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    Hi everyone
    I would really appreciate advice on a few things bugging my mind. I intend to start an engineering degree in 2012. I wonder on the advantage of sitting the AEA and STEP Mathematics. Since I am studying independently, I dont want to place an extra burden on my academic workload. But I really love mathematics and will love to stretch myself. I also intend to sit M4 and M5 in June. Most universities advise potential engineering students to do as much Mechanics modules as possible. But it seems most students dont even atttempt M3. Do you think this would provide a good advantage on my potential engineering course? Or should I opt for the more popular S1 and S2 courses.

    By way, I only intend to sit Step 1 and 2.

    Finally, I am torn betweem studying Physics and Electrical Engineering. I adore Professor Walter Lewin from the MIT and can visualise myself in his lectures. I only recently bought introduction to Physics and slightly amazed at the mathematical content of a Physics degree. So, I seem to veer towards a Physics degree. But I subscribe for the IET and IEEE magazines and can barely put them down. This is even in the toilet. I do love teaching and will like to follow in the footsteps of 'Walter'. But I cant believe I am living through the 'energy' debate. The idea of developing renewable energy systems is mouthwatering!!!
    Please advise.
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    Step and AEA might be an advantage when it comes to entry to an undergrad engineering degree at some universities. I don't know anything about undergrad entry policies so you're best contact the universities you're interested in applying to and ask them.

    But if you like maths then do a maths or physics degree. Whilst an engineering degree is also quite mathematical (but obviously less so than a physics or maths degree), when you graduate you're unlikely to ever see any advanced maths again, and your course mates probably won't share your enthusiasm in it. Maths is more of a "tool" to an engineer than his/her passion. His/her passion is designing and building this, or this, or this, for example.

    Engineering is a fundamentally practical discipline about producing real world results. The best engineers, I've been told*, are the ones who played with lego and meccano at a young age, dismantled engines and radios and made stuff with wood. The maths in an engineering degree is almost solely "applied maths" - read Engineering Mathematics and Advanced Engineering Mathematics by K.A. Stroud to get a feel for it. I didn't do A-levels but I'd wager that the mechanics modules bare a strong similarity to the material presented in Stroud's books.

    But you sound like someone who's better suited to maths or physics, as it sounds like your passion is maths. And these people play important roles within engineering too - someone has to teach the engineers maths, and physicists are highly involved within the R&D departments of many large engineering firms.

    *By recruiters for large integrated oil & gas companies, oilfield service companies and equipment manufacturers.
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    It is worth taking to stretch yourself and really see how good you are STEP is a lot more challenging than A-Levels which quite frankly are a cakewalk for any decent mathematician.
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    (Original post by aurao2003)
    Hi everyone
    I would really appreciate advice on a few things bugging my mind. I intend to start an engineering degree in 2012. I wonder on the advantage of sitting the AEA and STEP Mathematics. Since I am studying independently, I dont want to place an extra burden on my academic workload. But I really love mathematics and will love to stretch myself. I also intend to sit M4 and M5 in June. Most universities advise potential engineering students to do as much Mechanics modules as possible. But it seems most students dont even atttempt M3. Do you think this would provide a good advantage on my potential engineering course? Or should I opt for the more popular S1 and S2 courses.

    By way, I only intend to sit Step 1 and 2.

    Finally, I am torn betweem studying Physics and Electrical Engineering. I adore Professor Walter Lewin from the MIT and can visualise myself in his lectures. I only recently bought introduction to Physics and slightly amazed at the mathematical content of a Physics degree. So, I seem to veer towards a Physics degree. But I subscribe for the IET and IEEE magazines and can barely put them down. This is even in the toilet. I do love teaching and will like to follow in the footsteps of 'Walter'. But I cant believe I am living through the 'energy' debate. The idea of developing renewable energy systems is mouthwatering!!!
    Please advise.
    Definitely do mechanics modules instead of statistics, and if you're confident you'll easily achieve the high grades do AEA and/or STEP. AEA isn't that tough, but it's a nice step between A level and STEP papers.

