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# The Big TSA 2009 Thread watch

1. Hi guys. I have completely messed up the TSA this year but at least I think I know the right answer to the spinning wheels question.

I guess it would be 2 rotations of the wheel with circumreference of 8. Take some paper and scissors and put a small circle (1) on top of the larger circle (2). Rotate it and you will find out that the small wheel makes the same number of rotations as the one with circumference of 2 because they share the same centerpoint. If the wheel (2) makes 8 rotations in total, then you have to count the total lenght by which the larger wheel pulls the chain attached round its circumference. If the larger wheel makes 8 rotations per 2 units of length, then it pulls the chain per 16 units of total units of lenght. If the circumference of the largerst wheel is 8, than 1 rotation accounts for 8 units of lenght. If the total length of the pull is 16 units of lenght, then the largest wheel makes 2 rotations.

I did mark 1 in the answer as well ...
2. (Original post by IlluminatedCZ)
Hi guys... I have completely messed up the TSA this year but at least I think I know the right answer to the spinning wheels question.

I guess it would be 2 rotations of the wheel with circumreference of 8. Take some paper and scissors and put a small circle (1) and on top of a larger circle (2). Rotate it and you will find out that the small wheel makes the same number of rotations as the one with circumreference of 2 because they share the same centerpoint. If the wheel (2) makes 8 rotations in total, then you have to count the total lenght by which the larger wheel pulls the chain attached round its circumreference. If the larger wheel makes 8 rotations per 2 units of length, then it pulls the chain per 16 units of total units of lenght. If the circumreference of the largerst wheel is 8, than 1 rotation accounts for 8 units of lenght. If the total length of the pull is 16 units of lenght, then the largest wheel makes 2 rotations.

I did mark 1 in the answer as well ...
this is what i thought: 2.
but there was no answer that said 2. only 1 or 4. so I chose 1.
3. (Original post by 09911041)
this is what i thought: 2.
but there was no answer that said 2. only 1 or 4. so I chose 1.
Four rotations can only correspond if the circumreference of the largest wheel was 4. I can't recall the task now, but I think the options were 1, 2 and 8.
4. So was it 1 or 4 for the wheel question?
5. hey guys,

spent about an hour reading through this thread. this question has probably come uo before, but what is more "important"? The Questions or the Essay.

I really messed up the latter: I've hardly written a page, had a complete black out!

btw, I noticed am not the only German in this forum who took the test: Has anyone of you taken the test in Munich? If that's the case, we've probably met...
6. (Original post by Ducar111)
hey guys,

spent about an hour reading through this thread. this question has probably come uo before, but what is more "important"? The Questions or the Essay.

I really messed up the latter: I've hardly written a page, had a complete black out!

btw, I noticed am not the only German in this forum who took the test: Has anyone of you taken the test in Munich? If that's the case, we've probably met...
I used to think that the essay would be more important than the multiple choice. However, this opinion was changed on the first page of this thread:
(Original post by Deipnosophist123)
I'm very sceptical about exactly how the essay marking process goes. If you think about it, every single applicant for PPE and E&M writes an essay. We're talking many thousands of people here. For each essay to be thoroughly read over and critiqued is more than just unlikely, it's nigh on impossible. Last year the TSA was November 5th, and some people had their interview letters by December 1st, having been sent out a few days beforehand. This gives the admissions tutors three weeks to make a decision, and - when you consider that time frame - a full analysis of your essay is improbably at best.

This may be true, but it's unfair to compare a good multiple choice and awful essay with a good essay and a decent multiple choice. I firmly believe that if you as an applicant had the choice of 'good multiple choice and average essay' or 'average multiple choice and good essay', the former would be more beneficial to you in terms of securing an interview for a number of reasons.

Firstly, the multiple choice segment tests your reasoning, analytical and mathematical skills, whereas the essay doesn't test you to the same extent. For this reason, the multiple choice section is more representative of your overall skills.

Secondly, the multiple choice segment is simply right or wrong, there isn't the subjectivity involved with essay writing. For this reason, it is more attractive and efficient as a method of filtering applicants.

