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The Definitive Starter Guide To The TSA Oxford (2022)

Written by: Matt Amalfitano-Stroud

Preparing to take the Thinking Skills Assessment, or TSA? Here’s everything you need to know about your upcoming TSA exam, from what it is to how you can get top marks.  Here you’ll find in-depth explanations into each section of the test, top tips from TSA experts and plenty of practice questions to test your skills. Get your preparation started on the right foot and read on!

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TSA BASICS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Before you get started with your TSA preparation, here’s some key information about the exam. You’ll learn what the TSA Oxford is, why it is used, who needs to sit the exam and more.

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What is the TSA Oxford?

The TSA Oxford (Thinking Skills Assessment) is a pre-interview written test designed to help university tutors assess whether you would perform well at their course. It’s not based upon any specific subject but rather tests applicants on a variety of general skills that are transferable between many different subjects

The TSA Oxford is sat November 2nd 2022 and must be taken at an authorised testing centre (this may be your school/college if it is registered). 

What is the Structure of the TSA Oxford?

The TSA Oxford lasts a total of two-hours and is divided into two sections:

Section 1 lasts a total of 90 minutes and consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. This section has two question types, with 25 questions in each. These are called Critical Thinking and Problem Solving.

Section 2 gives you 30 minutes to write an essay based upon one of four questions/prompts. There is no formal word limit for this essay, but you will only have two sides of A4 in which to write it.     

This table summarises the TSA Structure:

TSA Oxford Structure

Why is the TSA Oxford used?

The TSA is a pre-interview exam, meaning it will be taken before you’re invited to interview. It’s primarily used to differentiate applicants for the admissions team in order for them to select the people they feel will best fit the course. Your results from the TSA are used in conjunction with your personal statement, references and everything else submitted in your application.

Bear in mind that there is no passing or failing mark in the TSA, so a lower score can still be supported by a very strong application

How Much does the TSA Oxford Cost?

There is no fee required for sitting the TSA Oxford under regular circumstances. However, a fee may be required if registering with an independant testing centre outside of your place of education. School leavers should be able to apply directly from their school/college. 

How Do I Register for the TSA Oxford?

Registration for the TSA begins September 1st. If you are attending school or college, you will first need to talk with your exams officer. They will first let you know if your place of education is registered as a testing centre. If it’s not, you can register for it become one via the Cambridge Assessments Admission Testing website (this needs to be completed before September 16th). You may also apply to sit the TSA at an alternate independent testing centre, although a fee may be required for this. 

If your school/college is registered already, the next step is for your exams officer to register you for the TSA. They will need to be given the following in order to do this for you: 

  • Personal Details (Name, DOB, etc)
  • Your UCAS Number
  • The names of the course you intend to apply for

The exam’s officer will then be able to sort the process of getting you registered. Once complete, you will receive a candidate number, which will be your proof of registration. You must not lose this number as it may be required on testing day. The deadline for registration is September 30th

If you require a modified paper, you must apply for this by September 16th and must be able to provide medical evidence proving the requirement. Any other access arrangements must be booked by September 30th, alongside the registration deadline. 

When and where is the TSA Oxford sat?

In 2022, the TSA Oxford will be sat on November 2nd. You should be able to sit the TSA at your school or college. However, if your school isn’t registered as a TSA testing centre or you’re not attending a school or college, you can sit the assessment at an approved test centre.

screenshot of a map showing the ECAA authorized test centre locations

Key TSA Oxford Dates

As previously stated, the TSA Oxford is sat on November 2nd, but you need to be aware of the other deadlines and important dates attached to the exam. Let’s take a look:

Applicants Deadlines 2022
Registration Opens1st September 2022
Modified Papers Registration /Apply to Become a Testing Centre Deadlines16th September 2022
Registration Closes30th September 2022
Submit Your UCAS Form15th October 2022
TSA Testing Date2nd November 2022
TSA Results Released11th January 2022

As for when you should start preparing, we would recommend starting 6-Months in advance! You can see how we suggest you use your time with our TSA Preparation Timeline.

