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    (Original post by amy123123)
    Adam- Can i borrow your brain next Wednesday?!!!
    Sorry love, I kind of need it :p:
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    (Original post by Consti.Rules)
    Thank you thank you thank you!!!
    I can't believe something so simple was giving me so many problems. That could mean getting one extra mark come wednesday.
    Invaluable!
    No problem!

    Lots of the maths is really quite straightforward when you discover what exactly they're asking...I think it could mean more than one mark!
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    Adam-Im pretty sure you'l pass with flying colours, even without it!
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    Does anyone know if the 2008 paper is available, if so where? I can only seem to find the specimen..
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    (Original post by spaceman657)
    Does anyone know if the 2008 paper is available, if so where? I can only seem to find the specimen..
    It's posted here http://www.admissionstests.cambridge...st+Preparation

    Did anyone answer the "successful leader question?". I'm having quite a few problems with this one.
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    (Original post by spaceman657)
    Does anyone know if the 2008 paper is available, if so where? I can only seem to find the specimen..
    It's on the TSA Oxford website?
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    If you go on to the TSA cambridge website there are 10 sample multi-choice questions which are on neither the specimen nor the 2008 tsa paper. May be of use for all those who have run out of past papers like me!
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    Has anyone come across older essay questions, apart from the two sets available on the website?
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    (Original post by Consti.Rules)
    There is one type of problem solving question I'm having real difficulties understanding the reasoning behind it. The following example of this type of q. is taken from the specimen paper:

    24.
    My mother still makes tea with the old saying:
    "one spoon per person and one for the pot"

    We used to buy a packet of tea every week but since grandmother came to live with us we have to buy two packets every fifth week and one otherwise.

    How many people were at home before grandmother arrived?
    A 4
    B 5
    C 6
    D 9
    E 11

    I guessed A and it turned out that that is the correct answer. However I wondered whether anyone could describe how they worked it out through reasoning?
    Thanks in advance
    Now they need 6 in 5 weeks.
    Before they needed 5 in 5 weeks.
    One is for the pot. So there are 4 spoons left. One for each member of the family.

    edit: didn't see there was a page 34. well, this is even less mathematically solved.
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    I've just done the "Should parking fines be based on the driver's income" question. Would very much appreciate constructive criticism whether its about content or structure or whatever. Also, I went abit over the time limit... but 30 mins is not enough.yikes..anyway.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Should parking fines be based on the driver's income?
    PLAN;
    - NO: Income could be low but earnings / wealth high due to shares, retirement, etc (problems of administration costs)
    - YES: fine must be sufficient to act as an incentive not to commit parking fines… a rich person would not have the same disincentive as a poor person because a £100 fine is worth less
    - Neither: should we use offences / crimes as a means of distributing income which progressive fines would do (progressive why punish people for working hard, etc)
    - Neither: should people be fined differently for the same offence
    - A fixed fine: everyone equal, equal punishments; do they do the job? (for people for whom a fixed fine is too low, the fine will not put them off offending and will simply collect tax; for people for whom a fixed fine is too high, is there not a limitited fine for which anything over that amount serves no disincentive purpose but simply increases government revenues
    - What is the purpose of a fine? If to distribute income, it would be good (but must be explicitly said; if to act as a disincentive, the current system isn’t working (see note above)


    What is the purpose of a fine? If its aim is to deter individuals from committing crimes, like a prison sentence, the current system is in many cases ineffective.

    A parking offence is a typical example for which a fine is deemed sufficient punishment (society views a prison sentence for such a minor offence as far too severe). The problem with the current system is that a fixed fine for all income groups has different disincentive effects. For the highest earners, a £100 fine (for arguments sake) would be an insignificant deterrent, providing little incentive not to commit a parking offence. In contrast, for the lowest earners, a £100 fine is a far greater disincentive which many would deem unfair. Additionally, if a low earner would be sufficiently deterred by a £10 fine (any higher amount merely serving to boost government revenues, doesn’t this make a mockery of the idea that a fine’s sole purpose is to deter? Thus, a fine where income isn’t considered has virtually no effect on some individuals and too great an effect on others. A system whereby the parking fine is based on the offenders’ income would rectify this- a fine of £10 000 for someone earning £1 000 000 a year is equivalent (in terms of the disincentives provided) as a fine of £10 for someone earning £1 000 a year (at least this would be true in most cases).

