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# Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III? Tweet

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1. Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
I'm just curious, which modules prepare you best for STEP?
The modules that I have to study at college are as thus:
C1-4, FP1&3, M1&2, S1&2, D1&2.

I'm quite disappointed that my college offer no flexibility in the maths modules whatsoever, so I definitely have to study D1&2 - against my own will I imagine more Mechanics/Statistics/Further Pure modules would be much more beneficial that D1&2.

So, if I am lucky enough to get to the stage of sitting STEP, which modules would you advise me to self study in my own time? Because I will not get to do FP2&4, M3-5 or S3-5 in college time. Which are the definites? And which are the ones which would benefit me greatest?

2. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
I'm just curious, which modules prepare you best for STEP?
The modules that I have to study at college are as thus:
C1-4, FP1&3, M1&2, S1&2, D1&2.

I'm quite disappointed that my college offer no flexibility in the maths modules whatsoever, so I definitely have to study D1&2 - against my own will I imagine more Mechanics/Statistics/Further Pure modules would be much more beneficial that D1&2.

So, if I am lucky enough to get to the stage of sitting STEP, which modules would you advise me to self study in my own time? Because I will not get to do FP2&4, M3-5 or S3-5 in college time. Which are the definites? And which are the ones which would benefit me greatest?

The papers cover a wide range of topics (especially III), so technically there is no "best/definite" - there will always be 6 questions on areas you've studied... Self-studying: if you don't want to do it all, I would say it largely depends on taste, do you feel more comfortable with Pure or Applied? I would recommend doing FP2 though, since it would be applicable to lots of analysis-type questions.
3. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
I'm just curious, which modules prepare you best for STEP?
The modules that I have to study at college are as thus:
C1-4, FP1&3, M1&2, S1&2, D1&2.

I'm quite disappointed that my college offer no flexibility in the maths modules whatsoever, so I definitely have to study D1&2 - against my own will I imagine more Mechanics/Statistics/Further Pure modules would be much more beneficial that D1&2.

So, if I am lucky enough to get to the stage of sitting STEP, which modules would you advise me to self study in my own time? Because I will not get to do FP2&4, M3-5 or S3-5 in college time. Which are the definites? And which are the ones which would benefit me greatest?

Do as much pure as you possibly can since the majority of the test is pure. I'd also say do either stats or mechanics, your time would be best spent doing deep on one rather than shallow on stats and mechanics (unless you can do everything ofc) this is because the questions tend to use material from the higher modules a lot more often than material from the lower modules (like M1,M2, S1 and S2).
4. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
I've only got experience with OCR modules, but I'll give my views:

For Step II, you should be fine with those modules - it helps to have (for OCR) FP2 a little, as well, particularly when it comes to integrations. Make sure you know the momentum and coefficients of restitutions stuff if you're mechanically inclined, they're always worth a few marks.

For Step III, the pure modules are a must. For OCR, FP2 was essential and FP3 was darned useful for the differential equations, though it may be flipped for other exam boards.

I also gained benefit from doing all the Mechanics modules (for OCR, only M1-4) - M4 in particular definitely gave me a fully answered question. Normally, the more advanced concepts in Step III have easier questions.

I made sure I had all the pure wrapped up by Christmas (at least, I made sure I knew it all), giving me a long run in for Step.

So, if I was doing it again, I'd say:

Definates: FP2,3 (is FP4 the matrices one? Don't bother if it is)
V. Helpful (in my opinion): M3,4,5 (Moments of Inertia are good to know - check the Step syllabus though)
Meh - Stats. Stats questions were never my preference, but as far as I could tell never really required much knowledge - some of the higher level probability'll probably be good, though.
5. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
I'm quite disappointed that my college offer no flexibility in the maths modules whatsoever, so I definitely have to study D1&2 - against my own will I imagine more Mechanics/Statistics/Further Pure modules would be much more beneficial that D1&2.
No you don't, just tell them not to enter you for the D1 and D2 exams and self-study FP2 and M3 instead. (And FP4 if it's on your spec, and M4 too if you can stomach it.) There's no reason why they can't do that; it doesn't cost them any extra money and I'm sure they'll respect your decision if you can convince them that you're competent enough. If they won't budge then it's worth getting into an argument over: doing S1-2, M1-2 and D1-2 gives you a broad but shallow grounding, which is essentially the opposite of what you need for STEP.

