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About the Authors
SECTION 1: Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking Questions
SECTION 1: Problem Solving
Problem Solving Questions
Your Free Book
TSA Intensive Course
Oxbridge Interview Course
The Ultimate TSA Guide
Copyright © 2017 UniAdmissions. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information retrieval system without prior written permission of the publisher. This publication may not be used in conjunction with or to support any commercial undertaking without the prior written permission of the publisher.
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This book is neither created nor endorsed by TSA. The authors and publisher are not affiliated with TSA. The information offered in this book is purely advisory and any advice given should be taken within this context. As such, the publishers and authors accept no liability whatsoever for the outcome of any applicant’s TSA performance, the outcome of any university applications or for any other loss. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publisher and author assume no responsibility for errors or omissions of any kind. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of information contained herein. This does not affect your statutory rights.
JONATHAN IS CURRENTLY STUDYING ECONOMICS and Management at St. Hugh’s College, Oxford and has worked for UniAdmissions since 2014. His primary role is as a personal tutor, working with Oxbridge candidates to assist them through all stages of the application process.
Jonathan sat the Thinking Skills Assessment as part of his own application to Oxford in 2012. He scored full marks in Section 1 of the paper, placing him in the top 0.1% of all candidates who sat the assessment that year. Since working for UniAdmissions, Jonathan has tutored a number of students preparing to sit the Thinking Skills Assessment, and is very familiar with all aspects of the paper.
After graduation, Jonathan plans to remain in Oxford to undertake further study. He is keen to help others gain the same opportunities he has been afforded, and thus hopes continue working with UniAdmissions to tutor Oxbridge applicants from all backgrounds.
Rohan is the Director of Operations at UniAdmissions and is responsible for its technical and commercial arms. He graduated from Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge and is a fully qualified doctor. Over the last five years, he has tutored hundreds of successful Oxbridge and Medical applicants. He has also authored ten books on admissions tests and interviews.
Rohan has taught physiology to undergraduates and interviewed medical school applicants for Cambridge. He has published research on bone physiology and writes education articles for the Independent and Huffington Post. In his spare time, Rohan enjoys playing the piano and table tennis.
The Ultimate TSA Guide
300 Practice Questions
What is the TSA?
The Thinking Skills Assessment is an aptitude test taken by students who are applying to certain courses at Cambridge and Oxford. Cambridge applicants sit the TSA Cambridge and Oxford applicants sit the TSA Oxford.
What does it test?
NB: TSA Oxford consists of sections 1 + 2; TSA Cambridge and TSA UCL consist of only section 1.
Why is the TSA used?
The TSA is considered by tutors alongside your grades (both achieved and predicted), personal statement, references, and interview, in order to determine whether you should get an offer. Different colleges and admission tutors will give different weighting to each of these components, and therefore there is no sure-fire way to know how much consideration will be given in each application.
In general, Oxbridge applicants tend to be a bright bunch and therefore usually have excellent grades. This means that competition is fierce – meaning that the universities must use the TSA to help differentiate between applicants.
Who has to sit the TSA?
When do I sit TSA?
The TSA Oxford takes place in the first week of November every year, normally on a Wednesday Morning. The TSA Cambridge is taken during the interview period at Cambridge (usually in the first 2 weeks of December). The college you apply to will inform you about when you need to take the exam.
Can I resit the TSA?
No, you can only sit the TSA once per admissions cycle.
Where do I sit the TSA?
You can usually sit the TSA Oxford at your school or college (ask your exams officer for more information). Alternatively, if your school isn’t a registered test centre or you’re not attending a school or college, you can sit the TSA at an authorised test centre. The venue of the TSA Cambridge will be arranged for you when you attend for your interview.
How much does it cost?
The TSA Cambridge is free to sit. The TSA Oxford is usually free although there may be a small administration charge from the centre.
If I reapply, do I have to resit the TSA?
You only need to resit the TSA if you are applying to Oxford or Cambridge for a course that requires the TSA again. You cannot use your score from any previous attempts.
How is the TSA Scored?
Section 1 is scored on a scale of approximately 1 – 100. In general, the average TSA score for an applicant to Cambridge is in the high 50s. Only 10% of students score above 70.
When do I get my results?
TSA Oxford results are released in early January of the following year. TSA Cambridge results vary from college to college and it is best to ask your college admissions officer.
How is the TSA used?
