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    I'm applying to Oxford for E&M this year, and APPLYING for the TSA is a pain in the bum here (Chennai, India)
    I'm gonna get that done this weekend, hopefully...

    So how similar is the TSA to a subject called Thinking Skills (CIE board)?
    It's coz back when I began AS, I was self-studying Thinking Skills and still have some material with me.
    I was wondering if I could use the same material for the TSA or would you guys recommend me to buy something?

    Thanks in advance!
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    (Original post by Baalaje)
    I'm applying to Oxford for E&M this year, and APPLYING for the TSA is a pain in the bum here (Chennai, India)
    I'm gonna get that done this weekend, hopefully...

    So how similar is the TSA to a subject called Thinking Skills (CIE board)?
    It's coz back when I began AS, I was self-studying Thinking Skills and still have some material with me.
    I was wondering if I could use the same material for the TSA or would you guys recommend me to buy something?

    Thanks in advance!
    I've just had a gander and it looks pretty similar: the maths will be a bit more basic as you don't have a calculator. The mix of problem solving, critical thinking, spatial reasoning etc. is similar to the TSA.

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    I'll have to take the TSA later this year.

    Mock papers are fine but it would be much better to have the answers explained.

    I see there are a couple of books on the TSA out there: "Ace the Thinking Skills Assessment", "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment" and "Think You Can Think".

    Do peeps have any experience with these books? Which is the best one to go for? Maybe I should go for all of them, just to be on the safe side!
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    (Original post by Lindisfarne100)
    I'll have to take the TSA later this year.

    Mock papers are fine but it would be much better to have the answers explained.

    I see there are a couple of books on the TSA out there: "Ace the Thinking Skills Assessment", "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment" and "Think You Can Think".

    Do peeps have any experience with these books? Which is the best one to go for? Maybe I should go for all of them, just to be on the safe side!
    LeJennifleur and I both sat the TSA last year and reccommend Think You Can Think I think Kerpal posted something on page 2 about the "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment" book
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    (Original post by AKell17)
    LeJennifleur and I both sat the TSA last year and reccommend Think You Can Think I think Kerpal posted something on page 2 about the "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment" book
    Thanks AKell. But the other two books have only just been published and weren't available last year. Does anyone have any experience with those specifically? How do they compare with "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment"?

    Maybe I should just get them all: after all, you can't be too prepared!
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    (Original post by Lindisfarne100)
    Thanks AKell. But the other two books have only just been published and weren't available last year. Does anyone have any experience with those specifically? How do they compare with "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment"?

    Maybe I should just get them all: after all, you can't be too prepared!
    Just make sure you don't overload - one book really is plenty as once you've got your technique sorted, practice is the best preparation. With that in mind, I'd really recommend any book that contains extra practice papers as you'll find the past papers on the website run out pretty quickly!
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    I think I'm overthinking the question...how do you do Q13 from the 2013 paper?
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    (Original post by kashagupta)
    I think I'm overthinking the question...how do you do Q13 from the 2013 paper?
    60 cakes in 10 hours goes to 6 cakes in an hour. The total cost of one cake is £1.60 for the ingredients and 1/6 of her hourly charge (£1) which makes £2.60. 75% of £2.60 is £1.95, so the cost of a cake is £4.55. 10% of this is 45.5p (46p rounded), which is discounted to make a price of £4.10
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    (Original post by AKell17)
    60 cakes in 10 hours goes to 6 cakes in an hour. The total cost of one cake is £1.60 for the ingredients and 1/6 of her hourly charge (£1) which makes £2.60. 75% of £2.60 is £1.95, so the cost of a cake is £4.55. 10% of this is 45.5p (46p rounded), which is discounted to make a price of £4.10
    Thank you! I kept on working it out as A for some reason. Also, would you please be able to explain the reasoning behind Q18, 38 and 39 for the 2012 paper? I'm actually sitting the BMAT, but since Section 1 for the TSA and the BMAT are pretty similar to each other, I thought I might as well get the extra practice done!
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    (Original post by kashagupta)
    Thank you! I kept on working it out as A for some reason. Also, would you please be able to explain the reasoning behind Q18, 38 and 39 for the 2012 paper? I'm actually sitting the BMAT, but since Section 1 for the TSA and the BMAT are pretty similar to each other, I thought I might as well get the extra practice done!
    Q18: Well any month will either involve an 0 or a 1, and every day will involve a 0, 1, 2 or 3. This knocks out A and B, as with A both 0 and 1 are taken (making a month impossible) and with B only 0 is free and cannot be used for both a month and a day. C cannot be done as the only possible day is 30, which means you cannot write down a month. D and E can both be done (17-08-2345 for D, 17-08-2456 for E) but D is earlier so that's your answer

    Q38: A is right, because if the number of brochures for which the price is the same is over 500, then strategy one is cheaper (as the initial cost makes two more expensive) or the other way round if the number is under 500. B, D and E aren't useful as it doesn't tell you the initial cost or the subsequent cost of brochures for strategy 2. C is out because you don't know the brochure cost in strategy 2, and whether its low enough to compensate for the original cost.

