The Cambridge TSA (Cambridge Thinking Skills Assessment) is an admissions exam designed to rank the applicants to various courses at the University of Cambridge
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The TSA is not subject-specific, which makes sense given that it is used on a number of courses at Cambridge, so you will not be required to demonstrate any specific knowledge as such. Instead, the test is designed to measure, as the name suggests, your thinking abilities and reasoning skills. The test is 90-minutes long and is made up of 50 multiple choice questions in total. 25 of these are focused on problem solving, including spatial reasoning, numerical skills, and logical thinking, whilst the other 25 are critical thinking questions, including understanding an argument, reasoning and deduction, and use of language. The questions are marked with points awarded to the difficulty of the questions, giving a final mark out of 100 points in total.
The Cambridge TSA is set by Cambridge University for students applying to a variety of subjects, including computer science, engineering, economics, HSPS (human, social, and political sciences), and land economy.
Cambridge University uses the TSA as a standardised format for assessing and benchmarking their applicants. The exam rewards problem solving over specific subject knowledge, so that students taking different qualifications at school and applying for different courses at university can access the syllabus. Cambridge University uses students’ marks in the TSA to make decisions about which applicants they should invite to interview. The vast majority of applicants to Cambridge’s highly competitive undergraduate courses will have similarly excellent grades, so an applicant’s TSA test score heavily influences this decision.
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