Whilst the personal statement and references might give a good indication of a candidate’s motivation or enthusiasm, the TSA score is one of only two pieces of quantitative information available to tutors about the academic ability of candidates, alongside grades. It can often be hard to differentiate between candidates given that the majority will receive high numbers of A and A* grades during their time at school. The TSA results provide Oxbridge tutors with a way of differentiating between applicants who may otherwise look very similar.
There is no set score a candidate must receive in the assessment in order to receive an offer, but most tutors will set a rough threshold which candidates must meet in order to be seriously considered. Nevertheless, tutors understand that everyone has bad days and if a TSA score seem disproportionately low for an otherwise strong candidate they are likely to look into why this occurred, rather than dismissing the application entirely.
It is not uncommon for tutors to refer to the TSA at interview. Some will ask for the applicant’s opinion of how the exam went, or disclose their score to them. Others may ask a candidate a number of TSA style questions, in order to verify that the score they received reflects their ability. At Oxford, where the writing task makes up Section 2 of the paper, candidates are sometimes asked questions on the essay they submitted. This process is used by tutors to gain a better understanding of how you think; don’t assume that you are being questioned on your TSA because you scored particularly low (or indeed particularly high!).
It is much easier to prepare if you practice little and often. Start your preparation well in advance; ideally by mid September but at the latest by early October. This way you will have plenty of time to complete as many papers as you need to and won’t have to panic and cram just before the test, which is a much less effective and more stressful way to learn.
Some questions can be long and complex – and given the intense time pressure you need to know your limits. It is essential that you don’t get stuck with very difficult questions. If a question looks particularly long or complex, move on and mark it for review. You don’t want to be caught 5 questions short at the end just because you took more than 3 minutes in answering a challenging multi-step problem-solving question. If a question is taking too long, choose a sensible answer and move on. Remember that each question carries equal weighting and therefore, you should adjust your timing in accordingly. With practice and discipline, you can get very good at this and learn to maximise your efficiency.
There are no penalties for incorrect answers in the TSA; you will gain one for each right answer and will not get one for each wrong or unanswered one. This provides you with the luxury that you can always guess should you absolutely be not able to figure out the right answer for a question or run behind time. Since each question provides you with 4 to 6 possible answers, you have a 16-25% chance of guessing correctly. Therefore, if you aren’t sure (and are running short of time), then guess and move on. Before ‘guessing’ you should try to eliminate a couple of answers to increase your chances of getting the question correct.
For example, if a question has 5 options and you manage to eliminate 2 options- your chances of getting the question increase from 20% to 33%!
Avoid losing easy marks on other questions because of poor exam technique. Similarly, if you have failed to finish the exam, take the last 10 seconds to guess the remaining questions to at least give yourself a chance of getting them right.
This is the best way of familiarising yourself with the style of question and the timing for this section. You are unlikely to be familiar with the style of questions in the TSA when you first encounter them.
Practising questions will put you at ease and make you more comfortable with the exam. The more comfortable you are, the less you will panic on the test day and the more likely you are to score highly. Initially, work through the questions at your own pace, and spend time carefully reading the questions and looking at any additional data. When it becomes closer to the test, make sure you practice the questions under exam conditions.
Official past papers and answers for the TSA Oxford are freely available at www.uniadmissions.co.uk/tsa-past-papers. If you are sitting the TSA Cambridge/UCL, you should still attempt the TSA Oxford papers as they are the same style and difficulty. Once you’ve completed the questions in this book, you should attempt as many past papers as possible (at least 4).
You will undoubtedly get stuck when doing some past paper questions – they are designed to be tricky and the answer schemes don’t offer any explanations. Thus, you’re highly advised to acquire a copy of TSA Past Paper Worked Solutions – a free ebook is available online (see the back of this book for more details). For a final boost to your preparation, you can find an additional 4 practice papers at www.uniadmissions.co.uk/tsa-practice-papers.
When checking through answers, pay particular attention to questions you have got wrong. If there is a worked answer, look through it carefully until you feel confident that you understand the reasoning, and then repeat the question without help to check that you can do it. If only the answer is given, have another look at the question and try to work out why that answer is correct. This is the best way to learn from your mistakes, and means you are less likely to make similar mistakes when it comes to the test. The same applies for questions which you were unsure of and made an educated guess which was correct, even if you got it right. When working through this book, make sure you highlight any questions you are unsure of, this means you know to spend more time looking over them once marked.
