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All applicants who wish to study Experimental Psychology or Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics at the University of Oxford are required to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA). Those who apply to study Linguistics as part of PPL will also be required to sit a separate Linguistics Test as part of the Modern Language Admissions Test (MLAT).

The TSA and MLAT tests will be sat on 31 October 2018.

The TSA and the Linguistics Test help College Tutors to assess whether applicants have the appropriate skills and aptitudes for the course. The admissions tests are just one part of our admissions process.

Test registration

  • How to register: you cannot register yourself for the tests - you must be registered by a test centre. You should speak to the Exams Officer at your school or college to ask about this. If the school or college is a registered test centre (or becomes one by 30 September) then they can register you as a candidate. If your school or college is not a registered test centre, or cannot become one in time, then you can register through an open centre. Please allow plenty of time for this process. Please register and obtain your test candidate number between 1 September and 15 October. Late registration cannot be permitted.
  • Date test is taken: 31 October 2018 (for 2019 entry), 30 October 2019 (for 2020 entry), 4 November 2020 (for 2021 entry). You must sit the test in the year you intend to apply.
  • Important information: Ask for your test candidate entry number so you know you have been registered correctly. If you are taking more than one test you need a separate entry number for each.
  • Further information can be found on the Cambridge Assessment and Admissions Testing website: www.admissionstesting.org/tsaoxford and www.admissionstesting.org/mlat

Test preparation

TSA: for those applying to Experimental Psychology or Psychology, Philosophy and Linguistics (PPL)

The Thinking Skills Assessment is a paper-based test, divided into two parts: a 90-minute, multiple-choice Thinking Skills Assessment and a 30-minute writing task. 

Section 1 is made up of 50 multiple-choice questions and aims to assess the following: problem-solving skills, including numerical and spatial reasoning; critical thinking skills, including the ability to understand an argument; and the ability to reason using everyday language.

Section 2 is a writing task that seeks to evaluate a candidate’s ability to organise ideas in a clear and concise manner, and communicate them effectively in writing. Questions are not subject-specific and candidates must answer one question from a choice of four.

Section 1 specimen and past papers

The first section of the TSA is made up of 50 multiple-choice questions. You can find a specimen paper, in addition to past papers going back to 2008 here. You can also download answer sheets for each paper and a score conversion chart. 

Section 2 specimen and past papers

Section 2 of the TSA is a writing task that seeks to evaluate a candidate’s ability to organise ideas in a clear and concise manner, and communicate them effectively in writing. Questions are not subject-specific and candidates must answer one question from a choice of four. Please see the Guidelines  for further information. You can find a specimen paper, in addition to past papers going back to 2008 here.

 

MLAT: Those who apply to study Linguistics as part of PPL will also be required to sit a separate Linguistics Test as part of the Modern Language Admissions Test (MLAT).

The Modern Languages Admissions Test is a paper-based test which consists of 11 sections. Which sections you take depends on the course you are applying for. Those who apply to study Linguistics as part of PPL will also be required to sit the Linguistics section which is a 30 minute test. You can find past papers and answer keys here.