Hertford Shield

PPE at Hertford College

Oxford dreaming spires, viewed from a punt on the Isis

The PPE Test

Applicants come to us from very different backgrounds, and those from high-scoring schools are likely to be better prepared in subject knowledge than others. What we are looking for is interest, commitment, and most of all academic potential – we want to admit the people who will most benefit from what Oxford has to offer, and thrive here. The point of the PPE Test is to assess your analytical and critical ability, without dependence on prior learning – to "level the playing field" and provide a relatively objective measure of whom we should be inviting for interview.

Preparing for the Test

Consult the Thinking Skills Assessment website to familiarise yourself with the sorts of questions that it asks. Beyond that, the best way of preparing for the TSA is to exercise your mind in logical thinking as much as possible (for example by thinking hard about the sorts of issues raised in our PPE Reading Lists, and tackling logical and mathematical puzzles). The TSA has been designed so that the best way of preparing for it is not to learn "exam tricks" or any syllabus, but just to get better – through practice – at the kind of thinking that it's looking for.