You aren’t permitted to use calculators in the TSA – thus it is essential that you have strong numerical skills. For instance, you should be able to rapidly convert between percentages, decimals and fractions. You will seldom get questions that would require calculators but you would be expected to be able to arrive at a sensible estimate. Consider for example:
Estimate 3.962 x 2.322:
Since you will rarely be asked to perform difficult calculations, you can use this as a signpost of if you are tackling a question correctly. For example, if you end up in the situation where you have to divide 8,079 by 357- this should raise alarm bells because calculations in the TSA are rarely this difficult.
A word on timing...
“If you had all day to do your TSA, you would get 100%. But you don’t.”
Whilst this isn’t completely true, it illustrates a very important point. Once you’ve practiced and know how to answer the questions, the clock is your biggest enemy. This seemingly obvious statement has one very important consequence. The way to improve your TSA score is to improve your speed. There is no magic bullet. But there are a great number of techniques that, with practice, will give you significant time gains, allowing you to answer more questions and score more marks.
Timing is tight throughout the TSA – mastering timing is the first key to success. Some candidates choose to work as quickly as possible to save up time at the end to check back, but this is generally not the best way to do it. TSA questions have a lot of information in them – each time you start answering a question it takes time to get familiar with the instructions and information. By splitting the question into two sessions (the first run-through and the return-to-check) you double the amount of time you spend on familiarising yourself with the data, as you have to do it twice instead of only once. This costs valuable time. In addition, candidates who do check back may spend 2–3 minutes doing so and yet not make any actual changes. Whilst this can be reassuring, it is a false reassurance as it has little effect on your actual score. Therefore it is usually best to pace yourself very steadily, aiming to spend the same amount of time on each question and finish the final question in a section just as time runs out. This reduces the time spent on re-familiarising with questions and maximises the time spent on the first attempt, gaining more marks.
It is essential that you don’t get stuck with the hardest questions – no doubt there will be some. In the time spent answering only one of these you may miss out on answering three easier questions. If a question is taking too long, choose a sensible answer and move on. Never see this as giving up or in any way failing, rather it is the smart way to approach a test with a tight time limit. With practice and discipline, you can get very good at this and learn to maximise your efficiency.
Use the Options
Some questions may try to overload you with information. When presented with large tables and data, it’s essential you look at the answer options so you can focus your mind. This can allow you to reach the correct answer a lot more quickly. Consider the example below:
The table below shows the results of a study investigating antibiotic resistance in staphylococcus populations. A single staphylococcus bacterium is chosen at random from a similar population. Resistance to any one antibiotic is independent of resistance to others.
Calculate the probability that the bacterium selected will be resistant to all four drugs.
1 in 10
1 in 10
1 in 10
1 in 10
1 in 10
1 in 10
Looking at the options first makes it obvious that there is no need to calculate exact values- only in powers of 10. This makes your life a lot easier. If you hadn’t noticed this, you might have spent well over 90 seconds trying to calculate the exact value when it wasn’t even being asked for.
In other cases, you may actually be able to use the options to arrive at the solution quicker than if you had tried to solve the question as you normally would i.e. using trial and error.
In general, it pays dividends to look at the options briefly and see if they can be help you arrive at the question more quickly. Get into this habit early – it may feel unnatural at first but it’s guaranteed to save you time in the long run.
If you’re stuck on a question; pay particular attention to the options that contain key modifiers like ‘always’, ‘only’, ‘all’ as examiners like using them.
THIS IS THE FIRST SECTION of the TSA and as you walk in, it is inevitable that you will feel nervous. Make sure that you have been to the toilet because once it starts you cannot simply pause and go. Take a few deep breaths and calm yourself down. Remember that panicking will not help and may negatively affect your marks- so try and avoid this as much as possible.
You have 90 minutes to answer 50 questions in section 1. The questions generally fall into two categories:
Whilst the TSA is renowned for being difficult to prepare for, there are powerful shortcuts and techniques that you can use to save valuable time on these types of questions.
You have 108 seconds per question; this may sound like a lot but given that you’re often required to read and analyse passages or graphs- it can often not be enough. Some questions in this section are very tricky and can be a big drain on your limited time. The students who fail to complete this section are those who get bogged down on a particular question.
Therefore, it is vital that you start to get a feel for which questions are going to be easy and quick to do and which ones should be left till the end. The best way to do this is through practice and the questions in this book will offer extensive opportunities for you to do so.
