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Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing
Administering our tests
Institutions can use our well-established Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) as an admissions test, to help them select candidates for courses where critical thinking and problem-solving skills are essential.
What is TSA for?
TSA tests the sort of skills that are essential for success in higher education, but which school-based exams don’t cover specifically – skills like critical thinking and problem solving.
Students don’t need any familiarity with specific texts or theoretical frameworks – they’re simply being tested on their ability to think through problems and arguments, critically and logically.
Why do institutions use TSA?
TSA is used alongside other selection criteria such as predicted exam grades and interviews. It provides admissions tutors with an additional measure of skills that are crucial for success at university level.
Who uses TSA?
TSA is already used by a number of leading universities, including the University of Oxford, University College London (UCL) and the University of Cambridge.
What’s in TSA?
TSA is a pen-and-paper test consisting of two sections. Section 2 is optional.
Section 1: Multiple-choice questions testing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
Section 2: Writing task.
See the 'Preparation' section below for links to past papers.
TSA can be delivered in one of two ways:
The cost model is tailored to your specific requirements – either charged to the institution direct, or passed on to test candidates.
The best way for test-takers to prepare for TSA is to familiarise themselves with the test format and question style, by doing practice papers.
Sample TSA past papers produced for the University of Oxford:
Section 1 TSA Oxford past paper
Section 2 TSA Oxford past paper
TSA is designed so that students don’t need to have specific knowledge – it tests academic skills in critical thinking and problem solving. While performance on any test will improve with some familiarisation, we would not advise candidates to pay for coaching. Anyone offering a paid service to help candidates pass TSA will have no more knowledge than someone who has read this website and studied past papers.
Talk to us about using TSA as part of your admissions process.
Taking TSA for a specific university?
Please follow the links below to see which universities are currently using TSA, the test delivery mode and the courses they are using it for:
> TSA Cambridge
> TSA Oxford
> TSA UCL