Who has to sit the TSA Oxford?

As the name implies, the TSA Oxford is sat by applicants applying for various courses at the University of Oxford. Here are all of the courses that will require you to sit the TSA: 

Previously, there were three versions of the TSA used by three different universities; TSA Oxford, TSA Cambridge and TSA UCL. However, in 2022 only Oxford is using the TSA as a form of admissions testing. 

What do I Need for the Exam?

The TSA is a written assessment, meaning you will be answering on paper. On the day, you will need bring a soft (HB) pencil with you for both sections of the assessment. You will be issued with a separate answer sheet for each section on which to indicate your answers. You are not allowed to bring a calculator, dictionary or any other supporting materials with you. 

However, taking a watch with you is always a good idea. Try to bring one that can show you the time in seconds, as this will allow you to have a much more accurate idea of the time you’re spending on a question.

How is the TSA scored?

The TSA is marked differently between the two sections of the test. 

For Section 1, your raw mark is simply the number of correct answers out of 50. There is no negative marking in the TSA, meaning incorrect answers do not deduct points from your raw mark. The raw mark is converted into a scale of 1- 100 using the Rasch Statistical Technique, giving you your final score. More information about this can be found on the Cambridge Assessments Admissions Testing website, who run the TSA Oxford. This process is automated and cannot be remarked once completed. 

Section 2 does not have a specific marking scheme due to the nature of essay marking. Instead, it is reviewed by the admissions team at your chosen college, who may or may not implement their own form of grading.

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TSA SECTION 1: CRITICAL THINKING

Critical Thinking is the first portion of Section 1 in the TSA Oxford. It’s all about the analysis and and evaluation of work, be it speech, film or, in this case, writing. Let’s go through what you need to know to get your prep started! 

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Before we take a look at TSA Critical Thinking, let’s take a moment to look at how the TSA is laid out.

As previously stated, the TSA is a written assessment, meaning it will be taken on paper in 2022 (after previously being computer-based during COVID-19). As such, it’s important that you know what the paper looks like, so here’s an example page:

TSA Oxford Section 1 Example Page

As you can see, it’s a pretty simple format. Remember that you will be given a separate answer booklet to mark your answers on. Nothing that is written on the question paper will be marked, so it is recommended that you use this for any notes of working out you may require.

There’s one other thing to note here though. The two types of questions, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving, are not separated from each other but are instead mixed together throughout the 50 questions in the paper. There is no specific order to the question placement, so this may potentially be more difficult for you. 

If you do find it more difficult to swap between the two question types regularly, you may find it better to go through the paper twice, tackling a different question type each time. 

That covers the format of the paper, so let’s actually begin our look at TSA Critical Thinking!

What are TSA Critical Thinking Questions like?

As you can see from the example page, TSA Critical Thinking questions are made up of medium length statements/passages followed by a question relating to an aspect of the writing. Some of these passages can be much longer than this initial example, being as long as a full paragraph. However, you will always be asked just a single question about it, which is very different from an admissions test like the LNAT, which has similar principles but requires you to answer multiple questions about a longer passage. 

Depending on your skills, this may be easier or harder than analysing longer passages. The shorter length means there is much less information to worry about per passage, but you may find it more difficult to have to read and analyse 25 completely different pieces.

Either way, the primary objective of each question is to gain an in-depth understanding of what has been written so you can confidently determine facts about different aspects of the piece, whether it’s the identifying an underlying argument, discussing the writers intentions or recognising an assumption or implication.  

There are five different types of Critical Thinking questions which you may be asked in the TSA, let’s take a look at what these are:

TSA Critical Thinking Question Types

Identifying Conclusions

These questions require you to highlight the final conclusion of a passage. This isn’t always as easy as it sounds, as two or more options may be potentially true. 

Assumptions and Flaws

Here, you will need to identify either an assumption used within the writing or a flaw in the reasoning behind the writer’s statement.

Strengthening or Weakening Arguments

This is basically asking you to either provide more credibility to an argument or weakening the reasoning behind it using the available options.