TSA CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS REQUIRE you to understand the constituents of a good argument and be able to pick them apart. The majority of TSA Critical thinking questions tend to fall into 5 major categories:
Identifying Assumptions + Flaws
Strengthening and Weakening arguments
Having a good grasp of language and being able to filter unnecessary information quickly and efficiently is a vital skill at Oxbridge – you simply do not have the time to sit and read vast numbers of textbooks cover to cover, you need to be able to filter the information and realise which part is important and this will contribute to your success in your studies.
Only use the Passage
Your answer must only be based on the information available in the passage. Do not try and guess the answer based on your general knowledge as this can be a trap. For example, if the passage says that spring is followed by winter, then take this as true even though you know that spring is followed by summer.
Take your Time
Unlike the problem solving questions, critical thinking questions are less time pressured. Most of the passages are well below 300 words and therefore don’t take long to read and process. Thus, your aim should be to understand the intricacies of the passage and identify key information so that you don’t miss crucial information and lose easy marks.
Students struggle with these type of questions because they confuse a premise for a conclusion. For clarities sake:
I.e. a conclusion is shown/implied/proven by a premise. Similarly, a premise shows/indicates/establishes a conclusion. Consider for example: My mom, being a woman, is clever as all women are clever.
This is fairly straightforward as it’s a very short passage and the conclusion is explicitly stated. Sometimes the latter may not happen. Consider: My mom is a woman and all women are clever.
Here, whilst the conclusion is not explicitly being stated, both premises still stand and can be used to reach the same conclusion.
You may sometimes be asked to identify if any of the options cannot be “reliably concluded”. This is effectively asking you to identify why an option cannot be the conclusion. There are many reasons why but the most common ones are:
My mom is clever therefore all women are clever.
Being too specific: All kids like candy thus my son also likes candy.
Confusing Correlation vs. Causation:
Lung cancer is much more likely in patients who drink water. Hence, water causes lung cancer.
Confusing Cause and Effect:
Lung cancer patients tend to smoke so it follows that having lung cancer must make people want to smoke.
Note how conjunctives like hence, thus, therefore and it follows give you a clue as to when a conclusion is being stated. More examples of these include: ‘it follows that’, ‘implies that’, ‘whence’, ‘entails that’.
Similarly, words like ‘because’, ‘as indicated by’, ‘in that’, ‘given that’, and ‘due to the fact that’ usually identify premises.
Assumptions + Flaws:
Other types of critical thinking questions may require you to identify assumptions and flaws in a passage’s reasoning. Before proceeding it is useful to define both:
Consider for example: My mom is clever because all doctors are clever.
Premise 1: Doctors are clever. Assumption: My mom is a doctor. Conclusion: My mom is clever.
Note that the conclusion follows naturally even though there is only one premise because of the assumption. I.e. the argument relies on the assumption to work. Thus, if you are unsure if an option you have is an assumption or not, just ask yourself:
You may sometimes be asked to identify flaws in argument – it is important to be aware of the types of flaws to look out for. In general, these are broadly similar to the ones discussed earlier in the conclusion section (over-generalising, being too specific, confusing cause and effect, confusing correlation and causation). Remember that an assumption may also be a flaw.
For example consider again: My mom is clever because all doctors are clever.
What if the mother was not actually a doctor? The argument would then breakdown as the assumption would be incorrect or flawed.
Strengthening and Weakening Arguments:
You may be asked to identify an answer option that would most strengthen or weaken the argument being made in the passage. Normally, you’ll also be told to assume that each answer option is true. Before we can discuss how to strengthen and weaken arguments, it is important to understand “what constitutes a good argument:
Arguments which are heavily based on value judgements and subjective statements tend to be weaker than those based on facts, statistics and the available evidence.
: A good argument should flow and the constituent parts should fit well into an overriding view or belief.
A good argument must concede that there are other views or beliefs (counter-argument). The key is to carefully dismantle these ideas and explain why they are wrong.
Thus, when asked to strengthen an argument, look for options that would: Increase the evidence basis for the argument, support or add a premise, address the counter-arguments.
Similarly, when asked to weaken an argument, look for options that would: decrease the evidence basis for the argument or create doubt over existing evidence, undermine a premise, strengthen the counter-arguments.
