Mr C Dodd – Staff Editor
Can you think about nothing?
Oxbridge Interview Questions
Ladybirds are red. So are strawberries. Why?
Should it be illegal to run a red light in the middle of the night on an empty road?
What exactly do you think is involved in blaming someone?
Easy As 1-2-3
What is the next number in the sequence?
12 Weighty Balls
You have 12 balls of identical size and appearance, but one of them is a slightly different weight—it could be heavier or lighter. You have a set of balance scales, as shown below, which will give three possible readings:
Left = Right
Left > Right
Left < Right
You have only 3 chances to weigh the balls in any number and combination of your choosing, using the balance scales.
You need to find which ball is the odd one out and confirm whether it is heavier or lighter than the rest.
How do you do it?
Solution: Weigh two groups of four, then two groups of three, then two singles… but which ones?! For one possible explanation, watch this short video on YouTube: 12 Balls Puzzle
If you enjoy solving puzzles, Alex Bellos sets a challenging puzzle like this in The Guardian every two weeks.
Thinking Skills Assessment
A number of leading courses and institutions require students to complete pre-admission tests as part of the application process. These tests focus on the skills and aptitudes required for higher-level study. The following sample questions come from Thinking Skills Assessment Oxford, Section 1, 2016.
You would need to answer these two questions in around four minutes to complete all 50 test questions in the time allowed…