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Report Thread starter 1 month ago
Hi everyone,
I have been looking at the essay questions for the TSA and I’m quite stuck on how to prepare for this part of the admissions test. I just KNOW that the essay is going to be the worst part of my whole application tbh…
I understand that being familiar with news/ current world issues is advantageous, but how do I actually structure the essay and approach a question?
Timing has always been my biggest downfall in all my exams, so half an hour to write an essay is really stressful for me… how much do they expect me to write?
If anyone has any current Oxford students have practice essays they’ve done that would be a big big help for me to look at the direction I need to go in!!
Thanks sm!!
Badges: 12
Report 1 month ago
Practice is important! I wasn't doing any essay A-levels so I just did tons and tons of timed practice essays and that helped. Structure wise I went for intro paragraph, a paragraph arguing for my point, a paragraph with arguments against my point and refuting them, and a conclusion where I gave my overall judgement and why I thought that. You don't need to write tons, they know you only have half an hour, but I think it's important that your essay is well structured and finished. Practice should help you figure out how much you can write in the allotted time so you can plan for the exam. I think its important to plan quickly before you start writing, as they are looking at how you argue and structure an essay so you need to know where you are going with it. As a ballpark for how much they expect you to write you only get 2 sides of A4 anyway. In my prelims exam at Oxford I had 45 min to write each of my essays which were meant to be around 1000 words, so you can extrapolate from that how much they'd expect. Essay timings for exams in other subjects that I've heard about seem fairly similar to mine, if not more generous. They aren't expecting loads and loads of writing, they're expecting a concise, well-structured and well-argued essay.

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