There is a very close correlation between candidates' Oxbridge admissions test scores and their final degree results.
The admissions tests are therefore clearly very good at discovery a candidate's underlying capacity for rational thought.
As a professional philosopher and critical thinking tutor I have considerable experience of helping applicants develop that elusive quality of mind that the Oxbridge admissions tests probe.
Most Oxbridge multiple-choice reasoning tests comprise two types of question: problem-solving and critical-thinking.
The problem-solving questions rely on raw mathematical ability and the score is therefore difficult to improve. However, since the critical-thinking questions concern the logical properties of a paragraph of text, there are some laws of logic which can be learnt to improve the admissions test result.
I have taught logic to undergraduates at the University of Oxford and have been helping Oxbridge candidates with their admissions tests for many years.
My holistic approach also yields corresponding improvements in the admissions essay and interview, both of which probe different aspects of the same underlying capacity for rational thought and argument.
The Oxbridge admissions test essays give candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their ability
to construct a rational argument in defence of a proposition which they may not have thought very much
To provide a level playing-field, the Oxbridge admissions essay questions are seldom to do with the subject matter of the course but address a question on which any reasonably intelligent candidate might form a view.
Rational argument is of course at the heart of philosophy, and as a professional philosopher I have taught argumentative essay writing for the Oxbridge admissions essay for many years.
The same underlying capacity for rational thought, which is probed by the multiple-choice questions and the interview, is once more on display in the essay.