Sending TSA score to US universities


Dear all,

I’ve applied to Oxford for PPE (and recently been offered an interview), and am also applying to Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania in the US.

Whilst my grades are as good as they could be, with 12A* and equivalent at GCSE, AAA*A predicted A levels (including Further Mathematics, a rather rigorous course, hence the A prediction), my US standardised test scores are okay but not fantastic.

These tests, in my opinion, measure nothing more than how much you prepare for them (which I didn’t do an awful lot of!), and how quickly you can work in very time intensive conditions. I’m taking the December SAT, which I understand is less time pressured, and have been working relatively hard to prepare.

I still expect to achieve somewhere between 1490-1530, no better. On the TSA, on the other hand, I tend to perform rather well, as it, unlike the SAT and ACT, measures critical thinking skills, how logically you think, and intelligence.

So to make up for any deficiencies in US test scores, could I submit my Oxford TSA score after it comes out in January (provided it’s 70+)?

Thank you!


Yes, you can submit it BUT the TSA will not be viewed as a replacement for the SAT so I would focus on nailing the SAT. The December SAT is not any more or less time pressured than other SATs so this is a myth.

TSA is useful as an additional result on the margin (equivalent to, for example, another SAT Subject Test or an AS Thinking Skills result) but the SAT would be 5-8x more important relatively.


Thank you! Sorry I meant that I was switching to the SAT from the ACT (I was told the SAT was less time pressured than the ACT).

I took it today, and did find it to be less time pressured. In terms of how I performed, I expect Math to be an 800 (maybe I made one mistake, so I’d say 780 would be the minimum). In terms of Reading and Language, I expect to achieve around 720-740. I put quite a bit of effort into it, and just hope that this 1500-1540 will be not be the reason why I get rejected!

And good to hear; I’ll wait until January to see the result and (provided its good enough) send it. Do admissions officers know of TSA scores and what constitutes a “good” score?

Thanks again.


Admissions officers at the most competitive schools like Harvard are familiar with the TSA and know roughly what good scores are but it is not something they will put much weight on. For example, a 1450 SAT score and an incredible TSA score would be far inferior to 1550 SAT score and no TSA score. It would be equivalent to a 4th or a 5th subject test for SAT or a 8th or 9th AP for example.

Good luck for your SAT! If you want me to take a look at your candidacy and make some suggestions, fire me your remaining essays for regular to and I can give you some guidance. Also, this is a very affordable resource for quick feedback: