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 Post subject: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:12 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:19 pm
Posts: 55
Hi

I wonder if some knowledgeable forum members could offer advice please?

My DS has been considering Engineering as a potential degree subject for a while. He is in year 12 but is now finding he is increasingly drawn to Maths; particularly Pure Maths. He is studying Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry & Physics at an indie ( not top tier) & plans to continue all four to A2. He would like to prepare for STEP papers & has started working through questions which his head of Maths will mark & discuss with him. Is this sufficient preparation or would he need a tutor or other input in order to tackle these testing exams? He is attending problem solving classes at UCL & RI lectures & also volunteers on Saturday mornings at a maths class which supports home schooled children in our local area. He takes part in Maths competitions & UKMT.

Would really appreciate your thoughts.
Estelle


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:29 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
If he is having support from school then that is good.

There is online support for STEP through FMSP: http://www.furthermaths.org.uk/what_is_step

The Student Room also has a thread for STEP.

MEI also offer support: http://www.mei.org.uk/stepaea


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:42 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2360
From experience he shouldn't need extra tutoring if he is getting support from school.
At the risk of getting shot down, if he is using online support as G55 outlined and getting one to one help from school then if he suited for maths at courses requiring STEP he should be OK.


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 10:53 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
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I'd agree except we don't know how experienced the school are in supporting STEP ...


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:19 pm
Posts: 55
Thank you for your helpful replies.

We will look closely at the helpful online resources you have suggested-much appreciated Guest 55.

His school have had success at Cambridge/Warwick though with small numbers of applications. Several of the Maths dept. are Oxbridge graduates. Of course I realise this doesn't make them better teachers but at least they are familiar with the application process. He is completing the questions in STEP 1 within the right timescale for the exam which is positive. His school say he could sit STEP 1 this year if he wanted. Do you have advice on this? Is it better to wait & do all three papers in year 13. Would there be a disadvantage to trying it this year if it did not go so well?

Neither his father not I have any particular mathematical flair so cannot help him ourselves!

Estelle


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11949
My parents weren't mathematical either!

I'd say focus on getting very good marks in AS modules as Cambridge look for that. Starting STEP now is good though as many leave it too late or don't take it seriously enough; a lot of Cambridge maths offer holders are unsuccesful in the STEP requirement.

If Oxford might be the target there is the MAT test so you might want to look at that too.

http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk/study-here/un ... sions-test


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Sun Feb 08, 2015 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:19 pm
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We have heard several stories of students holding Cambridge offers who got fantastic A level results but did not meet the STEP requirement so are aware that STEP is really important & obviously extremely demanding.

We will use the online resources you suggest & he'll keep working through questions. I hope that by making a sustained effort he will be as well prepared as possible when it comes to the exams. Many thanks for the links.

Estelle


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:56 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2360
It sounds like he is doing the right things atm.
Oxbridge graduates may not be the best teachers for all levels but having the academic skills to the top level is certainly a great advantage for extra studies so its great to have that help as well.

Also to reinforce comments about really good mathemeticians missing top flight places on STEP performance so try not to let him get too fixated on one or two universities. Its a hard balance between focus and determination and keeping options open.


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:25 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2010 2:45 pm
Posts: 4606
Quote:
We have heard several stories of students holding Cambridge offers who got fantastic A level results but did not meet the STEP requirement so are aware that STEP is really important & obviously extremely demanding


We know one from this year. Imho Cambridge missed out there, but shows how important it is.


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 Post subject: Re: STEP Papers
PostPosted: Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
Posts: 2360
Another thought :
I know of a few very able mathematicians who were also interested in the ' theoretical ' engineering side who decided to apply to Cambridge for Engineering instead of Maths because they were set on Cambridge and believed they had more chance of making the Engineering offer - because of STEP.


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