Matching Arguments

Some questions will task you in finding similarities in two separate arguments or identifying patterns

Identifying Principles

Lastly, these question will require you to find an underlying principle on which the whole argument rests.

It may be difficult to sometimes even identify the type of question that’s been asked, let alone answering it. However, it should usually be easy enough to know what you’re answering if you pay attention to the keywords in the question. 

Here are a few more tips which will help you answer these questions: 

TSA Critical Thinking Tips

This is just scratching the surface of what there is to learn about Critical Thinking in the TSA. You can find even more information and tonnes of useful techniques in our TSA Critical Thinking Guide!

Alternatively, you can carry on reading to try out some practice questions.

TSA Critical Thinking Practice Questions

These are all the kinds of questions that you can expect to see in the TSA Oxford. You can try them out on your own or check out the worked solutions to see how we got the correct answer, so let’s give them a go:

TSA Section 1 Critical Thinking Practice Question 1

‘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?

A) Dangerous drivers harm others more often than themselves by driving too fast.

B) Dangerous drivers may produce children who are safe drivers. 

C) The process of natural selection takes a long time.

D) Some drivers break speed limits anyway.

 

The correct answer is A.

C does not severely affect the strength of the argument, as it is only relevant to the length of the time taken for the effects of the argument to come into place. D is incorrect, as people breaking speed limits already would not negate the argument that speed limits should be removed, but could even be seen as supporting it. These people may count as the ‘dangerous drivers’ who would be ultimately weeded out of the population. 

TSA Section 1 Critical Thinking Practice Question 2

As people are living longer, care in old age is becoming a larger burden. Many people require carers to come into their home numerous times a day, or need full residential care. It is not right that the NHS should be spending vast funds on the care of people who are sufficiently wealthy to fund their own care. Some argue that they want their savings kept to give to their children; however this is not a right, simply a luxury. It is not right that people should be saving and depriving themselves of necessary care, or worse, making the NHS pay the bill, so they have money to pass on to their offspring. People need to realise that there is a financial cost to living longer.  

Which of the following statements is the main conclusion of the above passage? 

A) Caring for the elderly is a significant burden on the NHS.

B) We need to take a personal responsibility for our care in old age.

C) The reason people are reluctant to pay for their own care is that they want to pass money onto their offspring.

D) The NHS should limit care to the elderly to reduce their costs.

E) People shouldn’t save their money for old age. 

 

The correct answer is B.

This is a tricky question in which A, B, C, and D are all true. However, the question asks for the conclusion of the passage, which is best represented by A. B is a premise that gives justification for why the elderly should take care of themselves, and C provides a justification for why they may not. 

D is implied in the text, but statement A is explicitly stated. E is incorrect as the passage implies that people should spend the money that they have in old age, not stop saving altogether. 

TSA Section 1 Critical Thinking Practice Question 3

If the blue party wins the general election, they will implement all of the policies of their manifesto, including an increase in the number of soldiers enlisted in the army. If the army has more soldiers, it will build a new military base in Devon to accommodate them. Therefore, if the blue party wins the election, a new military base will be built in Devon.

Which of the following most closely follows the reasoning used in this argument?

A) If David does not pay his road tax, his car will be confiscated by the local council. If David’s car is confiscated, he will not be able to travel to work. Therefore, if David does not pay his road tax, he will lose his job.

B) If a car passes a speed camera whilst travelling at more than 70mph, it will be photographed by the speed camera. If a car is photographed by a speed camera, a speeding ticket will be sent to the owner. Therefore, if John’s car is driving along the road at 80mph, he will receive a speeding ticket.

C) If Omar does well in his A-level exams, he will be accepted at Durham University to study classics. If he is accepted at Durham University, he will graduate in Durham Cathedral. Therefore, if Omar does well in his exams, he will graduate in Durham Cathedral.