Whatever happens, do as many FP modules as you can. That will open up most of the first eight questions on each paper.
Last edited by nuodai; 16-07-2012 at 12:46.
6. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by nuodai)
No you don't, just tell them not to enter you for the D1 and D2 exams and self-study FP2 and M3 instead. (And FP4 if it's on your spec, and M4 too if you can stomach it.) There's no reason why they can't do that; it doesn't cost them any extra money and I'm sure they'll respect your decision if you can convince them that you're competent enough. If they won't budge then it's worth getting into an argument over: doing S1-2, M1-2 and D1-2 gives you a broad but shallow grounding, which is essentially the opposite of what you need for STEP.

Whatever happens, do as many FP modules as you can. That will open up most of the first eight questions on each paper.
I've emailed the college maths department regarding the decision modules, and they told me that I had to sit all the modules which they have chosen, but I could sit extra modules ontop of those if I wished. I will try my hardest to back my point when I go in to enrol in a few weeks. I really don't see why it would be such a big deal. To me, it just looks like the college have picked the easiest possible modules in order to get the best chance of getting high Maths grades. But the modules they have chosen doesn't really prepare us as well as it could do.

If I am told I cannot sit FP3 and M3 instead of D1&2, should I sit them as well as? I was planning on self teaching FP3&4, M3&4 and maybe 5 anyway - depending on how much time I have. By the end of this summer I will have self taught C1-3, M1 & S1, and I planned on self teaching as much as I can of FP2-4, M2-3/4 next summer.
7. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by TheDavibob)
I've only got experience with OCR modules, but I'll give my views:

For Step II, you should be fine with those modules - it helps to have (for OCR) FP2 a little, as well, particularly when it comes to integrations. Make sure you know the momentum and coefficients of restitutions stuff if you're mechanically inclined, they're always worth a few marks.

For Step III, the pure modules are a must. For OCR, FP2 was essential and FP3 was darned useful for the differential equations, though it may be flipped for other exam boards.

I also gained benefit from doing all the Mechanics modules (for OCR, only M1-4) - M4 in particular definitely gave me a fully answered question. Normally, the more advanced concepts in Step III have easier questions.

I made sure I had all the pure wrapped up by Christmas (at least, I made sure I knew it all), giving me a long run in for Step.

So, if I was doing it again, I'd say:

Definates: FP2,3 (is FP4 the matrices one? Don't bother if it is)
V. Helpful (in my opinion): M3,4,5 (Moments of Inertia are good to know - check the Step syllabus though)
Meh - Stats. Stats questions were never my preference, but as far as I could tell never really required much knowledge - some of the higher level probability'll probably be good, though.
Well, I'm going to self teach all of the FP modules which I don't learn in college, and I will focus of self teaching Mechanics modules too - I really don't find statistics interesting at all. I'm hoping I might have all that done by the Christmas prior to STEP.

My college don't offer much help with STEP, so I would have to do it by myself. Would you recommend I get a tutor who could help me with STEP?
8. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
I've emailed the college maths department regarding the decision modules, and they told me that I had to sit all the modules which they have chosen, but I could sit extra modules ontop of those if I wished. I will try my hardest to back my point when I go in to enrol in a few weeks. I really don't see why it would be such a big deal. To me, it just looks like the college have picked the easiest possible modules in order to get the best chance of getting high Maths grades. But the modules they have chosen doesn't really prepare us as well as it could do.

If I am told I cannot sit FP3 and M3 instead of D1&2, should I sit them as well as? I was planning on self teaching FP3&4, M3&4 and maybe 5 anyway - depending on how much time I have. By the end of this summer I will have self taught C1-3, M1 & S1, and I planned on self teaching as much as I can of FP2-4, M2-3/4 next summer.
If they'll enter you for FP3 and M3 and they refuse to let you not sit D1 and D2, then you could just work on FP3 and M3 in your D1-2 lessons and not turn up for the D1-2 exams.

But if you're talking about C1-3, I get the impression that you're about to start Y12 rather than Y13? If this is so, don't worry too much about it just yet - STEP is a long way off, and you'll (probably) be sitting the extra modules in Y13, so you can worry about them over the summer. This also gives you an extra year to convince your teachers to let you drop the D modules (or at least D2) in favour of others.
9. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by nuodai)
If they'll enter you for FP3 and M3 and they refuse to let you not sit D1 and D2, then you could just work on FP3 and M3 in your D1-2 lessons and not turn up for the D1-2 exams.

But if you're talking about C1-3, I get the impression that you're about to start Y12 rather than Y13? If this is so, don't worry too much about it just yet - STEP is a long way off, and you'll (probably) be sitting the extra modules in Y13, so you can worry about them over the summer. This also gives you an extra year to convince your teachers to let you drop the D modules (or at least D2) in favour of others.
Doesn't sound like a bad plan to be honest.

