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The TSA is a pretty complicated exam, so you might have some questions! Here are some answers to some TSA FAQs. 


TSA FAQ 1: Do I have to sit the TSA? Which parts?

If you’re applying to Oxford, you’ll have to do Section 1 and Section 2 for applications to Experimental Psychology, PPL, PPE, Human Sciences and Geography. You just need Section 1 if you’re applying to History and Economics or Economics and Management at Oxford.

TSA FAQ 2: Do I need to prepare?

Yes. The TSA is a difficult exam, and preparation is key so you get used to the questions and time constraints. If you’re familiar with the content, you’ll feel more relaxed on exam day and will be able to perform at your best.

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TSA FAQ 3: When should I start preparing? 

It’s almost never too late to prepare, as some preparation is better than none. A good time to start would be a month or two before the exam. There is a finite number of past papers, so don’t start so early that you run out of practice materials! Our TSA Online Course is also a great place to start understanding the format and question types. It’s not the kind of exam you can cram the night before, since it is skill-based rather than content-based. So, you’ll want to begin preparing in enough time for you to pick up those skills. Remember, TSA is one part of your application – it’s important but you don’t want to be devoting so much attention to it that your schoolwork or UCAS application fall behind. 

TSA Preparation

TSA FAQ 4: Do I need any prior knowledge to do the TSA?

Not really. It’s an aptitude test rather than a test of knowledge. You will need to be able to do some maths, but it is mostly at the level of GCSE and below so you will have covered it before. What the TSA requires is less knowing facts and more understanding how to solve problems and interpret arguments. 

TSA FAQ 5: What resources should I use to prepare? 

as well as a Specimen Paper with explained answers, which is also useful. You can also use BMAT Section 1 preparation materials, as the questions are the same style. You can also check out our bank of TSA Past Papers.

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TSA FAQ 6: Can I resit the TSA?

You can’t. There’s only one sitting each year – to resit you’d have to withdraw all your university applications, reapply in the next year’s admissions cycle, and then you could sit the TSA again. 

TSA FAQ 7: What is a good score in the TSA?

Officially, the exam is designed so the average applicant gets a converted  score of 60, 70 is a comparatively high score, and a few exceptional students will get above 80. For the best chances at an interview/offer you’ll probably be looking at getting at least high 60s/low 70s or above. It varies by course – take a look at our ‘What is a good TSA score?’ article for more. 

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TSA FAQ 8: How important is the TSA?

Most admissions departments value the TSA quite highly when making decisions on who to interview – they’ll be presented with a lot of good candidates and the TSA is designed to separate out a high-achieving cohort. Your GCSEs, predicted grades, personal statement and teacher reference, and any extenuating circumstances for any of these, will also be considered. The TSA isn’t the be-all and end-all of your application, but it is very important.

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    TSA FAQ 9: Can tutoring help me with the TSA?

    You don’t need a tutor to succeed in the TSA, but having a tutor for TSA Preparation can make your preparation go more smoothly. Having some expert advice and guidance from someone who has done it before can be useful, especially if you’re not sure where to begin! Oxbridge Mind’s experienced tutors can help you prepare for the TSA and achieve your best score.

    If you have any questions not answered here or in one of our other TSA articles, feel free to ask them below!

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