In order to be able to strengthen or weaken arguments, you must completely understand the passage’s conclusion. Then you can start testing the impact of each answer option on the conclusion to see which one strengthens or weakens it the most i.e. is the conclusion stronger/weaker if I assume this information to be true and included in the passage.
Often you’ll have to decide which option strengthens/weakens the passage most – and there really isn’t an easy way to do this apart from lots of practice. Thankfully, you have plenty of time for these questions.
Some questions will test your ability to identify similarities between two arguments about different topics. The similarity you are looking for is in the structure or the pattern of the argument. A question of this type will ask you to find the option that most closely parallels the format of the example argument.
Consider the example:
“James’ grades have improved a lot recently. Either he is putting more effort into his homework or he has been less distracted in lessons. I know for a fact that James’ hasn’t been doing his homework, so it must be that he’s paying more attention in class.”
Which of the following most closely parallels the reasoning used in the above argument?
The first step is to identify the structure of the example argument. You may be able to do this by identifying key points, and how they are arranged within the passage.
In this case, the structure of the argument is as follows:
The second step in answering the question is to identify which of the answers offers an argument that most accurately represents the structure of the example reasoning. Some of the answers may follow relatively similar structures, but contain small discrepancies which make the answer incorrect.
In the case of the example, the correct answer may be along the lines of:
“My car is currently broken. Either it has a faulty exhaust, or the ignition isn’t working properly. When I took it to the garage, the mechanic confirmed that the ignition was fully functioning. Therefore the issue must be with the exhaust.”
Some questions are designed to examine an applicant’s capacity to identify the underlying principle within an argument.
A principle is a general recommendation which can be applied to a number of cases. When faced with questions of this sort, you are expected to extract the fundamental principle from the single case presented in the passage, and then to see where this principle has been applied in other cases.
The principle you are searching for will not be explicitly stated in a problem of this nature, so you must attempt to obtain it for yourself. To do this, you must first have a solid understanding of what the passage is saying, including both the conclusions reached and the reasoning behind them.
Consider the following example:
“Some people criticise government policy which aims to provide training for young people looking to find work, on the basis that increased training is not enough to reduce the problem of unemployment. Those critics are correct in identifying that more needs to be done, beyond increased training programs, for unemployment levels to fall. However no policy should be discouraged purely because it fails to provide a complete solution to a problem. Any idea which has a beneficial impact should be embraced, even if that impact is relatively small.”
The argument is suggesting that people are wrong to criticise a policy just because it does not completely solve an issue. The passage suggests that as long as the policy has some positive impact on the problem, it may be worth pursuing. This is the key principle to be taken from this question.
Using this principle, you should be able to identify the correct answer. In this case, one answer that accurately reflects the principle in the passage may be:
“The use of warning labels on cigarette packets should not be discouraged just because they will not single-handedly solve the problem of high levels of smokers.”
Question 1-5 are based on the passage below:
People have tried to elucidate the differences between the different genders for many years. Are they societal pressures or genetic differences? In the past it has always been assumed that it was programmed into our DNA to act in a certain more masculine or feminine way but now evidence has emerged that may show it is not our genetics that determines the way we act, but that society pre-programmes us into gender identification. Whilst it is generally acknowledged that not all boys and girls are the same, why is it that most young boys like to play with trucks and diggers whilst young girls prefer dollies and pink?
The society we live in has always been an important factor in our identity, take cultural differences; the language we speak the food we eat, the clothes we wear. All of these factors influence our identity. New research finds that the people around us may prove to be the biggest influence on our gender behaviour. It shows our parents buying gendered toys may have a much bigger influence than the genes they gave us. Girls are being programmed to like the same things as their mothers and this has lasting effects on their personality. Young girls and boys are forced into their gender stereotypes through the clothes they are bought, the hairstyle they wear and the toys they play with. The power of society to influence gender behaviour explains the cases where children have been born with different external sex organs to those that would match their sex determining chromosomes. Despite the influence of their DNA they identify to the gender they have always been told they are. Once the difference has been detected, how then are they ever to feel comfortable in their own skin? The only way to prevent society having such a large influence on gender identity is to allow children to express themselves, wear what they want and play with what they want without fear of not fitting in.
What is the main conclusion from the first paragraph?
Society controls gender behaviour.
People are different based on their gender.
DNA programmes how we act.
Boys do not like the same things as girls because of their genes.
Which of the following, if true, points out the flaw in the first paragraph’s argument?
Not all boys like trucks.