Yes, I'm going into Y12 in September. I just wanted to know the best way to prepare. I have a tendency to organise things thoroughly and plan ahead. I've even made myself a timetable over the summer

These are the modules which I am supposed to sit next year:
January: C1, D1, S1
June: C2, M1, FP1

I'm going to try and negotiate with the maths department to let me sit:
January: C1, C2, S1 & D1(if my persuasive skills flounder on the Decision modules issue)
June: FP1, M1, C3 and maybe C4

The reason I want to do this is so that it opens up more time in Year13 to self teach other modules, so that I can begin STEP preparation earlier. Plus, I'd like to sit the AEA Exam in Y12 too - which requires C3&4 knowledge anyway.

Does this just sound silly? What would be best?
Last edited by CharlieBoardman; 16-07-2012 at 15:05.
10. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
Doesn't sound like a bad plan to be honest.

Yes, I'm going into Y13 in September. I just wanted to know the best way to prepare. I have a tendency to organise things thoroughly and plan ahead. I've even made myself a timetable over the summer
*Y12
11. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by raheem94)
*Y12
Well spotted! Thanks for that
12. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
These are the modules which I am supposed to sit next year:
January: C1, D1, S1
June: C2, M1, FP1

I'm going to try and negotiate with the maths department to let me sit:
January: C1, C2, S1 & D1(if my persuasive skills flounder on the Decision modules issue)
June: FP1, M1, C3 and maybe C4

The reason I want to do this is so that it opens up more time in Year13 to self teach other modules, so that I can begin STEP preparation earlier. Plus, I'd like to sit the AEA Exam in Y12 too - which requires C3&4 knowledge anyway.

Does this just sound silly? What would be best?
It sounds a little silly, but certainly not ridiculous - if you can do it then why not? But it might mess up your school timetable a bit, in the sense that attending maths lessons might be a waste of time if you're not learning the same material as your classmates. From the point of view of STEP preparation, as well as Cambridge interviews (I presume this is your goal?), it's definitely beneficial to have covered C3 and C4 in Y12, or at least before the start of Y13.

Just make sure you don't increase your workload so much that your other subjects suffer or you don't have any fun. All this stuff will ultimately help (as long as you get A grades in your exams) but it's certainly not necessary.
13. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by nuodai)
It sounds a little silly, but certainly not ridiculous - if you can do it then why not? But it might mess up your school timetable a bit, in the sense that attending maths lessons might be a waste of time if you're not learning the same material as your classmates. From the point of view of STEP preparation, as well as Cambridge interviews (I presume this is your goal?), it's definitely beneficial to have covered C3 and C4 in Y12, or at least before the start of Y13.

Just make sure you don't increase your workload so much that your other subjects suffer or you don't have any fun. All this stuff will ultimately help (as long as you get A grades in your exams) but it's certainly not necessary.
Well, the plan was to self teach the material before I did it in class, and then the class lessons would essentially act as revision lessons. I'd still attend all the same maths lessons, apart from D1&2 if possible. Yes, Cambridge is the goal is it worth me sitting C3&4 in Y12 though? As I'm going to self teach it, regardless of whether I sit them or not.
14. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
Well, the plan was to self teach the material before I did it in class, and then the class lessons would essentially act as revision lessons. I'd still attend all the same maths lessons, apart from D1&2 if possible. Yes, Cambridge is the goal is it worth me sitting C3&4 in Y12 though? As I'm going to self teach it, regardless of whether I sit them or not.
Worry about that nearer the time. If you know you can get an A in them then go for it -- it'll reduce your workload (or at least your exam timetable) in Y13. Otherwise, wait until January of Y13 so that everything is up to scratch. The fewer resits the better!
15. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by CharlieBoardman)
My college don't offer much help with STEP, so I would have to do it by myself. Would you recommend I get a tutor who could help me with STEP?
Nah. Cambridge provide a little bit of tutoring, and the best practise comes from many past papers. I had very little school support, and no extra tutor, and I was fine.

I wouldn't be far wrong in saying Step's probably beyond the majority of tutors (as it most definitely is beyond most maths teachers), and the Student Room's the best resource for help, anyway.
16. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
(Original post by TheDavibob)
Nah. Cambridge provide a little bit of tutoring, and the best practise comes from many past papers. I had very little school support, and no extra tutor, and I was fine.

I wouldn't be far wrong in saying Step's probably beyond the majority of tutors (as it most definitely is beyond most maths teachers), and the Student Room's the best resource for help, anyway.
I did actually find a tutor organisation which caters for STEP candidates in my area. Surely it would be worthit to just try it out? (nearer the time obviously). After all, it can't hurt!
17. Re: Recommended Maths modules for STEP II & III?
Maybe - see how it goes. I'd focus more on the A-levels first, then the interview, and then think about getting tutoring - you may realise you don't really need it.