Thirdly, Cambridge has undertaken research where it compares finalists' overall results (1st, 2.i, 2.ii, 3rd) with their performance at the TSA. They have found a statistically significant correlation between performance at the TSA and performance at Cambridge, suggesting that it is indeed a valid measure of future performance on TSA-related degrees. At Cambridge, they don't have an essay writing segment, so these conclusions are drawn purely from the multiple choice segment of the paper.

Thus, whilst I don't disagree that the essay section is important, they're probably just expecting an ability to argue on the spot, structure effectively and persuasively, and reach a solid conclusion. On the other hand, a truly excellent multiple choice score (45+) will stand you in very good stead when you begin your interviews.
I can't put it better than that
7. (Original post by Ducar111)
hey guys,

spent about an hour reading through this thread. this question has probably come uo before, but what is more "important"? The Questions or the Essay.

I really messed up the latter: I've hardly written a page, had a complete black out!

btw, I noticed am not the only German in this forum who took the test: Has anyone of you taken the test in Munich? If that's the case, we've probably met...

Oxford cannot afford candidates who would give up studying in the first, second, or third year only because the course would get too hard for them. Oxford cannot afford lots of drop-outs and focuses therefore on the best candidates who are likely to be the most intelligent, say gifted, and have the potential finish the whole course. That is a precondition for any admission of any candidate applying to Oxford. From this assumption, you can conclude that the most relevant indicator of intelligence cannot be a personal statement (selection of words, sentence-building, and any given but to-selectors-unprovable information are unmeasurable variables), it cannot be the A levels (some students achieve these grades not by learning the subject but by pure memorising the information), and it cannot be the reference (some teachers tend to biased in writing references) but they are the specific exams results (TSA, ELAT, HAT etc.) which represent an unbiased and the most complex information on candidate's intelligence from all the information given.

Given by the TSA official tables with the average percentage levels of intaken candidates from previous years showing that they scored in between of 59-85%, getting a score below 60% while having nothing making you stand out, cuts your chances rapidly, any good essay won't help you out here, and Oxford will most likely not make you an offer on interview whereas the stakes are very high; 92% of those who were admitted in last years did not have a different A level than AAA.

Only in the case you get over 60%, the other criteria become applicable and are being taken into account, i.e. personal statement showing previous and potential interest in the subject, the predicted grades of the A levels, and the reference eventually. These candidates receive an offer on interview most likely.

The essay, in my opinion, is read at soonest by the tutors in case your score falls below 60% but your other characteristics of your application seem promising, i.e. three or more A levels, well-structured and rich personal statement showing dedication to the subject, and a very good reference. In other words, a well-structured essay will help you only in the case you seem promising at the first look but your TSA is slightly messed up. A well-written essay cannot make up for any of the primary admission criteria.
8. (Original post by IlluminatedCZ)
At Oxford, in my opinion, they mostly look for gifted (intelligent) candidates. That is a precondition for any candidate applying to Oxford. From this assumption, you can conclude that the most relevant factor is the specific test result which is the most relevant variable from all the information given by the candidate's application.

Therefore, if you get a score below 60% (given by the TSA official tables with the average percentage levels of intaken candidates in previous years, i.e. 59-85%) and there is nothing which would make you stand out or unique among other applicants, they simply cut you off and don't make you an offer on interview whereas the competition is very high, 92% intaken candidates from previous years had AAA and definitely all of these candidates had a good personal statement and a relevant reference as well.

In case you get over a 60%, the other criteria are being taken into account, i.e. personal statement showing previous and potential interest in the subject, predicted grades to confirm the TSA result, and the reference eventually. These candidates get an offer on interview.

The essay, in my opinion, is read at soonest by the tutors in case your score falls below 60% but your other characteristics of your application seem promising. In other words, a well-structured essay will help you in case you seem a promising candidate at the first look but you messed up the TSA.
I think this is probably an extremely relevant point!
9. I thought it was okay overall but I'm absolutely TERRIBLE at all things visual so could anyone explain how to do the one with the roads (XABCBCAX, etc.) and with the pyramids as the last question?