    However, there are various issues associated with such a progressive system. Firstly, a parking fine system based on income serves another purpose as well as a deterrent; it is a means of distributing income. Many would be against this for two reasons: morally, should we use crimes as a means of reducing inequality, which progressive taxes (and, by extension, fines) do? And politically, does society want a more progressive system (in which, for instance, you essentially pay just as much for a parking fine if you had worked hard throughout your life and earned a high income as if you hadn’t)? Similar to this is the question; “should we punish people differently for the same offence”? Would it not be better to treat everyone equally, including through the use of equal punishments? Unrelated to the moral arguments; there may problems with administrating a parking fine system based on income because some individuals might seek to lower their ‘income’ but have earnings through shares or pensions. This would render the system as useless and open it up to the same accusations levied at the tax system (where the very highest earners pay proportionally less tax through the use of offshore accounts and such).

    In conclusion, whether you agree with a progressive parking fine system will largely depend on your political view. Realistically, I think a fine based on income is the least unfair way of sufficiently deterring all individuals from parking inappropriately.
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    (Original post by PGtips92)
    I've just done the "Should parking fines be based on the driver's income" question. Would very much appreciate constructive criticism whether its about content or structure or whatever. Also, I went abit over the time limit... but 30 mins is not enough.yikes..anyway.

    Spoiler:
    Show
    Should parking fines be based on the driver's income?
    PLAN;
    - NO: Income could be low but earnings / wealth high due to shares, retirement, etc (problems of administration costs)
    - YES: fine must be sufficient to act as an incentive not to commit parking fines… a rich person would not have the same disincentive as a poor person because a £100 fine is worth less
    - Neither: should we use offences / crimes as a means of distributing income which progressive fines would do (progressive why punish people for working hard, etc)
    - Neither: should people be fined differently for the same offence
    - A fixed fine: everyone equal, equal punishments; do they do the job? (for people for whom a fixed fine is too low, the fine will not put them off offending and will simply collect tax; for people for whom a fixed fine is too high, is there not a limitited fine for which anything over that amount serves no disincentive purpose but simply increases government revenues
    - What is the purpose of a fine? If to distribute income, it would be good (but must be explicitly said; if to act as a disincentive, the current system isn’t working (see note above)


    What is the purpose of a fine? If its aim is to deter individuals from committing crimes, like a prison sentence, the current system is in many cases ineffective.

    A parking offence is a typical example for which a fine is deemed sufficient punishment (society views a prison sentence for such a minor offence as far too severe). The problem with the current system is that a fixed fine for all income groups has different disincentive effects. For the highest earners, a £100 fine (for arguments sake) would be an insignificant deterrent, providing little incentive not to commit a parking offence. In contrast, for the lowest earners, a £100 fine is a far greater disincentive which many would deem unfair. Additionally, if a low earner would be sufficiently deterred by a £10 fine (any higher amount merely serving to boost government revenues, doesn’t this make a mockery of the idea that a fine’s sole purpose is to deter? Thus, a fine where income isn’t considered has virtually no effect on some individuals and too great an effect on others. A system whereby the parking fine is based on the offenders’ income would rectify this- a fine of £10 000 for someone earning £1 000 000 a year is equivalent (in terms of the disincentives provided) as a fine of £10 for someone earning £1 000 a year (at least this would be true in most cases).

    However, there are various issues associated with such a progressive system. Firstly, a parking fine system based on income serves another purpose as well as a deterrent; it is a means of distributing income. Many would be against this for two reasons: morally, should we use crimes as a means of reducing inequality, which progressive taxes (and, by extension, fines) do? And politically, does society want a more progressive system (in which, for instance, you essentially pay just as much for a parking fine if you had worked hard throughout your life and earned a high income as if you hadn’t)? Similar to this is the question; “should we punish people differently for the same offence”? Would it not be better to treat everyone equally, including through the use of equal punishments? Unrelated to the moral arguments; there may problems with administrating a parking fine system based on income because some individuals might seek to lower their ‘income’ but have earnings through shares or pensions. This would render the system as useless and open it up to the same accusations levied at the tax system (where the very highest earners pay proportionally less tax through the use of offshore accounts and such).