    Q39: A is wrong, the harm to health is only written as 'suspicion'. Again, B is a conclusion from speculative claims in the article. C is out as it isn't claimed that the emissions cause a health risk, even if there are less emissions from phone masts. D isn't really related to the passage, so nothing can really be concluded. E can be reliably concluded as it is a speculative conclusion to a speculative article

    Hope that all made sense, sometimes workings going on in your head don't really translate to others :P
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    (Original post by AKell17)
    Q18: Well any month will either involve an 0 or a 1, and every day will involve a 0, 1, 2 or 3. This knocks out A and B, as with A both 0 and 1 are taken (making a month impossible) and with B only 0 is free and cannot be used for both a month and a day. C cannot be done as the only possible day is 30, which means you cannot write down a month. D and E can both be done (17-08-2345 for D, 17-08-2456 for E) but D is earlier so that's your answer

    Q38: A is right, because if the number of brochures for which the price is the same is over 500, then strategy one is cheaper (as the initial cost makes two more expensive) or the other way round if the number is under 500. B, D and E aren't useful as it doesn't tell you the initial cost or the subsequent cost of brochures for strategy 2. C is out because you don't know the brochure cost in strategy 2, and whether its low enough to compensate for the original cost.

    Q39: A is wrong, the harm to health is only written as 'suspicion'. Again, B is a conclusion from speculative claims in the article. C is out as it isn't claimed that the emissions cause a health risk, even if there are less emissions from phone masts. D isn't really related to the passage, so nothing can really be concluded. E can be reliably concluded as it is a speculative conclusion to a speculative article

    Hope that all made sense, sometimes workings going on in your head don't really translate to others :P
    Is this for the 2013 paper? I'd meant the 2012 paper in this case, sorry! Your explanations were put to good use anyways, as I'd got them wrong too I think
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    (Original post by kashagupta)
    Is this for the 2013 paper? I'd meant the 2012 paper in this case, sorry! Your explanations were put to good use anyways, as I'd got them wrong too I think
    Oops sorry!

    Q18: A comes out if you draw the boundaries given by each of the ornithologists. I's range scrubs B & C, G's range gets rid of D and a combination of H and I rules out E

    Q38: The carpet must be at least 4.2 metres long on one side, to accomodate the large room's longest side. Now for the other side, the minimum length is the 2.6 metres from the long room plus the 1.8 metres from the smaller room's smallest size (it can already accomodate the longer side from the 4.2m side) which is 4.4 metres. This makes the best option C

    Q39: A is incorrect as it mentions "heavy metals e.g. zinc and cadmium": removing these could still leave dangerous subsances in the sewage. B is incorrect as zinc levels would kill the plants, instead of the plants carrying the zinc and becoming a health risk. D is incorrect as it doesn't say that all the dangerous materials cannot be removed: if they were then sewage could have a future as a fertiliser. E is also incorrect, as it gives no data on the damage that is caused by dumping sludge in the North Sea. This leaves C, which is correct as the paragraph states that plants could survive carrying a level of cadmium that is dangerous to humans

    These better be the right questions...
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    (Original post by AKell17)
    Oops sorry!

    Q18: A comes out if you draw the boundaries given by each of the ornithologists. I's range scrubs B & C, G's range gets rid of D and a combination of H and I rules out E

    Q38: The carpet must be at least 4.2 metres long on one side, to accomodate the large room's longest side. Now for the other side, the minimum length is the 2.6 metres from the long room plus the 1.8 metres from the smaller room's smallest size (it can already accomodate the longer side from the 4.2m side) which is 4.4 metres. This makes the best option C