Genes control the production of hormones.
Differences in gender may be due to an equal combination of society and genes.
Some girls like trucks.
According to the statement, how can culture affect identity?
Culture can influence what we wear and how we speak.
Our parents act the way they do because of culture.
Culture affects our genetics.
Culture usually relates to where we live.
Which of these is most implied by the statement?
Children usually identify with the gender they appear to be.
Children are programmed to like the things they do by their DNA.
Girls like dollies and pink because their mothers do.
It is wrong for boys to have long hair like girls.
What does the statement say is the best way to prevent gender stereotyping?
Mothers spending more time with their sons.
Parents buying gender-neutral clothes for their children.
Allowing children to act how they want.
Not telling children if they have different sex organs.
Samantha requires 3 As at A Level to be accepted onto a University course. Samantha is accepted onto the University course, therefore she must have achieved 3 As at A Level.
Which of the following statements most closely follows the reasoning used in this paragraph?
A train must pass through Clapham Junction before arriving at Victoria Station. The train passes through Clapham Junction, therefore it will shortly arrive at Victoria Station.
If Darlington football club defeat Spennymoor, they will win the league. Darlington defeat Spennymoor, therefore they will win the league.
Zeeshan has sold his old car. If he buys a new one, he will go on holiday to London. Zeeshan has gone on holiday to London, therefore he must have bought a new car.
Lucy is afraid of flying, but needs to travel on an aeroplane in order to visit Egypt. Lucy has recently visited Egypt, therefore she must have travelled on an aeroplane.
If the A1 is open, Andrew will be able to drive to Scotland. However, the A1 is closed due to a traffic collision, so Andrew cannot drive to Scotland.
Questions 7-11 are based on the passage below:
New evidence has emerged that the most important factor in a child’s development could be their napping routine. It has come to light that regular napping could well be the deciding factor for determining toddlers’ memory and learning abilities. The new countrywide survey of 1000 toddlers, all born in the same year showed around 75% had regular 30-minute naps. Parents cited the benefits of their child having a regular routine (including meal times) such as decreased irritability, and stated the only downfall of occasional problems with sleeping at night. Research indicating that toddlers were 10% more likely to suffer regular night-time sleeping disturbances when they regularly napped supported the parent’s view.
Those who regularly took 30-minute naps were more than twice as likely to remember simple words, such as those of new toys, than their non-napping counterparts, who also had higher incidences of memory impairment, behavioural problems and learning difficulties. Toddlers who regularly had 30 minute naps were tested on whether they were able recall the names of new objects the following day, compared to a control group who did not regularly nap. These potential links between napping and memory, behaviour and learning ability provides exciting new evidence in the field of child development.
If in 100 toddlers 5% who did not nap were able to remember a new teddy’s name, how many who had napped would be expected to remember?
Assuming that the incidence of night-time sleeping disturbances is the same in for all toddlers independent of all characteristics other than napping, what is the percentage of toddlers who suffer regular night-time sleeping disturbances as a result of napping?
Using the information from the passage above, which of the following is the most plausible alternative reason for the link between memory and napping?
Children who have bad memory abilities are also likely to have trouble sleeping.
Children who regularly nap, are born with better memories.
Children who do not nap were unable to concentrate on the memory testing exercises for the study.
Parents who enforce a routine of napping are more likely to conduct memory exercises with their children.
Which of the following is most strongly indicated?
Families have more enjoyable meal times when their toddlers regularly nap.
Toddlers have better routines when they nap.
Parents enforce napping to improve their toddlers’ memory ability.
Napping is important for parents’ routines.
Which of the following, if true, would strengthen the conclusion that there is a causal link between regular napping and improved memory in toddlers?
Improved memory is also associated with regular mealtimes.
Parents who enforce regular napping are more inclined to include their children in studies.
Toddlers’ memory development is so rapid that even a few weeks can make a difference to performance.
Among toddler playgroups where napping incidence is higher and more consistent memory performance is significantly improved compared to those that do not.
Tom’s father says to him: ‘You must work for your A-levels. That is the best way to do well in your A-level exams. If you work especially hard for Geography, you will definitely succeed in your Geography A-level exam’.
Which of the following is the best statement Tom could say to prove a flaw in his father’s argument?
‘It takes me longer to study for my History exam, so I should prioritise that.’
‘I do not have to work hard to do well in my Geography A-level.’