    Universities won't normally require AEA or STEP for engineering or physics, but of course it wouldn't harm and you'll most likely have to do them if you want to apply to top unis for maths. Also, if you fail your AEA and STEP exams it won't make a difference, so why not try. If you're applying to top uni's it might give you an edge but for engineering I don't think it will make much difference. Things like your personal statement have helped my application a lot more than AEA which I put down on the UCAS form I think.
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    Definitely do mechanics modules instead of statistics, and if you're confident you'll easily achieve the high grades do AEA and/or STEP. AEA isn't that tough, but it's a nice step between A level and STEP papers.

    Universities won't normally require AEA or STEP for engineering or physics, but of course it wouldn't harm and you'll most likely have to do them if you want to apply to top unis for maths. Also, if you fail your AEA and STEP exams it won't make a difference, so why not try. If you're applying to top uni's it might give you an edge but for engineering I don't think it will make much difference. Things like your personal statement have helped my application a lot more than AEA which I put down on the UCAS form I think.
    Thanks for your reply. The universities I will be applying for have an interesting view on AEA/STEP. Certain Cambridge colleges for instance, actually stipulate. I dont think this forms part of the final offer. Imperial also encourages the same. Can you please tell me where you are currently studyiong engineering? What is your weekly timetable like? How much mathematics is involved? What modules from A level would you say were the most relevant?
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    (Original post by aurao2003)
    Thanks for your reply. The universities I will be applying for have an interesting view on AEA/STEP. Certain Cambridge colleges for instance, actually stipulate. I dont think this forms part of the final offer. Imperial also encourages the same. Can you please tell me where you are currently studyiong engineering? What is your weekly timetable like? How much mathematics is involved? What modules from A level would you say were the most relevant?
    I'm a 2011 applicant, but would say I know quite a bit about applying for engineering. I've got an offers for MechEng at Imperial and Bath of A*AA and AAB for general engineering at Warwick, no mention of AEA (which I put on my UCAS form) or STEP (which I didn't) on any offer, wasn't mentioned at either my Imperial, Cambridge (King's college) or Bristol interviews. I am waiting to hear back from Bristol and Cambridge in the new year.

    See here: http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/admissions/guide/table3.html

    I think it's highly unlikely you would get an offer involving AEA or STEP if you are doing further maths, my college seemed very happy with further maths tbh.

    I am certain that a strong personal statement ie relevant work experience, couple of engineering competitions, summer schools and related activities, is far more important and it seems to have got me all my interviews and offers so far.

    I can't answer the rest of your questions, but I know (from visits, interviews and tours/talks etc and talking to current students) that maths content is fairly high level, contact hours are also high with lectures, labs and workshop time and mechanics modules are by far the most relevant to engineering - M1 and M2 at least.
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    I would have been highly surprised if anywhere were to give an offer including Step or AEA, for an engineering course, seeing as it's quite irrelevant.

    I'm studying engineering. My timetable is fairly full. Not quite as full as it was in first and second year, but not quite at arts and humanities levels. Contact hours have slightly tapered off because we don't need our hands held as much and we also have project type work to fit in normal working hours (the technicians don't work nights) as well.

    Maths wise, there's lots of it, but it's all applied and you can easily see the sort of things covered if you check out Advanced Engineering Mathematics by KA Stroud. The level of maths content covered is going to vary from uni to uni, I'd imagine, but most of the big players in the oil & gas and energy sectors don't do many maths modules, I've learned from talking to graduates - about four or five. I have more semesters where I've not got a maths module than ones where I have. And that's the way I like it.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I would have been highly surprised if anywhere were to give an offer including Step or AEA, for an engineering course, seeing as it's quite irrelevant.

    I'm studying engineering. My timetable is fairly full. Not quite as full as it was in first and second year, but not quite at arts and humanities levels. Contact hours have slightly tapered off because we don't need our hands held as much and we also have project type work to fit in normal working hours (the technicians don't work nights) as well.

    Maths wise, there's lots of it, but it's all applied and you can easily see the sort of things covered if you check out Advanced Engineering Mathematics by KA Stroud. The level of maths content covered is going to vary from uni to uni, I'd imagine, but most of the big players in the oil & gas and energy sectors don't do many maths modules, I've learned from talking to graduates - about four or five. I have more semesters where I've not got a maths module than ones where I have. And that's the way I like it.
    I've used this book, and its almost 100% pure maths; loads of calculus some matric algebra, vectors and fourier, z and laplace transforms. Maybe your confused as to the nature of applied and pure maths? I don't see how STEP or AEA is irrelevant at all, especially for the Cambridge or Imperial courses, it's about using your skills to solve new problems and tests your maths much further. Hardly irrelevant to engineering.

