right or wrong answer and it is much harder to intuit whether you are doing the right or wrong thing, so it may be worthwhile to gain constructive advice from someone else!


By now, this article will have helped to deconstruct the mysteries of the TSA.

Remember to register your candidacy for the TSA, as this is not automatically done when filling in the UCAS form! Ask your schools Exam Officer to register you. It may be the case that you will have to go to a different location to sit the test if your school is not a registered assessment centre. Read about it here.

To all the candidates sitting the exam for this year’s admissions cycle, UniAdmissions wishes you the best of luck!

Fast Track Learning

If you want the fast track in boosting your TSA score, or perhaps you only have one day that you’re free, then our TSA intensive course is for you.

For one day only, you will study the complete TSA 2018 in our comprehensive, in-depth and interactive course where you will be coached by expert tutors who know all there is to know about the TSA test. Our tutors are carefully selected to provide you with the skills necessary to succeed in your application.

There’s no better way to learn the tricks of the trade and the time-saving techniques that could be the answer to whether you pass or fail.

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