‘Just because I work hard, does not mean I will do well in my A-levels.’
‘You are putting too much importance on studying for A-levels.’
‘You haven’t accounted for the fact that Geography is harder than my other subjects.’
Today the NHS is increasingly struggling to be financially viable. In the future, the NHS may have to reduce the services it cannot afford. The NHS is supported by government funds, which come from those who pay tax in the UK. Recently the NHS has been criticised for allowing fertility treatments to be free, as many people believe these are not important and should not be paid for when there is not enough money to pay the doctors and nurses.
Which of the following is the most accurate conclusion of the statement above?
Only taxpayers should decide where the NHS spends its money.
Doctors and nurses should be better paid.
The NHS should stop free fertility treatments.
Fertility treatments may have to be cut if finances do not improve.
‘We should allow people to drive as fast as they want. By allowing drivers to drive at fast speeds, through natural selection the most dangerous drivers will kill only themselves in car accidents. These people will not have children, hence only safe people will reproduce and eventually the population will only consist of safe drivers.’
Which one of the following, if true, most weakens the above argument?
Dangerous drivers harm others more often than themselves by driving too fast.
Dangerous drivers may produce children who are safe drivers.
The process of natural selection takes a long time.
Some drivers break speed limits anyway.
In the winter of 2014 the UK suffered record levels of rainfall, which led to catastrophic damage across the country. Thousands of homes were damaged and even destroyed, leaving many homeless in the chaos that followed. The Government faced harsh criticism that they had failed to adequately prepare the country for the extreme weather. In such cases the Government assess the likelihood of such events happening in the future and balance against the cost of advance measures to reduce the impact should they occur versus the cost of the event with no preparative defences in place.
Until recently, for example, the risk of acts of terror taking was low compared with the vast cost anticipated should they occur. However, the risk of flooding is usually low, so it could be argued that the costs associated with anti-flooding measures would have been pre-emptively unreasonable. Should the Government be expected to prepare for every conceivable threat that could come to pass? Are we to put in place expensive measures against a seismic event as well as a possible extra-terrestrial invasion?
Which of the following best expresses the main conclusion of the statement above?
The Government has an obligation to assess risks and costs of possible future events.
The Government should spend money to protect against potential extra-terrestrial invasions and seismic events.
The Government should have spent money to protect against potential floods.
The Government was justified in not spending heavily to protect against flooding.
The Government should assist people who lost their homes in the floods.
Sadly the way in which children interact with each other has changed over the years. Where once children used to play sports and games together in the street, they now sit alone in their rooms on the computer playing games on the Internet. Where in the past young children learned human interaction from active games with their friends this is no longer the case. How then, when these children are grown up, will they be able to socially interact with their colleagues?
Which one of the following is the conclusion of the above statement?
Children who play computer games now interact less outside of them.
The Internet can be a tool for teaching social skills.
Computer games are for social development.
Children should be made to play outside with their friends to develop their social skills for later in life.
Adults will in the future play computer games as a means of interaction.
Between 2006 and 2013 the British government spent £473 million on Tamiflu antiviral drugs in preparation for a flu pandemic, despite there being little evidence to support the effectiveness of the drug. The antivirals were stockpiled for a flu pandemic that never fully materialised. Only 150,000 packs were used during the swine flu episode in 2009, and it is unclear if this improved outcomes. Therefore this money could have been much better spent on drugs that would actually benefit patients.
Which option best summarises the author’s view in the passage?
Drugs should never be stockpiled, as they may not be used.
Spending millions of pounds on drugs should be justified by strong evidence showing positive effects.
We should not prepare for flu pandemics in the future.
The recipients of Tamiflu in the swine flu pandemic had no difference in symptoms or outcomes to patients who did not receive the antivirals.
High BMI and particularly central weight are risk factors associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Many believe the development of cheap, easily accessible fast-food outlets is partly responsible for the increase in rates of obesity. An unhealthy weight is commonly associated with a generally unhealthy lifestyle, such a lack of exercise. The best way to tackle the growing problem of obesity is for the government to tax unhealthy foods so they are no longer a cheap alternative.
Why is the solution given, to tax unhealthy foods, not a logical conclusion from the passage?
Unhealthy eating is not exclusively confined to low-income families.
A more general approach to unhealthy lifestyles would be optimal.
People do not only choose to eat unhealthy food because it is cheaper.
People need to take personal responsibility for their own health.