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    I hope to take STEP II and III this summer but at the moment I'm finding STEP II really difficult and I was wondering whether if any of you know of any books which are good preparation for STEP? I've downloaded Siklos's two booklets but I feel that I don't know enough for the examination.

    Is Number Theory a useful topic to go through? And are there any topics which tend to pop up again and again?

    Thanks for your help!
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    Are you in year 12 or 13?

    If you are in year 12 its likely that you havent covered enough material for STEP 2 and 3. If you are in year 13, just keep doing past papers. Make sure you spend enough time on each question before looking at the answer (or better, try to get a hint from the answer).
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    i'm going to start preparing for STEP I and II in a few weeks, after my exams - so if that's too late, we can fail STEP II together ^___^
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    (Original post by zdo0o)
    i'm going to start preparing for STEP I and II in a few weeks, after my exams - so if that's too late, we can fail STEP II together ^___^
    Im in as well:shakehand:
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    You don't need to know anything beyond the syllabus for STEP II (ie number theory won't really be that useful).

    The best preparation you can do is to just do a lot of questions really. There's no easy way to magically get better at STEP.
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    (Original post by around)
    You don't need to know anything beyond the syllabus for STEP II (ie number theory won't really be that useful).
    One exception I'd mention: the concept of proof by induction is occasionally useful, if not for II then for III.
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    OP - You have offer for 2010? Cambridge runs a STEP school at Easter, and Warwick runs two STEP days - Feb 27th and a June date. The FMSP run a course of about 10 on-line sessions starting now/soon.

    STEP is mostly about practice. Even if you need II and III, start with I. Only when you get bored/fluent with I move on to II. As a rule of thumb, if you can't handle I by the end of this term, that's a bad sign. Also, students who don't take C4 until the end of their Y13 year struggle a bit because they don't have enough knowledge in time.
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    Even if you're doing II and III it's best to start out with STEP I past papers and work your way up. You'll get a feel for the STEP style eventually (it's nothing like A-level even though it doesn't technically require any more knowledge)... you just have to stick at it. There are a fair few resources on this forum, e.g. links to and solutions to past papers, but it's best to try questions and exhaust all possibilities before looking at solutions.
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    Start with STEP I.

    Make sure you know C4 inside out too. Don't bother with II/III integration questions if you haven't got a 'feel' for using substitutions. Same with using trigonometric identities and formulae.

    Don't neglect mechanics and statistics questions too. People generally say to avoid them, but I've found I can tackle (most of) the statistics questions quite well. Problem is, I don't want to. :p: They're boring.
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    Thanks for the replies. So basically, I'll just start with STEP I and work my way up to II and III. I'm a bit worried about the fact that I'll only know S2 for the stats part of STEP though. I mean, does that limit me with which questions I can answer?

    Also, is there any kind of pattern with the questions and which topics pop up frequently?
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    (Original post by Sk1lLz)
    Thanks for the replies. So basically, I'll just start with STEP I and work my way up to II and III. I'm a bit worried about the fact that I'll only know S2 for the stats part of STEP though. I mean, does that limit me with which questions I can answer?
    Obviously. That's not necessarily a bad thing though - it's perfectly possible to pass just by concentrating on pure questions. Indeed, it's better to prepare for 8 questions well than 14 (or however many it is) questions badly. You only need 4 or so!

    (Original post by Sk1lLz)
    Also, is there any kind of pattern with the questions and which topics pop up frequently?
    There are lots of patterns. It can be quite easily summarised by "everything comes up every year", but if you're interested, look at the last few years' papers.
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    (Original post by Sk1lLz)
    Thanks for the replies. So basically, I'll just start with STEP I and work my way up to II and III. I'm a bit worried about the fact that I'll only know S2 for the stats part of STEP though. I mean, does that limit me with which questions I can answer?
    There are only 2 stats questions per paper anyhow, and usually it's only one question (on the STEP III paper) that requires much more than the S2 syllabus (I'm being vague because I'm not that familiar with the contents of the syllabuses). And that question can involve anything from S3,S4,S5.

    So realistically, you need to cover a huge amount more stats to raise the number of questions you can attempt from 25 to 26 (or from 19 to 20 if you were not going to do any mechanics). This is *very* unlikely to be cost effective IMHO.

    Also, is there any kind of pattern with the questions and which topics pop up frequently?
    Yes. If you do some past papers this should become pretty obvious.
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    (Original post by Sk1lLz)
    Thanks for the replies. So basically, I'll just start with STEP I and work my way up to II and III. I'm a bit worried about the fact that I'll only know S2 for the stats part of STEP though. I mean, does that limit me with which questions I can answer?

    Also, is there any kind of pattern with the questions and which topics pop up frequently?
    Usually you can answer one question with knowledge of the binomial and poisson distributions, and the fact that the integral of the PDF is the CDF? That's probably not right. I don't even know.
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    2 Siklos booklets?

    I only have one.
    Does anybody have links to both please, so I can download the other?
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    (Original post by stevencarrwork)
    2 Siklos booklets?

    I only have one.
    Does anybody have links to both please, so I can download the other?
    http://www.admissionstests.cambridge...st+Preparation
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    once you've done the 2 siklos booklets, and 10+ years back of past papers, you will have done enough prep. so you don't need additional books or anything.

    there's a good 20 years of past papers online, so you've plenty to go through.

    past papers are better than reading textbooks anyways.

    a flakey knowledge of number theory or anything wont help.

    you need to have the a-level topics totally solid.
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Obviously. That's not necessarily a bad thing though - it's perfectly possible to pass just by concentrating on pure questions. Indeed, it's better to prepare for 8 questions well than 14 (or however many it is) questions badly. You only need 4 or so!


    There are lots of patterns. It can be quite easily summarised by "everything comes up every year", but if you're interested, look at the last few years' papers.
    very true. I found that pure questions were easier to judge difficulty/time-neeeded than the mech or stats questions. and time management is crucial.

    hence I only answered pure questions. I mean, 4 solid answers = 1 roughly. so 6 pure, 3/4 to complete questions is all you need to be absolutely certain you got a 1.
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    Some of the stats questions on probability are really easy. (for certain values of 'easy')
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    (Original post by generalebriety)
    Obviously. That's not necessarily a bad thing though - it's perfectly possible to pass just by concentrating on pure questions. Indeed, it's better to prepare for 8 questions well than 14 (or however many it is) questions badly. You only need 4 or so!


    There are lots of patterns. It can be quite easily summarised by "everything comes up every year", but if you're interested, look at the last few years' papers.
    Is the step from A-level to STEP I greater than the step from STEP I to STEP III? Or is STEP III just a monster despite the harder content?
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    (Original post by Sk1lLz)
    Is the step from A-level to STEP I greater than the step from STEP I to STEP III? Or is STEP III just a monster despite the harder content?
    I find the difficulty gap between A-level and STEP greater than the one between STEP I and STEP III.
    (notice the use of the word 'gap' instead of step to avoid puns )
 
 
 
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