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What is the Thinking Skills Assessment exam for?

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Quick Answer

The Thinking Skills Assessment is an examination required for admission to specific undergraduate programs at the following British universities: the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford and University College London. In the Netherlands, Leiden University requires it for applicants to its undergraduate psychology program.

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Full Answer

The Thinking Skills Assessment contains two parts, one of which is optional. The required portion is a multiple choice test featuring questions that require problem solving and critical thinking. The optional portion is an essay. Test takers may select an essay question from four choices. The essay portion evaluates test takers' ability to express ideas.

The Thinking Skills Assessment helps universities to determine the critical thinking and problem solving abilities of their applicants. The Admissions Testing Service states that its research shows the assessment strongly predicts undergraduate success. However, the Admissions Testing Service is also the creator of the test.

The Admissions Testing Services administered the Thinking Skills Assessment to applicants to specific programs at the University of Cambridge in 2001. The Admissions Testing Service is run by the Cambridge English Language Assessment, which is part of the University of Cambridge. The Admissions Testing Service has developed other assessments, including the International Medical Admissions Test and the Occupational English Test.

The University of Oxford began requiring the Thinking Skills Assessment in 2007, and University College of London followed in 2009 and Leiden University in 2014.

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