    In conclusion, whether you agree with a progressive parking fine system will largely depend on your political view. Realistically, I think a fine based on income is the least unfair way of sufficiently deterring all individuals from parking inappropriately.
    I think you could improve your structure slightly as you seem to dive straight into the argument without properly introducing it. An introduction could simply consist of a description of what a fine sets out to acheive. Incorporating the purpose will allow you to make consistent judgements throughout the essay.

    I think the first paragraph is far stronger than the second - where you seem to lose yourself in the argument a bit. Your use of figures in the 1st para enhanced the argument, preventing it from being too dry. It also allowed you to illustrate your point in a comprehensible manner.

    Your conclusion is a bit on the short side (although this is probably just the time pressure!) and come Wednesday I think it would be wise for you to ensure that you leave yourself enough time to do it properly. I think you perhaps approach it too "linearly"; maybe you should consider something like multiplier fines for repeat offenders to show that you can think laterally. I think examiners will really want to see that you can think well beyond simply "for and against".

    These are just my own opinions on how you can improve come the exam so please don't be offended by any of my comments (I'm just trying to help you do the best you can.) Best of luck for Wednesday!
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    (Original post by alishariati)
    Some one was asking to look at an essay...
    I wrote about
    "Should parking fines be based on the drivers income"
    typed it up as i have to remember how to write with my hands again
    Slighlty shocked - writing an essay in 30 minutes is much more difficult than i thought it would be
    so:
    The reason we tax those with a higher income more is to ensure that the burdens that a tax has on each individual is as equal as possible across the whole distribution of different incomes. By placing an equal burden on each individual we recognize that each individual in society is equally responsible to society regardless of their relative incomes. It follows from this premise that we should treat each member of society as moral equals that when two people of different incomes commit the same crime they are equally responsible. Because they are equally responsible they should receive the same punishment. However the same nominal fine has a larger burden on the poorer person that the richer person. In order to ensure that each person who commits a crime receives the same punishment we must adopt a system where the burden of a punishment for a set crime is the same (just as we do in our tax system). To do this would involve fining rich people a greater sum of money relative to the amount that the rich man is fined.

    I have shown that the same crime should receive different nominal punishments. The second thing to consider is whether the ‘same act’ is synonymous with the ‘same crime’. The answer to this question depends on why people do not pay for a ticket. If the answer to that question is because the ticket costs money which people are not willing to pay then parking your car illegally if you are rich is worse than parking your illegally if you are poor. When you are deciding whether to park illegally or legally the decision would be between whether to be a responsible citizen or whether to save £1:50. Because the value of saving £1:50 to a poor person is greater than the value of saving £1:50 to a rich person, a rich person is more likely to pay for the ticket. By fining poor and rich people equal amounts we are not recognizing the fact that for a rich person to park illegally is a greater crime. This is because the decision to be good for a rich person is that much easier than for a poor person and therefore when a poor person parks legally it is more praise worthy. Conversely when a rich person parks illegally it is more worthy of punishment than when a poor person parks illegally. We should therefore fine rich people more than poor people not to the extent of an equal burden but to a greater burden. It is this analysis of the relative difficulties of certain acts leading to different punishments that accounts for wives who kill abusive husbands not being charged for murder.
    Mind if I comment on a few things

    - I think what you said about this (This is because the decision to be good for a rich person is that much easier than for a poor person and therefore when a poor person parks legally it is more praise worthy. Conversely when a rich person parks illegally it is more worthy of punishment than when a poor person parks illegally) was really good, I never even thought about it.
    - Why did you not give the other side of the argument? Time? was it your intention?
    - How important do you think it is to have a broad essay? You haven't considered things like admin costs / other problems, reckon this matters?
    - This is a weird quesiton but what was your thought process of answering the question..? :o: I did a plan (see above) which pretty much sums up mine, but how did you start / think as in "right, parking fines based on income, ermm". The obvious thing is the issue of incentives but then what..? I don't want to go into the exam, see the econ question and just not be able to think of much to say...

    PS everyone should post their answers to this question so we can work out how to do better
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    (Original post by pinkpenguin)
    Firstly, chill

    I'll try and help you out as much as possible.

    In terms of preparation, I didn't do a whole lot. I did the practice paper and some critical thinking specimens to make me feel better. To be honest, the test is designed to test aptitude rather than preparation. My sixth form didn't help either - I was the only one sitting the exam!

    What score did you get on the multiple choice?