    I think you should stop trying to put the OP off engineering and telling him he should do maths or physics if maths is his passion.. Maths is the basis of engineering and OP should make his own mind up.

    I don't know why you keep talking about the "big players in the oil and gas industry" firstly because there's alot more to engineering than oil and gas and secondly because there is a LOT of maths in the Cambridge and Imperial courses which he will have to do regardless of his future career, these universities have a pick of the best candidates and having done STEP or AEA would let him stand out a bit.
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    I've used this book, and its almost 100% pure maths; loads of calculus some matric algebra, vectors and fourier, z and laplace transforms. Maybe your confused as to the nature of applied and pure maths? I don't see how STEP or AEA is irrelevant at all, especially for the Cambridge or Imperial courses, it's about using your skills to solve new problems and tests your maths much further. Hardly irrelevant to engineering.
    I classify that as applied maths because there are clear applications for it. I use this definition for pure maths. "[P]ure mathematics is mathematics motivated entirely for reasons other than application...Another insightful view is that of pure mathematics as not necessarily applied mathematics."

    I think you should stop trying to put the OP off engineering and telling him he should do maths or physics if maths is his passion.. Maths is the basis of engineering and OP should make his own mind up.
    Maths is only the basis of university engineering, not proper engineering. There is a big distinction. And you don't need an engineering degree to work in most forms of engineering anyway. I genuinely think that the OP would be happier doing a maths degree and then if he wants to there would be plenty of opportunities for him to work within engineering in a role that'd suit him, i.e. with lots of maths, like reservoir engineering.

    As I've already said engineering is a degree for people who want to make things. There'll be lots of practical and project work. It's not a maths degree and if I was of a sufficient mathematical ability to be considering Step then I'd most likely not feel very stretched mathematically doing engineering.

    I don't know why you keep talking about the "big players in the oil and gas industry" firstly because there's alot more to engineering than oil and gas and secondly because there is a LOT of maths in the Cambridge and Imperial courses which he will have to do regardless of his future career, these universities have a pick of the best candidates and having done STEP or AEA would let him stand out a bit.
    Oil & gas is where the money's at!

    Edit: and also because it's the most technologically advanced sector outside of the space industry that demands the highest quality of graduates.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I classify that as applied maths because there are clear applications for it. I use this definition for pure maths. "[P]ure mathematics is mathematics motivated entirely for reasons other than application...Another insightful view is that of pure mathematics as not necessarily applied mathematics."
    Well then pretty much all maths is applied, to the OP this maths is a lot more like the pure modules he'll be studying at the moment than mechanics ones.

    Maths is only the basis of university engineering, not proper engineering. There is a big distinction. And you don't need an engineering degree to work in most forms of engineering anyway. I genuinely think that the OP would be happier doing a maths degree and then if he wants to there would be plenty of opportunities for him to work within engineering in a role that'd suit him, i.e. with lots of maths, like reservoir engineering.
    Well he is going to university...
    And if he gets into Cambridge he'll be studying general engineering for 2 years so will cover all sorts of maths.

    As I've already said engineering is a degree for people who want to make things. There'll be lots of practical and project work. It's not a maths degree and if I was of a sufficient mathematical ability to be considering Step then I'd most likely not feel very stretched mathematically doing engineering.
    I'm fairly sure any kind of engineering degree would stretch him at Cambridge or Imperial. STEP is still A-level knowledge, just you need to think for yourself etc.
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    Well then pretty much all maths is applied, to the OP this maths is a lot more like the pure modules he'll be studying at the moment than mechanics ones.
    No, you obviously did not read my definition. There is plenty of maths studied purely for the beauty of mathematics. Engineers don't study maths for pleasure or enjoyment: we study it because we need it to solve some of the problems we come across. And as such, we approach it differently to maths students: we don't do proofs, we do very little if any derivations and we generally don't care why something equals something else, only that it does, so that we can then use it to solve real world problems. It's not abstract or anything like a maths degree. It's essentially a cut-down version of maths. Because you can be a brilliant mathematician and a crappy engineer.

