Thinking Skills Assessment UCL

Thinking Skills Assessment UCL

What is a thinking skills assessment?

The thinking skills assessment UCL is used as part of the assessment days for students applying for the European Social and Political Studies (ESPS) course at University College London (UCL). ESPS is a highly sought after course, with multiple applicants for every place available. To work out who is the most suitable, UCL holds ESPS assessment days, which include the TSA UCL examination.

What courses require the thinking skills assessment UCL?

The TSA UCL is only used by University College London for the European Social and Political Studies course and the European Social and Political Studies Dual Degree. No other UCL courses require the test.

What is the format of the thinking skills assessment UCL?

The TSA UCL is designed to test the kind of critical, logical and analytical thinking required to succeed in the field of social and political studies. It does not require or test any general knowledge or subject specific information on social studies or politics.

The TSA UCL comprises a 50 question multiple choice test with a mixture of questions including:

  • 25 problem solving questions – testing spatial awareness, mathematical reasoning and logic
  • 25 critical thinking questions – testing your ability to understand an argument, make deductions, find flaws and identify assumptions

While each question is given a single mark, scores are adjusted using the Rasch statistical technique, to provide a score out on 100. ESPS applicants average score is in the high 50s, with just 10% of applicants scoring over seventy.

How and when do you take the thinking skills assessment UCL?

Applicants to the European Social and Political Studies courses are all invited to attend one of around five assessment days, which are held between December and March each year. These assessment days give prospective students the chance to find out more about the course by talking to tutors and current students and touring the department.

The TSA UCL is taken during your ESPS assessment day and the score will be used as part of your overall application. If you are required to take the test, it will be arranged for you by the university. You cannot enter for the test yourself or via your school exams officer.

What does the thinking skills assessment UCL cost?

It costs nothing to take the TSA UCL, as the test is administered by the university as part of your ESPS assessment day.

How to prepare for the thinking skills assessment UCL

You are advised to prepare for the TSA UCL by taking one or more of the practice tests that are available online. You should also read up on the test and the kind of skills it will be looking for, and use the recommended reading list to broaden your skills. 

You cannot revise for the test, as it does not test any specific knowledge. Taking the practice tests should be sufficient preparation and UCL does not recommend paying for additional coaching.