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    (Original post by davros)
    I think AEA is still running this year - there've been several aborted attempts to phase it out recently!

    It's a similar exam to STEP - 3 hours in duration with about 7 or 8 extended questions on C1-C4 only BUT all questions are mandatory unlike STEP where you can get full marks with 6 out of 13 questions. Some people prefer STEP for this reason, but if you're a 'serious' Cambridge applicant then you shouldn't have any fear of AEA!

    And as you say, to give yourself a 'decent' shot at STEP you'll want either M1-M2 or S1-S2 under your belt as well as the pure stuff so you have a reasonable choice of questions.
    I just looked it up, it's not that bad tbh; but I don't like it. To me it looks like just an extra hard version of C4 poorly put together, doesn't make you think like STEP which is much more elegant.
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    (Original post by IGU)
    Doing STEP II & III beforehand and getting at least a 1,1 will likely lead to an unconditional offer. The biggest downside to doing STEP is if you spend lots of time preparing and then do poorly. Then you are also likely to impact how well you do in other things.

    Given your description of what you are doing now, you shouldn't worry about getting an interview for maths. They try to interview everybody who has a reasonable chance of getting an offer. And you'll probably have no trouble getting an offer if you get top marks in the relevant subjects and do okay in the interview -- you make it sound as though these things won't be hard for you.

    So what are you worrying about? Certainly if you tend to worry then an unconditional offer would be a great thing for you, so that would be an incentive to do STEP before you apply. Don't spend any more time preparing than you can easily afford, and if your marks are bad you needn't report them.

    And one general observation: if your classes are extremely easy you are taking the wrong classes. In the long term, you will be much better off if you challenge yourself. In that context, perhaps STEP is a good challenge.
    Only my maths classes are easy, the sciences are pretty difficult (except chemistry, for some reason i'm finding it pretty easy this year) so they do take a big chunk of my time. They didn't let me do extra maths from the beginning of the year so I was stuck self studying, which went very well and I have only one module to finish (FP3). If I decide to take STEP this year, what do recommend I do to prepare for it (I know about the past papers btw)?
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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    If I decide to take STEP this year, what do recommend I do to prepare for it (I know about the past papers btw)?
    I'd start by reading the initial several posts on the 2015 STEP Prep thread. They should help you understand what it would take to get marks you would be happy with.

    Then I'd suggest that you determine whether you have a reasonable chance of doing well on the STEP exams without impacting your other work. And, like most optional things, I wouldn't do it at all unless it promised to be fun to do. It sure sounds like you could use some fun things to do rather than more burdens.
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    (Original post by IGU)
    I'd start by reading the initial several posts on the 2015 STEP Prep thread. They should help you understand what it would take to get marks you would be happy with.

    Then I'd suggest that you determine whether you have a reasonable chance of doing well on the STEP exams without impacting your other work. And, like most optional things, I wouldn't do it at all unless it promised to be fun to do. It sure sounds like you could use some fun things to do rather than more burdens.
    Oh that's useful! Also which STEP paper should I focus on, 1,2 or 3? Or is it all of them? (9 hours seems a bit too much, that's why i'm asking)
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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    Oh that's useful! Also which STEP paper should I focus on, 1,2 or 3? Or is it all of them? (9 hours seems a bit too much, that's why i'm asking)
    The usual offer for maths is 1,1 on STEP II,III. So if I were looking for an unconditional offer then that's what I'd aim for. Some people like to do STEP I to build up their confidence or at least get some practice.

    I suggest you get clear on your goals and ask people on the STEP Prep thread how to best achieve them. Lots of expertise there.
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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    Oh that's useful! Also which STEP paper should I focus on, 1,2 or 3? Or is it all of them? (9 hours seems a bit too much, that's why i'm asking)
    If you're still talking about sitting STEP at the end of Year 12 then STEP I is the paper you should be looking at. STEP III requires full FM knowledge, and STEP II would form part of an offer so you're be required to take it at the end of Y13 anyway.

    It takes time to get used to the style of question in STEP and the time management skills required to sit a 3-hour exam, so build up your confidence by practising on some STEP I questions and see how you get on.
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    (Original post by davros)
    If you're still talking about sitting STEP at the end of Year 12 then STEP I is the paper you should be looking at. STEP III requires full FM knowledge, and STEP II would form part of an offer so you're be required to take it at the end of Y13 anyway.