D) Grace is travelling home from Birmingham. However, the fuel on her car is running low. In order to make it home, she needs to refuel her car. In order for her to refuel her car, she has to leave the motorway and visit a petrol station. Grace arrives home, therefore she must have visited a petrol station.

E) If Country X is further south than Country A, crops will be planted earlier in the year than they are in Country A. If crops are planted earlier, they will be ripe sooner in the year. Crops in Country X are ripe earlier in the year than crops in Country A. Therefore, Country X must be further south than France.

 

The correct answer is C.

The question follows the reasoning of “If A happens, B will happen. If B happens, C will happen. Therefore, If A happens, C will happen”. Only C) follows this reasoning correctly. 

A) and B) are both incorrect because they assume things will happen which have not been stated in the reasoning. In A), it is not stated that David will lose his job if he cannot travel to work, therefore this is incorrect. In B), John’s car may not necessarily pass a speed camera, so B) is incorrect. E) also contains incorrect reasoning. It is not stated that either of the things mentioned are necessary for crops to be ripe earlier, so we cannot know from what is stated that Country X is further south than Country A. 

D) is correct, but follows different reasoning. D) reasons as “A must happen for B to happen. B must happen for C to happen. Therefore if C happens, A must have happened”. This is not the same as saying If A happens, B will happen. Grace could visit a petrol station yet still not arrive home. 

TSA Section 1 Critical Thinking Practice Question 4

Sadly, in recent times, the lack of exercise associated with sedentary lifestyles has increased in the developed world. The lack of opportunity for exercise is endemic and these countries have also seen a rise of diseases such as diabetes, even in young people. In these developed countries, bodily changes such as increased blood pressure, that are usually associated with old age, are rapidly increasing. These are however still uncommon in undeveloped countries, where most people are physically active throughout the entirety of their lives. 

Which one of the following can be concluded from the passage above?

A) Exercise has a greater effect on old people than young people.

B) Maintenance of good health is associated with lifelong exercise.

C) Changes in lifestyle will be necessary to cause increased life expectancies in developed countries.

D) Exercise is only beneficial when continued into old age.

E) Obesity and diabetes are the result of lack of exercise.

 

The correct answer is B.

Obesity is not mentioned in the passage, so E is incorrect. There is no mention of exercise specifically as it relates to old age, so A and D are also wrong. The diseases associated with lack of exercise are not specifically stated to cause early death, only that they are associated with older people, so C is also incorrect. The passage does, however, argue that lack of exercise is associated with illness, and so exercise would be linked to a lack of illness, or good health. 

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TSA SECTION 1: PROBLEM SOLVING

Problem Solving may sound like one of the most general exam sections ever, but in the context of the TSA there is a format that is followed. Let’s take a look at what to expect from this type of TSA Section 1 question.

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First things first, let’s clarify one thing about the Problem Solving questions of the TSA Oxford. These questions are all designed to test an applicant’s basic mathematical abilities in a variety of ways

This isn’t to say that the TSA becomes a full on mathematics exam like the TMUA though! These questions will be unlike any maths exam you’ve sat before. This is because pretty much all of the questions are based around real world scenarios that are described with words. You’ll find barely any pure maths equations here, most things are described in a very wordy manner instead!

This is a double edged sword for many applicants. On the one hand, the lack of complex mathematical formatting restricts the complexity of the questions in general. These are pretty simple mathematical problems that don’t get much more advanced than GCSE level.

However, the amount of information that is provided may begin to confuse an otherwise simple question. You will typically be given much more information than you actually need to answer the question, including scene-setting and irrelevant/misleading data. This is where the challenge really comes in.

You’re really going to have to read the questions thoroughly in order to fully understand everything that’s been given to you and to recognise what you actually need to answer the question. Not every question is like this, but the vast majority are, so you’ll need to learn your way around them. 

What are TSA Problem Solving Questions like?

As we’ve said, the TSA isn’t testing you on advanced mathematical principles. What they will be testing you on however are these five core principles: 

If you know anything about maths (which we really hope you do!), you’ll know that these are all very basic concepts and principles within the world of mathematics, essentially the cornerstones of most forms of mathematics. However, they’re not going to feel so basic when you’re going through a long portion of text trying to find the relevant information to solve the problem. 

