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STEP or Oxford aptitude test- which is easier?

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    I've decided I'm applying to either Oxford or Cambridge and I wouldn't mind which one I went to. What would you say is the easier entrance test? That might influence my decision.
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    MAT is supposed to be based on AS Maths knowledge only, so yeah. From general opinion on TSR I would think STEP is harder, by far.
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    MAT defo
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    I'm guessing you've never tried a STEP paper before

    eat your heart out: http://www.admissionstests.cambridge...st+Preparation
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    STEP by miles, but the MAT is taken earlier so generally the cohort has less experience and knowledge. Also it's taken outside "exam season" so I assume people often are less prepared than for STEP.

    EDIT: Oh easier, sorry, MAT is easier, I answered which is harder
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    Oxford aptitude test, definitely.
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    (Original post by Aristotle's' Disciple)
    MAT is supposed to be based on AS Maths knowledge only, so yeah.
    This is irrelevant, surely? BMO is based on very basic maths but you'd be hard pushed to say it's easier than the MAT.

    I agree with the general consensus, though. STEP is far harder than the MAT; but the MAT is taken much earlier in the candidate's academia and is thus expected to be easier.
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    Whilst I've done STEP I've only seen the MAT (not sat one under exam conditions) but I am leaning towards the STEP being the harder of the two.
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    Yeah I've seen a few STEP papers, but I don't know whether they're hard because I haven't done a lot of the maths involved (C3 C4 M2 S2) but i think I'll apply to Oxford now anyway.
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    which universities require STEP now? Is it Cambridge, Warwick and Imperial. And do you know what grades they require in STEP?
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    STEP is solid... man it almost slaughtered me lol.

    I haven't done the Oxford AT but I'm sure it's easier.
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    Despite having done neither, I'm pretty confident it's STEP. STEP is meant to be REALLY hard.
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    If there is something harder than STEP that sixth formers can sit, I don't want to know about it :eek:
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    (Original post by kerily)
    If there is something harder than STEP that sixth formers can sit, I don't want to know about it :eek:
    Arguably BMO2 is quite a bit harder; even BMO1 would be up there for most. I'd be lucky to get more than 5-10 marks on BMO2 if I were to sit it right now (obviously I practiced STEP a bit more but that's beside the point)... :sigh:

    Just realised that you said you didn't want to know about it, oops! :teehee:

    The common factor, they're both maths tests. Not sure how the BMAT/UKCAT compare.
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    (Original post by Farhan.Hanif93)

    The common factor, they're both maths tests. Not sure how the BMAT/UKCAT compare.
    Don't think they'd be (anywhere near) as hard as STEP.
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    (Original post by Farhan.Hanif93)
    Arguably BMO2 is quite a bit harder; even BMO1 would be up there for most. I'd be lucky to get more than 5-10 marks on BMO2 if I were to sit it right now (obviously I practiced STEP a bit more but that's beside the point)... :sigh:

    Just realised that you said you didn't want to know about it, oops! :teehee:

    The common factor, they're both maths tests. Not sure how the BMAT/UKCAT compare.
    Yeah, BMO1 is arguably as hard or almost as hard as STEP, whereas BMO2 is significantly harder (in its own ways). But the hardest examinations that sixth-form students can reach are usually the International Mathematical Olympiad tests (even someone who can score full marks in the BMO2 only scores around 20/42, I seem to remember from this year).

    I've never taken any of these; I'm planning to for the first time this year (for BMO1, BMO2, etc., hopefully!). Not STEP. Looking at the past questions, they seem relatively solvable, albeit tricky. The International Maths Olympiad, however, is a completely different story ...

    As for the OP's question, I've never seen the Oxford Aptitude Test for Maths, but consistent opinion among people who've done both seems to show that STEP is considered harder.
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    Don't think they'd be (anywhere near) as hard as STEP.
    I personally don't think it'd be a fair comparison. STEP and BMAT/UKCAT have completely different objectives; and assess completely different things in a completely different style - as I understand it, the BMAT/UKCAT tests are also taken earlier in the year than STEP normally is taken. They're probably difficult in their own way, but I can only really comment on STEP as it's the only one I've taken.
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    (Original post by Farhan.Hanif93)
    I personally don't think it'd be a fair comparison. STEP and BMAT/UKCAT have completely different objectives; and assess completely different things in a completely different style - as I understand it, the BMAT/UKCAT tests are also taken earlier in the year than STEP normally is taken. They're probably difficult in their own way, but I can only really comment on STEP as it's the only one I've taken.
    I've done the BMAT and UKCAT. They're doable by your average medical applicant. I'd always have thought STEP would have been far harder, although yeah, I guess it's not really a fair comparison.

    I was under the impression you had to be fairly exceptional at maths to even get a reasonable STEP grade?
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    I was under the impression you had to be fairly exceptional at maths to even get a reasonable STEP grade?
    I wouldn't say that you had to be fairly exceptional even for a reasonable grade at the IMO.
    Although you need to be a bit smarter than usual, it really depends on what support you receive to prepare for these exams/olympiads.
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    (Original post by Chief Wiggum)
    I was under the impression you had to be fairly exceptional at maths to even get a reasonable STEP grade?
    Well, it comes down to what you feel is a reasonable STEP grade. If it's a grade 2 or less, I wouldn't say you need to be exceptional to get it; still a respectable result, though. In fact, I'd be willing to go as far as saying that the grade S is pretty much the only grade where being exceptional is almost a requirement as it more or less comes down to how quickly you can act on your intuition as well as being able to find multiple questions that you can have a reasonable crack at in the given time frame.

    That said, you'll also have to clarify what you mean by exceptional. If you mean the top 2 or 3 Y13 maths A-Level students from each school, then yes that sounds about right*. If you're talking about only those who qualify for the BMO, then probably not, as many people who don't qualify for the BMO do just fine. (for lack of a better example)

    *Depending on what sort of school we're talking about here. If it's a selective school, then there may be a larger bracket of those capable of doing well. The level of help offered also makes a huge difference. There's so many things that come into it that it's hard to explain how "hard" it is...

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Updated: April 23, 2012
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