TSA Section 1 Tips & Techniques

Advice & Insight From TSA Specialists

The more familiar you are with the test format, content and timings, the more likely you will be able to optimise your score in section 1 of the TSA.

Section 1 format and timings

You have 90 minutes to answer 50 multiple choice questions, meaning you have 1 minute 48 seconds available for each question. You should not spend more than 2 minutes on any question otherwise this will slow down your overall pace. Remember to put an answer for every question because you will not lose marks for wrong answers (there is no negative marking).

Read, annotate and underline key information

Each of the 50 questions contains a stimulus which could be a short passage or a diagram, table or graph and a question. Since the questions can be quite long, you may need to annotate or underline key words. Also, by quickly reading the question first, it might give you an idea of what you are looking for when reading the passage or interpreting the information in any charts or tables. Reading skills are therefore really important and you need to be able to identify key information quickly.

Practise the different types of question

Make sure you are familiar with all the different types of question that may appear in the test. The problem solving questions are divided into three main question types:

Relevant selection

Finding procedures

Identifying similarity

The critical thinking questions are divided into seven main question types:

Identifying the main conclusion

Drawing a conclusion

Identifying an assumption

Assessing the impact of additional evidence

Detecting reasoning errors

Matching arguments

Applying principles

Optimise Your TSA Performance

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

Use process of elimination

All questions have multiple choice answers with five responses. If you narrow down to two answers, you could read the questions again and substitute each answer and see which one works better. Remember that some of the answers may seem similar so read them carefully to decide which ones are not applicable to the question.

What Maths skills will I need?

You need to be familiar with simple fractions, place value, percentages and the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division). You also need to be able to perform calculations in every day contexts. Other areas of Maths need include: calculating an average, time, reading calendars, money and measures (in metric). Make sure you know how to calculate area, perimeter and volume of simple shapes. Finally, you should practise extracting information from graphs, charts and tables.

Can I use a calculator?

No calculators are allowed but you can make written notes.

TSA Section 1 Tips & Techniques

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