Czech it out!

24 May 2007

Cambridge Assessment’s Thinking Skills Assessment (TSA) – a non subject-specific aptitude test, normally associated with Cambridge University admissions – will be taken by Czech students, in Czech, this summer.

The Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of South Bohemia in the Czech Republic, will use a Czech language version of TSA on its 500 expected applicants in June 2007.

Mark Shannon, Admissions Test Team Assessment Manager, New Developments Division, said: "The TS is a means of differentiating between candidates with equally high predicted grades. The test is an assessment of two kinds of thinking, problem solving and critical thinking. Problem solving is reasoning using numerical and spatial skills whereas critical thinking is reasoning using everyday written language. Both are considered to be important in Higher Education not only in the UK but worldwide.

"Working closely with the admissions team at the University of South Bohemia, the test will be translated into Czech. We've also identified cultural references, such as currency and geographical landmarks that the University will have to alter to contextualise the test for Czech students."

The TSA Project was established in 2001 at the University of Cambridge and use of the test has grown each year as confidence in its usefulness increases. Its results are used carefully and conditionally by colleges as additional information and never replace any traditional criteria on which admission decisions are based.