skip to Main Content

TSA Tutors - Thinking Skills Assessment Oxford Cambridge UCL

TSA Tutors – Thinking Skills Assessment


The TSA is an admissions test used for undergraduate courses at the University of Oxford and University College London. Historically it has been used also by the University of Cambridge for applicants looking to study Land Economy, however, there seems to be no setup for the TSA for 2023 Cambridge applications. Our TSA Tutors can help you excel and achieve a high score on all elements of the thinking skills assessment.



Oxford candidates are required to take this test if applying to study one of the following courses:

  • Experimental Psychology
  • Geography
  • Human Sciences
  • Philosophy, Politics and Economics
  • Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics


If you are applying for Economics Management or History and Economics at Oxford, you will also have to take the TSA, but only Section 1.


For practice materials, click on our official Oxford TSA website link provided below. Here you will find workshop videos, past papers for both sections of the test, a question guide, explanations of results, and further reading.




For UCL candidates, you will be required to take this test if you are applying to study one of the following courses:

  • R990 European Social and Political Studies
  • LV01 International Social and Political Studies


There will be two sittings of the test: one in January and one in March. You will need to register for one of these options via Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT). For more information see .



Outline of the TSA

The TSA is administered by Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing (CAAT). It is a computer-based test divided into two parts. It is divided into two sections: UCL applicants need only take Section 1, while Oxford applicants are required to take Section 1 and Section 2.


Section 1 is a 90-minute multiple choice Thinking Skills Assessment. There will be 50 questions, each question being worth one mark. In this section the aim is to assess problem-solving skills (e.g. numerical reasoning), and critical thinking skills (e.g. understanding argument and reasoning).


Section 2 is a 30-minute writing task. Here you will be asked to answer one question from a choice of four. Questions are not subject-specific. The word limit for this section is 750 words. The aim of this section is to assess your ability to clearly organise ideas and to communicate them well in writing. Admissions tutors assess this section. They are looking for:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Excellent analytical reasoning
  • Good consideration of possible counterarguments
  • Excellent and accurate use of language
  • Well-organised answer
  • Clear communication of ideas


Marking is automated and calculated on the TSA scale to one decimal place. Results are released in early January by CAAT and are only available to download for 60 days. Admissions tutors will receive all results directly from CAAT and will use these to make shortlisting decisions for interviews in November.


Please note that the TSA is but one part of your entire application; admissions tutors will also be looking at your academic record, UCAS application form, additional recent work submitted (if this has been requested) and performance at interview (if you are invited to attend). Therefore, look upon the TSA as an exciting opportunity to challenge yourself and build on your skills.


Registration for the TSA:

You will need to register yourself for the TSA through an authorised test centre. This could be your school/college or an open test centre. You can find your nearest test centre via Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing at . It is worth inquiring into whether your school/college is already registered as a test centre. If it is not, members of staff could arrange to register it any time before the 30th September. Some advice for how to do so is here: You must be registered by the 15th October. The test will take place before interviews are organised – so in November for Oxford candidates, and January or March for UCL applicants.


When you register, you will be asked to provide:

  • Your name, date of birth, and gender
  • Your UCAS number
  • The name of the university, course, and course code you are applying to
  • Details of any access arrangements

TSA Tutors – Thinking Skills Assessment

TSA – The Thinking Skills Assessment Test is required as part of the selection procedure for applications to undergraduate courses in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE), Economics and Management, Experimental Psychology and Psychology, Philosophy and Physiology (PPP) at the University of Oxford. This test assesses thinking skills, critical and otherwise as well as general aptitude. Furthermore  the following skills are tested: Problem-solving skills, including numerical and spatial reasoning. Critical thinking skills, including understanding argument and reasoning using everyday language. This test is also required for certain courses at Cambridge University and University College London.

TSA Course & TSA tutors

TSA Oxford, Cambridge, & UCL Courses.

Exam Format:

TSA Oxford is a written test consisting of two sections, firstly the Thinking Skills element with 50 MCQs to complete over 90 minutes. The thinking skills element of section 1 tests a candidates problem-solving skills, numerical and spatial reasoning, Critical thinking skills, argument and reasoning skills. A further section two entails a written task over 30 minutes assessing the ability to organise ideas clearly and concisely, and communicate them effectively in writing. The questions set are not subject-specific. The whole test lasts 2 hours.

TSA Chemistry (Oxford) From 2016 Oxford Chemistry applicants. TSA Chemistry is a 90 minute exam that is essentially Section 1 of TSA Oxford with 50 multiple choice thinking skills questions complete in 90 minutes. Candidates applying for Chemistry F100 will not be required to take Section 2 which is the writing task.

TSA Cambridge is a paper exam, and essentially similar to the Thinking Skills Assessment Oxford core Section one element. 50 multiple-choice questions, testing problem-solving and thinking skills over 90 minutes.

TSA UCL is a paper test consisting of 50 multiple-choice questions, testing problem-solving and critical thinking skills over 90 minutes.


The following courses require the TSA:

University  Course 
University of Cambridge (C05)

G400 Computer ScienceL100 Economics

H100 Engineering

L000 Human, Social, and Political Sciences

KL41 Land Economy

BCF0 Natural Sciences (Physical and Biological)

C800 Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

University  Course 
University of Oxford (O33) CV85 Psychology and Philosophy

C830 Experimental Psychology (EP)

CQ81 Psychology and Linguistics

LN12 Economics and Management

L0V0 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE)

L700 Geography

VQ51 Philosophy and Linguistics

F100 Chemistry (From 2016 TSA Chemistry)

University  Course 
UCL (U80) R990 European Social and Political Studies

R992 European Social and Political Studies: Dual Degree BA

Courses are delivered 1-1 for the Thinking Skills Assessment with past paper practice and expert advice by Graduates from Oxford Colleges. Many of our tutors hold PhDs and other postgraduate qualifications in their subjects, indicative both of their passion for, and expertise as well as extensive experience with these thinking and aptitude tests.

If you’d like arrange private lessons or have any questions about our TSA courses and TSA tutors in London and Oxford please call us on Tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.


Oxford Resources

Outline of the TSA:


Oxford website: outline of the TSA (including practice materials):


Oxford Admissions tests information:


UCL Resources

Outline of the TSA:


Preparing for the TSA:


TSA question guide:


How to register:


European and International Social and Political Studies:


General Resources


For a variety of past papers and mark schemes:


TSA example questions and answers:


Cambridge Resources (just in case)

Outline of the TSA:

Preparing for TSA Cambridge:


TSA question guide:



Back To Top