I think I said that you couldn't make the one that had red as the base. I couldn't visualise a top-down view that had yellow the left of green.
10. (Original post by Arkantos)
So was it 1 or 4 for the wheel question?
it was 1
11. hi guys..i know this has been asked before but i'm not sure if it was answered...when is the earliest they will let us know whether we are successful in getting an interview? thanks ..
12. Sry for my awful 'paint' skills.

I'm quite sure that was how it looked. I have 1 as the answer too.
(it's because of the connection between outer and inner wheel)
13. (Original post by IlluminatedCZ)
Oxford cannot afford candidates who would give up studying in the first, second, or third year only because the course would get too hard for them. Oxford cannot afford lots of drop-outs and focuses therefore on the best candidates who are likely to be the most intelligent, say gifted, and have the potential finish the whole course. That is a precondition for any admission of any candidate applying to Oxford. From this assumption, you can conclude that the most relevant indicator of intelligence cannot be a personal statement (selection of words, sentence-building, and any given but unprovable information are unmeasurable variables), it cannot even be the A levels (some students achieve these grades by memorising the information), and it cannot be the reference (some teachers tend to biased in writing references) but they are the specific exams results (TSA, ELAT, HAT etc.) which represent the most from relevant and complex information in candidate's intelligence from all the information given.

Given by the TSA official tables with the average percentage levels of intaken candidates from previous years showing that they scored in between of 59-85%, getting a score below 60% while having nothing making you stand out, cuts your chances rapidly, any good essay won't help you out here, and Oxford will simply not make you an offer on interview whereas the stakes are very high; 92% of those who were admitted in last years did not have a different A level than AAA.

Only in the case you get over 60%, the other criteria become applicable and are being taken into account, i.e. personal statement showing previous and potential interest in the subject, the predicted grades of the A levels, and the reference eventually. These candidates get an offer on interview.

The essay, in my opinion, is read at soonest by the tutors in case your score falls below 60% but your other characteristics of your application seem promising, i.e. three A levels, well-structured and rich personal statement showing dedication to the subject, and a very good reference. In other words, a well-structured essay will help you only in the case you seem promising at the first look but your TSA is slightly messed up.
I completely agree with you...even if it's a scary thought that you have to be THAT bright to get into Oxford...since one is competing with the smartest people from all over the world!
14. I was itching to get discussing the TSA when the ban was in place and couldn't wait, but now it's just depressing me over how much I could've mucked up!

Daaamn.

15. I hope they dont read my essay..........
16. (Original post by Meliae)
Weird, I thought exactly the same - my friend doing bmat was also complaining about all the einstein questions. I was hoping for psychology questions like last year. It threw me a bit when I opened the paper.
i think i was too numb to be thrown lol i guess it's just the wait now...it's funny, my school told me you dont get to see your results til 15th january, but according to my college i should know if i have a place or not around 21st december!
17. (Original post by Rophy)
i think i was too numb to be thrown lol i guess it's just the wait now...it's funny, my school told me you dont get to see your results til 15th january, but according to my college i should know if i have a place or not around 21st december!
Yeah that's right. You don't find out how badly you messed up until after you know if you're in or not. Not sure if that's a good or a bad thing... neither really.
18. (Original post by Rophy)
i think i was too numb to be thrown lol i guess it's just the wait now...it's funny, my school told me you dont get to see your results til 15th january, but according to my college i should know if i have a place or not around 21st december!

A place by 21st december?!! Which college have you applied to???????????
19. (Original post by velvethelmet)
Sry for my awful 'paint' skills.

I'm quite sure that was how it looked. I have 1 as the answer too.
(it's because of the connection between outer and inner wheel)
Yup, the answer is one. If the first wheel is spun 8 times, the second wheel spins 4 times. Both parts of the second wheel spin 4 times -- they really are two sections of the same wheel. Because the second wheel is connected to the third with a 1:4 circumferential ratio, the third wheel spins once for every 4 spins of the second.
20. (Original post by *shooting*star*)
hi guys..i know this has been asked before but i'm not sure if it was answered...when is the earliest they will let us know whether we are successful in getting an interview? thanks ..
It would be very unlikely to hear anything until two weeks before the interview. You probably wont hear anything until a week before it though.

Updated: October 8, 2010
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