    Don't underestimate the essay section. Even if you don't do too well on the multiple choice section, a clear, concise and coherent argument in the essay section can secure you an interview. They want to know how you think and organise arguments, not just what score you can get on the test. Don't feel disheartened after the multiple choice and plan your essay thoroughly.

    I take it you are an SPS applicant for Cambridge?? I don't really know how much weighting the TSA has, but for Oxford it's not the be all and end all. Tbh, I'd assume your PS would be most important.

    On a side note - any PPE Oxford applicants, feel free to message me with anything.
    Pinkpenguin,

    I'm an international applicant for PPE at Oxford. I have 3 As at A level in English Lit, Math and Chemistry.

    How important then is the TSA in helpign me secure an interview?? Are international applicants rarely chosen to interview? Does the TSA count as the be all and end all for int'l students??

    Very nervous about the exam and would love a reply.
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    (Original post by Consti.Rules)
    I think you could improve your structure slightly as you seem to dive straight into the argument without properly introducing it. An introduction could simply consist of a description of what a fine sets out to acheive. Incorporating the purpose will allow you to make consistent judgements throughout the essay.

    I think the first paragraph is far stronger than the second - where you seem to lose yourself in the argument a bit. Your use of figures in the 1st para enhanced the argument, preventing it from being too dry. It also allowed you to illustrate your point in a comprehensible manner.

    Your conclusion is a bit on the short side (although this is probably just the time pressure!) and come Wednesday I think it would be wise for you to ensure that you leave yourself enough time to do it properly. I think you perhaps approach it too "linearly"; maybe you should consider something like multiplier fines for repeat offenders to show that you can think laterally. I think examiners will really want to see that you can think well beyond simply "for and against".

    These are just my own opinions on how you can improve come the exam so please don't be offended by any of my comments (I'm just trying to help you do the best you can.) Best of luck for Wednesday!
    Thanks for replying.

    Good point about the intro + conclusion length. I'm always one to rush in the essay and barely finish so my conclusions aren't usually great but yeh I got to make it "add" something abit more.

    If I did the essay again, I'd break up the second paragraph into more coherent arguments (e.g. the moral argument about different fines for different people, the political one about progressive fines themselves, the admin one, etc). And good point about the figures and stuff, I should make the these arguments stronger rather than just asking rhetorical questions.

    The multiplier fines are a great idea!! damn. erm, had you looked up this question or did you just think of that? I realised it was boring / linear but couldn't think of anything like that to make it more interesting / think outside the box. arghh. Out of interest, how would you think laterally about the "Is ethical consumerism a solution to poverty or a dangerous distraction"?

    Thanks for your comments
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    (Original post by iamgreen)
    Pinkpenguin,

    I'm an international applicant for PPE at Oxford. I have 3 As at A level in English Lit, Math and Chemistry.

    How important then is the TSA in helpign me secure an interview?? Are international applicants rarely chosen to interview? Does the TSA count as the be all and end all for int'l students??

    Very nervous about the exam and would love a reply.
    Hi

    I'm not sure there is a strict rule as to how important the TSA is for interview. You have 3 A's at A Level. Given you have a decent reference and you get a comparatively average score in the TSA then there's a good chance you'll get an interview.

    As far as I know, international applicants are judged identically to UK applicants. If you think in the perspective of the university, international applicants pay higher fees, so the uni makes more, and they have a vested interest in recieving the best quality applicants. Weight this against a natural pressure to accept UK applicants (based on national press coverage), then you technically have youself an even playing field.

    Of course, I'm just speculating. But in reality, you being an international applicant should make no differece.

    The TSA will not be the be all and end all for your application. The tutors are experienced at judging comparatively applicants from all over the world vs. UK applicants. Given that you've done A levels too, then other parts of your application will be just as well weighted.



    To everyone - A quick word of advice. DON'T PANIC. It's not the biggest part of your application by no means. There are many aspects and if you have a bad day you won't necessarily not get an interview or even an offer. Take your time, and be calm. If you don't get a question, leave it and come back. Make sure you get an answer down for everything though, even if it's just a best guess.

    On the essay, ensure your argument is clear and well paragraphed. Leave yourself a line between each paragraph to make it clear. Always link your arguments back to the original question and sacrifice an argument for a conclusion if you are running out of time!

    Good luck! :awesome:
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    For anyone who completed the 2007 papers-what was your solution for-...