    It takes time to get used to the style of question in STEP and the time management skills required to sit a 3-hour exam, so build up your confidence by practising on some STEP I questions and see how you get on.
    Oh further maths is no problem, i'm already doing all the further modules this year anyways. Plus if I do really good in II and III then they have to interview me at least!
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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    Oh further maths is no problem, i'm already doing all the further modules this year anyways. Plus if I do really good in II and III then they have to interview me at least!
    I have got an offer for maths at cambridge this year. I did 4as levels scored good/top marks in maths and fm did terrible in physics and chemistry. I did stuff like BMO in yr 12(not needed but good). The key is the interview really. I would only do step 1 ealry if you get an S or 1s in step 2,3. Honestly im preparing for step 1,2,3 now and it is a lot of work. Especially if your doin like 6 as levels. Key is top marks in maths fm and physics. Then make your raw maths and problem solving solid and an offer will come. They give out more offers and let step decide.


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    Remember, step is very hard. Its very different to your maths and fm as levels/ alevels where the fm and maths a levels are pretty easy.


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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    Oh further maths is no problem, i'm already doing all the further modules this year anyways.
    But in your original post you said you were doing 9 modules this year, which isn't all of A level + FM! So what content will you have covered by the end of this summer?
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    (Original post by davros)
    But in your original post you said you were doing 9 modules this year, which isn't all of A level + FM! So what content will you have covered by the end of this summer?
    He might be talking about all FP modules.


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    I know someone who got 600/600 for a level maths and an a* in fm, but got a 2 in step I and a 3 in step II :eek:

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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    He might be talking about all FP modules.


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    That's what I was trying to be clear on!

    If he's done A level already then it might look as if he's doing the modules over 3 years which looks "less competitive". If he's self-teaching FM concurrently with A level then that's fine, but it all depends on the module combinations - filling up your time with D1, D2, S1 and M1 won't take you very far towards STEP depending on which modules you chose for the original A level combination!

    That's why taking STEP I early needs to be balanced very carefully against the progress you've made against the 'normal' teaching schedule of your school. It's impressive for those people in a position to do it, but it's far from necessary as very few people have sufficient preparation by the end of Y12.
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    (Original post by davros)
    That's what I was trying to be clear on!

    If he's done A level already then it might look as if he's doing the modules over 3 years which looks "less competitive". If he's self-teaching FM concurrently with A level then that's fine, but it all depends on the module combinations - filling up your time with D1, D2, S1 and M1 won't take you very far towards STEP depending on which modules you chose for the original A level combination!

    That's why taking STEP I early needs to be balanced very carefully against the progress you've made against the 'normal' teaching schedule of your school. It's impressive for those people in a position to do it, but it's far from necessary as very few people have sufficient preparation by the end of Y12.
    Oh ok, sorry lol.


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    (Original post by davros)
    But in your original post you said you were doing 9 modules this year, which isn't all of A level + FM! So what content will you have covered by the end of this summer?
    Im doing C1-4, FP1-3 (edexcel so no fp4), and M1 and M2. Im self-teaching all except the mechanics and c1 and c2, i've finished all the ones im supposed to do on my own except fp3 which im planning to finish before march.
    oh and this is my first year doing a levels
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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    Im doing C1-4, FP1-3 (edexcel so no fp4), and M1 and M2. Im self-teaching all except the mechanics and c1 and c2, i've finished all the ones im supposed to do on my own except fp3 which im planning to finish before march.
    oh and this is my first year doing a levels
    Give STEP 1 a try and if u can hit 5-6 solutions per paper give it a shot.


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    (Original post by gagafacea1)
    Im doing C1-4, FP1-3 (edexcel so no fp4), and M1 and M2. Im self-teaching all except the mechanics and c1 and c2, i've finished all the ones im supposed to do on my own except fp3 which im planning to finish before march.
    oh and this is my first year doing a levels
    OK, in that case you probably have a good basis for looking at STEP I - have a look at some past papers / sample questions if you haven't already and see how you get on with them. You won't get a better idea about how realistic sitting the exam is until you've done this and got some experience tackling more extended problems
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    (Original post by physicsmaths)
    Give STEP 1 a try and if u can hit 5-6 solutions per paper give it a shot.


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    (Original post by davros)
    OK, in that case you probably have a good basis for looking at STEP I - have a look at some past papers / sample questions if you haven't already and see how you get on with them. You won't get a better idea about how realistic sitting the exam is until you've done this and got some experience tackling more extended problems
    That is what i'm doing right now, although is there a big difference between step 1, 2 and 3? Because I'm thinking of doing all.
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    (Original post by TVIO)
    Ooh excellent, I so nearly applied for engineering. Have you got the dreaded STEP then?
    Nope. No STEP requirements with my offer!
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    Realistically you won't be able to do step 3 with just your knowledge of fp1-3 and m1,2. You need m3,m4. Step 1 and 2 is c1-4 m1-2 and s1-2. Step 3 covers all the above and all of further maths, m3-5 s3-4 etc and fp1-3. Step 2 and 3 are of around the same difficulty and harder then step 1. Honestly I wouldn't do step 3 this year if I was you.


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