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Hardest TSA Section 1 Questions and Answers

Advice & Insight From TSA Specialists

The first section of the TSA can be challenging for candidates, as it is strictly an aptitude test, rather than a test of knowledge. Here, we present 10 difficult questions from our question bank. We’ve removed the multiple choice options to make these questions even more difficult – all questions in our bank include four options to choose from. 

Numerical Reasoning

The total operating costs of a factory increase in direct proportion to the number of units produced. Last month, the factory produced 500 units and the total operating costs were £10,000. This month, the factory increased production to 800 units. What is the total operating cost for this month?

In direct proportion, when one quantity increases, the other increases by the same factor. So we need to find the factor of increase in the number of units and apply that same factor to the cost.

The increase in production from 500 units to 800 units is a factor of 800/500 = 1.6.

We multiply the original cost by this factor to get the new cost: £10,000 * 1.6 = £16,000. Therefore, the cost of producing 800 units is £16,000.

In a survey of 1000 people, 55% said they prefer tea over coffee. Of those who prefer tea, 30% said they add sugar. How many people prefer tea with sugar?

This is equivalent to 0.55 * 1000 = 550, then multiply by 0.3. This gives 165. 

At 1.00 pm Bill drives out of Ordinaryville. He drives due West at a constant speed of 30 km/hour. At 1.00 pm Jasper is 45 km due North of Ordinaryville and drives at a constant speed of 15 km/hour towards the town. At what time will Bill and Jasper be exactly the same distance from Ordinaryville?

A quick way to find the solution to this question is substitute values.

Distance Travelled = Speed x Time Taken

In 30 minutes, Bill will have travelled 15 km (30 x 0.5) and Jasper will have travelled 7.5 km (15 x 0.5).

In 1 hour, Bill will have travelled 30 km (30 x 1) and Jasper will have travelled 15 km (15 x 1). Since Bill and Jasper will both be 30 kilometres away from Ordinaryville at 2.00 pm, the answer must be 2pm.

Optimise Your TSA Performance

Learn the best TSA strategies and practice with reflective TSA questions & worked solutions.

Finding the Conclusion of an Argument

'Advertisements appeal to our emotions, making us feel we need certain products or services. While advertising can provide useful information and sometimes inspire, it also shapes societal norms in ways that promote consumerism and create unrealistic expectations.' What is the conclusion of this argument?

The conclusion of the argument is: “Advertising shapes societal norms in ways that promote consumerism and create unrealistic expectations.”

The argument is discussing the role and effects of advertising. It begins by stating a fact about advertising, then acknowledges a positive aspect, but the conclusion is introduced with “it also shapes societal norms,” which is the author’s primary assertion about advertising. The phrases following this main point (promoting consumerism and creating unrealistic expectations) are support for the main conclusion. It’s the author’s final analysis or judgment of the subject at hand, which is what typically defines a conclusion in an argument.

Consider the following argument: "Jane has always loved animals. She recently completed her degree in zoology with honours. Therefore, she would make an excellent zookeeper." What is the conclusion of the argument?

The conclusion of an argument is the claim that is supported by the preceding information or premises. Here, the statements about Jane’s love for animals and her degree in zoology are the premises, used to support the claim that she would make an excellent zookeeper. This claim is therefore the conclusion.

Consider the following argument: "Most doctors agree that exercise is beneficial for health. Regular exercise can help prevent heart disease and boost mood. Thus, everyone should incorporate regular exercise into their routine." What is the conclusion of the argument?

The conclusion of an argument is the claim that the other statements are intended to support or justify. Here, the information about doctors’ opinions on exercise and the benefits of regular exercise are premises, used to support the conclusion that everyone should incorporate regular exercise into their routine.

Flaws and Inferences

Research has shown that the consumption of small quantities of selenium, a mineral, can significantly contribute to the prevention of certain types of cancer. One major source of Selenium is found in Brazil nuts. Given that Brazil nuts could protect one’s health from cancer, not eating them would therefore be an irresponsible thing to do. What is the main flaw in this argument?

Eating Brazil nuts may not be the only source of selenium.

According to the text it is the inclusion of selenium in a person’s diet that decreases the risk of cancer. Therefore, if others sources of selenium are available then it is not irresponsible to not eat Brazil nuts.

Read the following argument: "John is a lawyer, and lawyers always lie. Therefore, John always lies." What is the logical flaw in the argument?

The logical flaw in this argument is an overgeneralisation. The argument incorrectly assumes that every lawyer, including John, always lies. Overgeneralisation involves drawing a broad conclusion based on a small number of cases, which is not logically sound.

"Mike scored the highest mark in the class on the physics test. There were ten questions on the test. Therefore, Mike answered most of the questions correctly." What can be most reasonably inferred from the above statement?

The most reasonable inference from the statement is that Mike answered more questions correctly than anyone else in the class. We know that Mike scored the highest mark, which suggests that he answered more questions correctly than his classmates.

"In the past year, City X has seen a surge in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on its roads. The city has also witnessed an increased demand for EV charging stations, leading to the government proposing an initiative to increase the number of such stations." What can be most reasonably inferred from the statement?

The most reasonable inference is that the government supports the increased use of electric vehicles in City X. 

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