Similar Critical Thinking, there are three defined question types that you can expect to see in the paper:

TSA Problem Solving Question Types

Relevant Selection

These questions are the most wordy, leaning heavily on context-based problems. it’s namesake comes from needing to select the relevant information in order to perform a variety of different mathematical functions in order to get your answer. 

Find Procedures

These questions will be less bogged down in information, but will instead require you to figure out exactly what process you need to take to solve the problem. You’re typically going to have an end-point highlighted, but everything else is up to you!

Identifying Similarity

These questions will usually be based around data, often presented in tables or graphs. You could be asked to do a variety of things with this data, although comparisons will be one of the most common tasks presented in these questions.

These question types aren’t set in stone, as some may fall outside of these three general descriptions. But overall, this is what you should be preparing for when starting you TSA Problem Solving prep.

Let’s go over a few more tips to help your through this part of Section 1. 

TSA Critical Thinking Tips

As with TSA Critical Thinking, you can learn so much more about these question in our TSA Problem Solving Guide. First though, it’s time for some more practice questions.

TSA Section 1 Problem Solving Practice Question 1

Printing a magazine uses 1 sheet of card and 25 sheets of paper. It also uses ink. Paper comes in packs of 500 and card comes in packs of 60 which are twice the price of a pack of paper. Each ink cartridge prints 130 sheets of either paper or card. A pack of paper costs £3. Ink cartridges cost £5 each. 

How many complete magazines can be printed with a budget of £300?

A) 210

B) 220

C) 230

D) 240

E) 250

 

The correct answer is D.

Paper comes in packs of 500, and with each pack 20 magazines can be printed. Each pack costs £3. 

Card comes in packs of 60, and with each pack 60 magazines can be printed. Each pack costs £3 x 2 = £6. 

Each ink cartridge prints 130 sheets, which is 130/26 = 5 magazines. Each cartridge costs £5. 

The lowest common multiple of 20, 60 and 5 is 60, so it is possible to work out the total cost for printing 60 magazines. Printing 60 magazines will require 3 packs of paper at £3, 1 pack of card at £6 and 12 ink cartridges at £5. So the total cost of printing 60 magazines is: 

(3 x 3) + 6 + (12 x 5) = £75. The total budget is £300; £300/£75 = 4. 

So we can print 4×60 magazines in this budget, which is 240 magazines. 

TSA Section 1 Problem Solving Practice Question 2

Friday the 13th is superstitiously considered an ‘unlucky’ day.  If 13th January 2012 was a Friday, when would the next Friday the 13th in 2012 be?

A) March 2012

B) April 2012

C) May 2012

D) June 2012

E) July 2012

F) August 2012 

G) September 2012

H) January has the only Friday 13th in 2012.

 

The correct answer is B.

Remember 2012 was a leap year. Work through each month, adding the correct number of days, to work out what day each 13th would be on. 

If a month was 28 days, the 13th would be the same day each month, therefore, to work this out quickly, you only need to count on the number of days over 28. For example, in a month with 31 days, the 13th will be 3 weekdays (31-28) later. 

Thus if 13th January is a Friday, 13th February is a Monday, (February has 29 days in 2012), 13th March is a Tuesday and 13th April is a Friday. 

TSA Section 1 Problem Solving Practice Question 3

Jane’s mum has asked Jane to go to the shops to get some items that they need. She tells Jane that she will pay her per kilometre that she cycles on her bike to get to the shop, plus a flat rate payment for each place she goes to. Jane receives £6 to go to the grocers, a distance of 5km, and £4.20 to go the supermarket, a distance of 3km.  

How much would she earn if she then cycles to the library to change some books, a distance of 7km?

A) £7.50

B) £7.70

C) £7.80

D) £8.00

E) £8.10

F) £8.20

 

The correct answer is C.

