The Student Room Logo

Oxford PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) Students and Applicants

Scroll to see replies

I posted these in another thread:

The Economist
A Broadsheet (regularly)

Some Political Philosophy Classics:
On Liberty - Mill
Communist Manifesto - Marx & Engels
The Prince - Machiavelli
Social Contract - Rousseau

Some more modern/introductory additions:
Any 'Very Short Introduction' that is related (OUP)
Philosophy: The Basics - Nigel Warburton
The Undercover Economist - Tim Harford
An Introduction to Political Philosophy - Jonathan Wolff

Starting point?
There are also these posts containing suggestions:
I agree with the economist, broadsheet, and the introductory books.

I actually disagree with the political classics. You won't be required to know anything in them for study, and I think they are hard books for your averbage A-level student to understand to a level where they could use the content in an interview and not see it turned against them (by examiners who really knows the text).
Hey guys,

I want to do PPE next year. My current AS levels are Maths, Physics, Economics, English (language and literature). I've been given the opportunity to do A level History in one year next year- but I would have to drop Engish and Physics. This would give me A2s in Maths, History and Economics. Should I take the opportunity?

Cheers for your help
I'm not an expert but I think your current subjects are fine so I don't think it's really necessary to replace any of them with History. Also, would you be predicted an A in History? If not then for obvious reasons it's best to stick with Physics and English.

edit: Another question - did you do History GCSE? History A-level is (in my opinion) pretty tough. In particular handling source material can be difficult to grasp straight away if you're not a 'natural' historian like myself :embarasse
Reply 1645
Tbh I would agree with Incandescent - there is nothing wrong with your current combination. English and History serve a similar purpose, demonstrating an ability with essay writing. Admittedly History is perhaps more relevant to the politics aspect of the course, but I don't really see that the difference is enough to justify the extra effort. I would probably say stick with it unless you particularly want to change and just do some extra reading in the spare time or something like that.
Reply 1646
Just wondering...what sort of questions should we expect on the TSA part 2? I know they're essay questions etc but...there's no examples on the website so any specific or even general examples would be helpful.

Secondly, the interview questions you see around the internet on websites such as, would you say they are fairly representative of those you were asked, or do they only show the more 'abstract' types. I have heard some people saying most of these were actually made up by the companies offering 'training weekends' or something similar.

Thanks in advance for your help, and to the people who have been maintaining this thread for the last few years - I personally have found it very useful.
Reply 1647
For the TSA part 2 I answered a question on why people were more afraid of flying than driving when statistically driving is more dangerous. I'm afraid I can't remember any of the other questions...

And it is difficult to tell you whether those questions are 'typical' because the interviews vary so much for individuals. My interviews certainly included some very abstract questions as well as much more practical applications of my understanding
For the section 2 part I answered a question which basically centred around freedom of speech although I can't remember the question itself. You shouldn't expect anything really difficult and there's no real need to go read up on specific topics for the test. The question are designed to be quite broad so any kind of general knowledge you have will be useful. Apart from that there's no real preparation you can do for it.
Strange how they don't have the specimen on the website anymore because I'm pretty sure there used to be one there.

edit: I actually have the section 2 specimen saved on my computer. If you want it then I'm happy to send it to you.
Reply 1649
Thanks for the info - incandescent I've PM'd ('ed?) you with my email address, if you could send it there that would be great :smile:
Offer holders, has anyone of you received any reading list/guidebook yet? My college is very silent...
Reply 1651
Offer holders, has anyone of you received any reading list/guidebook yet? My college is very silent...

Nope, nothing. But I am deferred so that might explain it
A friend of mine has from LMH though
I reckon they'll probably send it all after results come out. It'd probably be a bit depressing to recieve a reading list etc and then not meet your offer.
Reply 1653
Are there any past papers, or help guides available? Any help would be appreciated. :smile:
For those of you that have already made it, how did you go about revising/preparing for it?
Reply 1654
I didn't really do any preparation for the test. I did the practice paper and then hoped to God it'd be ok on the day.
Reply 1656
Yeah, doing the practice paper is basically all you can do. But given that there's only one full 50 question one available, I would advise you to forget about it until a few weeks before the test; keep your powder dry.

It might be worth practising a few thirty minute essays though if you want to work on your technique. I wasted about 5 minutes in my test choosing which question to do, because two of them were so good!
Reply 1657
Ahh, history did not go so well today. Will make results day more exciting though :p:
Indeed. Mine went pretty badly as well if we're talking about the same paper (Edexcel). I've got to ace Further Maths now to compensate :s-smilie:
For those of you that applied for PPE, from looking at your PPE Test results (Critical Thinking score etc) and knowing whether you were successful or not, how much do you think they were a factor in the Tutors decision to admit/decline you?

Quick Reply