    Question 13
    It takes twelve men two hours to dig a hole two feet wide by two feet deep, how
    long will it take six men to dig a hole twice as long, wide and deep?
    a. 32 hours
    b. 8 hours
    c. 64 hours
    d. 4 hours
    e. 24 hours


    Question 7
    In an election the Liberal Democrats received 1/2 as many votes as the Labour
    party candidate. The Labour party candidate received 1/3 more votes than the
    candidate from the Conservative party. In total 10,000 people voted for the
    Conservative party candidate. How many votes did the Liberal Democrat
    candidate receive?
    a. 26,666
    b. 6,667
    c. 5,450
    d. 2,400
    e. 6,665
    (I got A for this question..)

    and...
    Question 32
    Henri Cartier-Bresson died today. Although he was world-famous for
    photography, in later years Henri Cartier-Bresson rarely spoke about what he was
    most famous for. In fact, for the last twenty-five years of his life he was devoted
    to drawing and often likened photography to an ex-wife, feeling quite insulted
    when people asked him about the matter. This was ironic seeing as he is
    regarded as one of the greatest 20
    Century photographers and he established
    th
    the Magnum photography agency
    .
    1
    Which of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the above
    argument?
    a. Henri Cartier-Bresson died today.
    b. Henri Cartier-Bresson was a world-famous photographer and esta blished the
    Magnum agency.
    c. Henri Cartier-Bresson was surprisingly reluctant to speak about photography in
    later years.
    d. Despite photography being the reason for Henri Cartier-Bresson’s fame, he had
    a dislike for photography.
    e. Henri Cartier-Bresson wanted to be known for drawing rather than
    photography.
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    (Original post by amy123123)
    For anyone who completed the 2007 papers-what was your solution for-...
    When i did that paper yesterday, the answers I got were:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    7) B
    13) A
    32) C
    Although I wasn't sure about my answer for 32...
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    How did you get to those answers??
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    Hi.

    I just answered the essay question "Freedom of speech doesn't mean that you can say anything you want". I think these questions where it's easy to follow just one line of argumentation to be much easier to complete in 30 minutes. Tell me what you think. Not too sure about most of the stuff up to now. But then I just ask myself "What would Bear Grylls do?" ...so I just go off crawling into camel's carcasses and catching fish with my "bear" hands

    The freedom of speech is a key part of any modern constitution. To be precise it is generally defined as the freedom of opinion rather than just the freedom to engage in the act of speaking which does not necessarily mean that opinions are stated.

    This freedom is based on the concept that to begin with every opinion is as valid as any other and should initially always be allowed to be expressed. It is a fact that opinions on different issues often vary greatly. Whilst most differences in opinion on factual matters can usually be resolved by discussion there are certain cases in which there is a call for an opinion to be forbidden. When this claim is made the other parts of a constitution upon which the freedom of speech rests can be consulted.
    As the freedom of speech is initially considered as an absolute, as described above, all other basic rights defined in the constitution must be as well. If a person using his freedom of speech to hurt another person's basic rights as defined in the constitution then the offender may be sanctioned on the basis of acting against what is defined as an absolute in the constitution.

    Cases such as the Mohammad caricatures which provoked a large part of the muslim world in 2007 illustrate how this definition can and should be applied. The author of the caricatures claimed to be exercising his freedom of speech. One might suspect that he was hurting muslim believers' right to exercise their religion but upon closer consideration one must conclude that he was not trying to inhibit anyone's religious beliefs but was expressing his opinion on a certain matter. This is because there is a difference between trying to take direct influence on a matter and expressing one's opinion.

    Freedom of speech consequently does not mean the right to say anything one wants. It can be marked by the condition that it may not be abused to infringe another fundamental right accepted in our society.

    This can be extended to define a way of dealing with laws that suppress free speech. From the standpoint that the fundamental rights in the constitution of the western world are correct, laws that go against such a right can not legitimately suppress it. Laws suppressing the freedom of speech such as exist many countries such as China are hence illigitimate.

    Again, what do you think? Thankful for any constructive criticism.
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    My worry with the essay part of the TSA is length, really- I'm able to come up with some points for and against for each of the practice questions, but I always feel as if ultimately I'm not writing enough and not thinking outside of the box. I know we're allowed up to two sides, but I feel as though I'm not going to be able to write anywhere near that amount.
 
 
 
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