If f donates the flat rate, and k denotes the rate per km, we can use the information to form equations: f + 5k = £6 and f + 3k = £4.20 

Solve these simultaneously: 

(f + 5k) – (f + 3k) = £6 – £4.20 

Thus, 2k = £1.80 and k = £0.90 

Therefore, f + (5 x 0.90) = £6 

So, f + £4.50 = £6 

So, f = £1.50 

7k will be £1.50 + 7 x £0.90 = £7.80 

TSA Section 1 Problem Solving Practice Question 4

Jessie pours wine from two 750ml bottles into glasses. The glasses hold 250ml, but she only fills them to 4/5 of capacity, except the last glass, where she puts whatever she has left. How full is the last glass compared to its capacity?

A) 1/5

B) 2/5

C) 3/5

D) 4/5

E) 5/5

 

The correct answer is B.

Jenna pours 4/5 of 250ml into each glass, which is 200ml. Since she has 1500ml of wine, she pours 100ml into the last glass, which is 2/5 of the 250ml full capacity. 

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TSA SECTION 2: ESSAY

The TSA essay is designed to assess your reasoning ability. You need to prove that you can put forward a balanced, thoughtful case, as the tutors want to know if you can present your ideas in a well organised and concise way. So let’s take a look at how you can do this!

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Before carrying on, be sure to double check if your course actually requires TSA Section 2; if not then go ahead and get started with your Section 1 prep!

For everyone else, what do you need to do to write a great Section 2 essay?

First of all, you’re going to need to choose a question to answer. You’ll have four to choose from, with no kind of common theme between them other than the potential for argument and assessment. There are a few things to consider when making your choice:

Once you’ve made your decision, you’re going to need to make a plan. 30 minutes is an absolutely tiny amount of time here and it may feel like a waste to not start writing straight away, but planning your essay is going to save you time in the long run. The last thing you want is to get halfway through and not have an idea on where to go next!

The planning phase shouldn’t last any longer than five minutes, although even that may feel like too long. That will be 1/6th of your time spent, but remember that you only have 2 A4 pages to write. If you have a good plan in place, that will be more than doable in 20 minutes.   

Here are some things to consider in you plan:

Let’s take a look at a basic structure for your TSA Essay:

How To Plan & Write TSA Section 2 Essay

INTRODUCTION

    • Your introduction should set out the basic outline of your essay. E.g. what each paragraph will cover. It is okay if your introduction is short. A few sentences is fine.
    • You may also wish to define any unclear terms.

MAIN BODY

  • If you have contextual knowledge, include it! BUT only if it supports and strengthens your argument.
  • Your essay should be balanced. This means that you have to do justice for both sides of the debate. This does not mean that both sides have to be equally convincing. You must still pick a side!
  • Keep your essay focused and concise. No waffle!
  • Try to back up every one of your points with an example. You can use contemporary events or hypothetical scenarios.

CONCLUSION

  • Your conclusion must summarise the argument you have made.
  • You should not introduce new ideas.
  • You may connect the argument to a wider theme though, or highlight the context.

CHECK

  • Leave 1-2 minutes to check your work.

With all this in mind, let’s see it put into practice by planning and writing an essay based on an actual TSA essay prompt:

TSA Section 2 Example Essay

Essay Prompt: Is patriotism morally valuable or is it a stance we should avoid?

The Plan (5 Minutes)

NB: Include moral frameworks. Show off philosophy knowledge.

Intro:

  • Overall – patriotism not morally valuable
  • State points on both sides.

 

Morally valuable positives

  1. Utilitarian – encourages sacrifice + do good deeds for others in nation
    1. g. food bank, redistributive policies, military service
  2. Virtue ethics – promotes other values of intrinsic worth à duty and sacrifice

Not morally valuable

  1. Deontologist – encourages us to put people of our nation before others
    1. Incompatible with belief that we have a duty to help those in need foremost
    2. g. doctors helping nation’s injured first.
  2. Utilitarian – negative unintended consequences
    1. g. leader motivated by national pride sacrificing troops
    2. g. state aid going to nationals first

 

Conclusion

  • Restate why not morally valuable.