    Q39: A is incorrect as it mentions "heavy metals e.g. zinc and cadmium": removing these could still leave dangerous subsances in the sewage. B is incorrect as zinc levels would kill the plants, instead of the plants carrying the zinc and becoming a health risk. D is incorrect as it doesn't say that all the dangerous materials cannot be removed: if they were then sewage could have a future as a fertiliser. E is also incorrect, as it gives no data on the damage that is caused by dumping sludge in the North Sea. This leaves C, which is correct as the paragraph states that plants could survive carrying a level of cadmium that is dangerous to humans

    These better be the right questions...
    Haha those are the ones! Thank you so much! Positive repped throughout
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    (Original post by kashagupta)
    Haha those are the ones! Thank you so much! Positive repped throughout
    No problem!
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    (Original post by Lindisfarne100)
    Thanks AKell. But the other two books have only just been published and weren't available last year. Does anyone have any experience with those specifically? How do they compare with "Cracking the Thinking Skills Assessment"?

    Maybe I should just get them all: after all, you can't be too prepared!
    So Mitesh Desai went to my school and so we all got a copy of his textbook last year when we were applying because he's a donor or a governor I think. In August I had bought Think you can Think and Butterworth.

    In my humble opinion here are the pros and cons:

    Butterworth: Not really focussed on the TSA, might be a good textbook to use if you had a year to develop your thinking skills but if you are in a rush to get higher scores then this is not my favourite.

    Think you can think (Tanna): Good content in places and shows you how to answer questions from the verbal section pretty well. The practice tests in the back are obviously super handy too. Downside is that it doesn't do any thinking about strategy within the exam (i.e. when to guess to save time, how to approach the exam). I think this latter part is important because ultimately everyone can ace the TSA given four hours but it is about jamming out correct answers fast!

    Cracking the TSA (Desai) - Same quality content as Tanna wrt how to answer verbal questions, the maths section is possibly better because he has some really nice strategies to get answers quickly for certain types of questions. I think for advice about the overall approach to the exam this is the best because when you're practising you find yourself thinking about his strategy tips in your head and it calms you down when you're doing a trickier exam. Downside with this is that there's no practice tests so you get loads of practice questions but not an actual test.

    Overall if I were doing it again I'd buy Desai and Tanna but not Butterworth. That's just my humble opinion though and other people will disagree!
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    Hi guys, I am also applying to PPE this year and I have started the preparation for TSA by doing some AS exam papers. I have come across with a few questions that I don't have a clue about, can someone help me?? Loads of thanks

    1. I live in a block of flats which is served by a lift which always goes from bottom to top and back,
    picking up anyone who wishes to go in the direction it is travelling. If I have pressed the ‘down’
    button and the lift is going up, it does not stop for me, but goes to the top and stops for me on the
    way down.
    I notice that, if I have pressed the button on my floor to go up, more often than not the lift goes
    past my floor going down before it comes back up to collect me.
    Which one of the following would explain this?
    A The lift travels down faster than it travels up.
    B It waits longer at the bottom floor than at intermediate floors.
    C People mainly travel between their own floor and the bottom.
    D I live near the top of the block of flats.
    E I live near the bottom of the block of flats.


    2. Mary works in a top secret research laboratory. In order to gain access to the building, she must
    use a secret four-digit code. All codes from 0000 to 9999 are possible. As a security feature,
    Mary is required to get exactly one digit wrong each time, and not to enter the same four-digit
    number as she did last time.
    The security guard can see the numbers that she enters into the keypad.
    What is the maximum number of different four-digit numbers Mary can enter without the security
    guard being able to be certain of the secret code?
    A 2
    B 8
    C 32
    D 4096

    3. The holiday resort of Goldensand has a beach that is 1000 metres long and runs from north to
    south. Holidaymakers are always spread out evenly along the full length of the beach. The sun is
    so hot that when a sunbather buys an ice cream they always buy from the ice cream seller
    situated nearest to them.
    Joe, an ice cream seller, is deciding where to put his stall. There are currently two other sellers
    on the beach. Nicest Ices is situated 300 metres from the northernmost end of the beach, and
    Classy Cones is 200 metres from the southernmost end. Joe wants to position his stall so that he
    sells as many ice creams as possible.
    Where should he place his stall?
    A At the very northernmost point of the beach.
    B Just to the north of Nicest Ices.
    C Either just to the south of Nicest Ices or just to the north of Classy Cones.
    D 450 metres from the south end of the beach.
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    1.E?
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    3.B?
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    What score do we need for Oxford interview consideration?
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    (Original post by amyrah)
    What score do we need for Oxford interview consideration?
    People say that a 63+ will get you an interview but I feel a 70+ makes an application a bit more stronger.


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