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# The Oxford TSA thread - 2015 applicants - 5th Nov 2014 Watch

1. I've been reading in this thread for a while now and decided to register and join in... Hey guys

Did you find the specimen paper much easier than some of the papers from the past years? I scored 40/50 in the specimen paper but my raw scores in the past papers are usually around 30-35/50...
Also I don't quite know what to do about the essay. I bought "Ace the Thinking Skills Assessment" by Neel Burton but would definitely not recommend this book because I just didn't find it very helpful at all. I will maybe get Mitesh Desai's book. Neel Burton gives 2 or 3 "sample essays" in his book which are very philosophical and not at all down-to-earth. Are tutors looking for normal essays with practical examples and simple language or are they out for people who start by defining terms and lift off into philosophy (like Neel Burton)?

Applying for E&M this year (Brasenose)... Do you think I have a chance of getting invited for interview with scores in the 60's (raw scores 30-35/50)?

David
2. (Original post by Agap)
In my opinion some of your answers are wrong. I'll just send my solutions for the not-matching answers.

5: c

If you take 7 out of one box, you'll have one of both colours, therefore it doesn't matter which college it is, when you take a single one from the other box.

11: c

13: a

It's 8 square feet for the first hole. Therefore 4 square feet an hour, divided by 12 persons = 1/3 square feet per person per hour.

The second hole is 4*4*4= 64 square feet. Therefore 3*64= 192 working hour for a single worker. Divided by 6 leaves us with 32 hours.

14: D

The argument tries to set out that today we shouldn't totally rely on the written word. In my opinion D is the only possible answer. But I'm not sure about it.

20: ?

I simply don't understand this one. My guess was B.

25: B

Your answer (E) is not actually part of the argument. In my opinion, the link between the two events (less funding for sport + problems regarding obesity) are not linked by the given argument in a proper way. Therefore it fails to consider the sport children do at home.

26: E

I must do A to do B.
B happened, even though I didn't do A.
Therefore it must be for reason C.

In my opinion E is more closely to that but your guess (C) could be true as well.

27: D

It's definitely about the setting borders for technologies.

30: E

I think it's more important because if there is no relation it also includes B.

31: E

In my opinion D is more a summary of the reasons of the argument. But maybe E is too far away from the argument.

32: E

I think C is simply one reason.

36: E

41: B

12*95= 1140
1140:422= 2,...

Therefore 3

44: C

2400*(100%-80%)= 480

48: D

The question is asking for what is not true according to the argument. C is definitely stated in the middle of the paragraph.

I found the 2007 paper quite easy compared to the recent ones.
I agree with you in nearly all the answers, but

Q2: it would also say that B seems to be the most reasonable. But have a look at Q11 in 2013 (which I think has quite the same structure), there the right answer is not the one one would expect. It lacks also some information..
Therefore I would suggest answer D being right because it conforms the way of other Oxford answers (like in 2013).

Q9: Why isn't it C? We don't have any numbers of the actual part of women in society. We have to look at the active population and therefore:
16%+18%+20% = 54% => more than the half

Q38: I think E is appropriate because the stressing "a lot", but it may also be B....

Q46: answer C, because they have to pay taxes

3. (Original post by maximator)
I agree with you in nearly all the answers, but

Q2: it would also say that B seems to be the most reasonable. But have a look at Q11 in 2013 (which I think has quite the same structure), there the right answer is not the one one would expect. It lacks also some information..
Therefore I would suggest answer D being right because it conforms the way of other Oxford answers (like in 2013).

Q9: Why isn't it C? We don't have any numbers of the actual part of women in society. We have to look at the active population and therefore:
16%+18%+20% = 54% => more than the half

Q38: I think E is appropriate because the stressing "a lot", but it may also be B....

Q46: answer C, because they have to pay taxes

Q2: It has to be B, it's clearly what the argument tries to make us believe.

Q9: How can you add the percentages? It doesn't make sense at all. We can't know an exact number for the reason you stated above and because we don't know how the number of women across the different areas my differ.
But whatever the exact numbers are, we know that less than 20% of the total population are women. Therefore it's C.

Q38: I would just cross out all answers until only the correct one remains:

a) author doesn't do any judgements
c) not part of the argument
d) not part of the argument

leaves us with B and E. I think E is prob right since it's not stated anything about the world as a whole and the influence of the development of guns.
So E is more closely to the argument.

Q46: Is there anything in the question or statistics about taxes?
4. (Original post by maximator)
I agree with you in nearly all the answers, but

Q9: Why isn't it C? We don't have any numbers of the actual part of women in society. We have to look at the active population and therefore:
16%+18%+20% = 54% => more than the half

We dont know the populations of the areas
Ex: If Area 1 = 100 billion
Area 2 = 100
Area 3 = 10
Then total = 16% of 100 billion, 18% of 100 and 20% of 10
= 16 billion, well below half