TSA Section 2 Example Essay

Patriotism is not morally valuable overall and so should be avoided. Firstly, patriotism encourages us to weigh our obligations is to individuals against their place of national origin (a stance that a deontologist would rightly reject). Secondly, patriotism may have negative unintended consequences (which a utilitarian should find persuasive). There are reasons why patriotism may have moral advantages though. It may at times promote the greatest good for the greatest number by encourages us to do service towards and accept sacrifices for others within our national community, and it may promote other values of intrinsic worth (which a follower of virtue ethics would appreciate).

It is worth considering the potential moral advantages of patriotism. Firstly, it may at times align with the promotion of the greatest good for the greatest number (relevant for utilitarians). This is because it may encourage individuals to do service for others to carry out good deeds out of patriotic duty. For example, an individual may feel it is their patriotic duty to support their homeless fellow citizens so participate in a food bank. To a utilitarian, the reasoning behind the individual’s good deed is irrelevant as there are positive results. Patriotic obligations may also make accepting high taxes for the purpose of redistributive policies more acceptable as citizens feel closer bonds of obligation to one another through their shared national identity. Patriotism may inspire the great sacrifice of those who serve their country in a military capacity too. Secondly, patriotism may be morally useful to a follower of virtue ethics. Patriotism may promote values of intrinsic worth such as duty and sacrifice. By encouraging individuals to view themselves as part of a collective national whole, sacrifice for others becomes easier.

Despite these moral advantages though, patriotism should be avoided. Firstly, patriotism encourages moral agents to view their obligations to one another as diluted by other patriotic duties. For example, an individual may feel that they should ignore their moral duty to aid someone who is injured on a battlefield because they are of a different national background. Or doctors may decide out of patriotic duty to treat not the most severely in need patients first, but those who share their national origin. This is incompatible with a deontologist moral framework, which encourages us to act out of moral duty to others as fellow humans foremost always. These moral obligations bear no relation to the national origins of others. Secondly, patriotism should be rejected by a utilitarian too because of its likely negative consequences. Patriotism encourages moral agents to act in the best interests of their nation (which may be defined as the people of that particular time of even national customs, values or ideas) rather than the greatest good for the greatest number. For example, a patriotic leader may decide to sacrifice many lives in continuing a war for the purpose of defending national pride. This seems incompatible also with the utilitarian principle of viewing each individual of equal moral worth. Patriotism may encourage nations to restrict foreign aid (that could potentially do more good by aiding the desperately in need elsewhere) in favour of providing moderate benefits to a nation’s citizens.

In conclusion, patriotism should be rejected as it contradicts a deontologist’s duty to moral service of humanity and a utilitarian’s moral premise that all lives are of equal worth.

If you’ve found this example helpful, be sure to check out our Definitive TSA Section 2 Guide! You’ll be able to learn even more about how to choose, plan and write your essay and impress your examiners. 

Congratulations, you now have a broad understanding of the TSA Oxford! This information will be the foundation for your TSA Preparation going forwards, so be sure to keep it all in mind. Although there is much more to learn (which you can find in our other TSA Guides), we’ll end this guide with a few final tips for yout TSA Preparation:

 

Exams.Ninja TSA Tips

Worried about your TSA preparation? Exams.Ninja will get you where you need to be!

 
 
 

When you sign up for the TSA Preparation Platform, you’re signing up for everything that you will need to get prepared for the TSA! Our amazing features include:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Training Temple- Our collection of TSA tutorials will ensure that you know every aspect of the exam before you get to the testing centre!

 
 
 
 
 

Practice Dojo- With over 500 TSA questions from each section of the exam, you’ll have enough practice resources to become a TSA master. Don’t forget to check our detailed worked solutions for each question.

 
 
 
 
 
 

Exam Arena- Test everything you’ve learnt with our realistic exam simulator. There are plenty of papers to choose from and you’ll get an accurate TSA score when you’re done!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Start your free demo now to begin your journey to TSA success!