Even if all areas have equal populations, the total women would always be below half
5. Hey.
Because there are two types of TSA question (numerical-problem solving and verbal-arguments) is it faster to do the questions in the order they are in the test or to do all of one type first and go back and do all of the other type?
6. For anyone that has the 'Cracking The TSA' by Desai, on page 32 he gets the probability of no ball being potted from the break at 2/3, how did he get that? Surely it should be 1/2?
7. (Original post by Logolept)
For anyone that has the 'Cracking The TSA' by Desai, on page 32 he gets the probability of no ball being potted from the break at 2/3, how did he get that? Surely it should be 1/2?
I have not taken a look at this question yet, but I would like to ask if he offers the answers to the mental math drill anywhere in the book, as well as the examples from the past papers he uses (since he does not give a date). Many thanks.
8. (Original post by philerus)
I have not taken a look at this question yet, but I would like to ask if he offers the answers to the mental math drill anywhere in the book, as well as the examples from the past papers he uses (since he does not give a date). Many thanks.
There are no answers to the mental maths drill but he works through the past paper question examples (leading to the answer explicitly). All the practice questions of course have an accompanying answer section in the back.
9. (Original post by Logolept)
There are no answers to the mental maths drill but he works through the past paper question examples (leading to the answer explicitly). All the practice questions of course have an accompanying answer section in the back.
Thanks for the reply. Sometimes he follows up the past paper examples with a few other examples from other sources, like he does on pg 43. Are there any answers to those anywhere, because I cannot seem to find them? As for the mental maths questions, I shall try use a calculator to check my answers. Kind of lazy of him not to do it himself though.
10. Figured I'd join this thread seeing as I've got the TSA for PPE in like... 2 weeks(?!?)

I bought "thinking skills" by Cambridge uni, it was ****. I've resorted to using past papers, but my school seems to be getting lower each time... first paper I did I got 40, then 38, then 36, and most recently 34. Maybe I'm overthinking it.

Would anyone judge if I were to paste some of the essays I've done here? I could really use some feedback on them. Economics A level has made my answers seem v boring.
11. Which book is better
Think You Can Think?: Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment by Minesh Tanna or
Thinking Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving by Butterworth and Thwaites?

I just want to use one, so I dont over-complicate things

12. (Original post by philerus)
Thanks for the reply. Sometimes he follows up the past paper examples with a few other examples from other sources, like he does on pg 43. Are there any answers to those anywhere, because I cannot seem to find them? As for the mental maths questions, I shall try use a calculator to check my answers. Kind of lazy of him not to do it himself though.
Ah I see. Maybe try copying the question word by word on Google and see what comes up? Perhaps you've probably already done that. Nevertheless, if they aren't there just do any other questions I guess. And year, it is quite lazy for him not to put the answers there.
13. (Original post by samthemiller)
Figured I'd join this thread seeing as I've got the TSA for PPE in like... 2 weeks(?!?)

I bought "thinking skills" by Cambridge uni, it was ****. I've resorted to using past papers, but my school seems to be getting lower each time... first paper I did I got 40, then 38, then 36, and most recently 34. Maybe I'm overthinking it.

Would anyone judge if I were to paste some of the essays I've done here? I could really use some feedback on them. Economics A level has made my answers seem v boring.
I'm sure nobody would judge you. Tbh it will probably be of help to everyone.
14. (Original post by Rick M)
Hey.
Because there are two types of TSA question (numerical-problem solving and verbal-arguments) is it faster to do the questions in the order they are in the test or to do all of one type first and go back and do all of the other type?
Mitesh Desai gave us the advice in "Cracking the TSA" to first finish all the questions of one typ and then start with the other.
I tried it and saved some little time...depends on how you are faster I would say.
Try it out
15. I made this thread to discuss some TSA written task questions together so that we can get a spread of ideas for our TSA exam!

Any pointers would be great too! I'll start off with the first question I found quite challenging:

Why is vision so important to human beings?
16. You should share some of your ideas before we proceed. Otherwise, you may be construed to be just leeching off the ideas of the community here.

Moreover, since you stated that you found it challenging, if you share your pointers, perhaps we could rectify that.
17. Honestly I found myself to perform best when I had a clear and focused mind. The questions in the TSA do get easier after some practising, but there's the law of diminishing returns.

I won't overthink it and concentrate on reading up on current affairs and perhaps some philosophy for the essay.
18. Hi everyone,

I'm doing TSA questions and am stuck on some of the ones on the specimen paper.

Here is the specimen paper: http://www.admissionstestingservice....-section-1.pdf

I would really appreciate some urgent help on the specimen paper questions (available on the tsa oxford website as specimen paper 1)

I can't do and am fully stuck on Q's 8, 14, 18, 20, 24, 38, 44, 48, 49, 50.

I would really request that Q's 24, 38, 44 and 48 are answered first.

These are the questions where I genuinely hit a brick wall. They are a lot, but I would really appreciate help on them, because I think once I understand how to approach that type of question I'm unlikely to repeat the mistake again.

Would really appreciate anyone answering just one or two as I understand they are a lot!

Kind regards
and look forward to replies
19. (Original post by jayjay531)
Which book is better
Think You Can Think?: Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment by Minesh Tanna or
Thinking Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving by Butterworth and Thwaites?

I just want to use one, so I dont over-complicate things

"So You Think You Can Think?" is a great book. It has its own question papers and commentary, so you don't just get the answers, you get the explanation which helps you think how they think. Get it from Amazon, it's like £13 and mine arrived the next day (didn't pay extra for delivery, it was free!)

20. Hi everyone,

I'm doing TSA questions and am stuck on some of the ones on the specimen paper.

Here is the specimen paper: http://www.admissionstestingservice....-section-1.pdf

I would really appreciate some urgent help on the specimen paper questions (available on the tsa oxford website as specimen paper 1)

I can't do and am fully stuck on Q's 8, 14, 18, 20, 24, 38, 44, 48, 49, 50.

I would really request that Q's 24, 38, 44 and 48 are answered first.

These are the questions where I genuinely hit a brick wall. They are a lot, but I would really appreciate help on them, because I think once I understand how to approach that type of question I'm unlikely to repeat the mistake again.

Would really appreciate anyone answering just one or two as I understand they are a lot!

Kind regards
and look forward to replies

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