    Well he is going to university...
    Which is only one tiny part of someone's engineering career, that'll become completely irrelevant after his/her first job.

    And if he gets into Cambridge he'll be studying general engineering for 2 years so will cover all sorts of maths.
    Yes, and?

    I'm fairly sure any kind of engineering degree would stretch him at Cambridge or Imperial. .
    I never said otherwise, you obviously did not read what I said. But obviously a maths degree at one of those institutions will be harder, mathematically speaking.
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    (Original post by Smack)
    No, you obviously did not read my definition. There is plenty of maths studied purely for the beauty of mathematics. Engineers don't study maths for pleasure or enjoyment: we study it because we need it to solve some of the problems we come across. And as such, we approach it differently to maths students: we don't do proofs, we do very little if any derivations and we generally don't care why something equals something else, only that it does, so that we can then use it to solve real world problems. It's not abstract or anything like a maths degree. It's essentially a cut-down version of maths. Because you can be a brilliant mathematician and a crappy engineer.
    I was referring to the maths he will be doing at the moment, mostly calculus, trig etc which according to you is applied maths. I'd argue that Maths at A-Level is more like engineering than maths at university, so prehaps engineering is a better choice for him as he enjoys it at the moment.

    Which is only one tiny part of someone's engineering career, that'll become completely irrelevant after his/her first job.
    :facepalm: Your point is? He's going to need maths to get through uni, but you're saying maths isn't used in the oil and gas sector. I'm pretty sure lots of engineers do need a lot of maths after uni, he's not said anything about mech eng or gas and oil...? He's expressed an interest in Electrical engineering, so none of that is relevant at all.
    Why are you at uni? After all learning maths and stuff is pointless right? and you don't need a degree to work in engineering.

    I don't really know what you're point is. I'm just saying that he obviously wants to do engineering, and I don't think it's very helpful you telling him he should do maths.

    STEP and AEA is really not that advanced for a candidate applying to the top universities. You seem to think that because he's doing STEP he's too good at maths to enjoy engineering or something.
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    :facepalm: Your point is?
    I'm pretty sure that my point was obvious to anyone who can read English.

    He's going to need maths to get through uni, but you're saying maths isn't used in the oil and gas sector.
    Can you point out where I said that?

    I'm pretty sure lots of engineers do need a lot of maths after uni, he's not said anything about mech eng or gas and oil...?
    I never said that engineers don't need maths after university.

    He's expressed an interest in Electrical engineering, so none of that is relevant at all.
    Are you trying to say that electrical or electronics engineers don't or can't work in the oil & gas sector? Did you miss the part where I said that it is the most technologically advanced sector behind space?

    Why are you at uni? After all learning maths and stuff is pointless right? and you don't need a degree to work in engineering.
    Nowadays you pretty much do need a degree to work in engineering. An engineering degree is preferred, although in some cases maths or physics will do.

    I don't really know what you're point is.
    As I've said above, my point should be blatantly obvious to anyone who can read English, but I've got a feeling that doesn't apply to you.

    I'm just saying that he obviously wants to do engineering, and I don't think it's very helpful you telling him he should do maths.
    And I'm saying that as someone who is actually studying engineering (i.e, I'm not an applicant for 2011 entry) that he sounds like someone who'd prefer maths or some sort of physics. Someone who is going to study engineering is more likely to enjoy playing with engines, making their own electronics or mixing household chemicals than sitting a Step exam.

    STEP and AEA is really not that advanced for a candidate applying to the top universities. You seem to think that because he's doing STEP he's too good at maths to enjoy engineering or something.
    No. I am saying that if he wants to take Step for fun, and is asking about how much maths is in an engineering degree his interests are probably more with mathematics than engineering, which can be boring and tedious at times and doesn't always include advanced maths. As someone who is actually studying an engineering degree I think I am well placed to comment on whether someone else would like an engineering degree, and I've got a feeling the OP is primarily in it for the maths, which is not a good reason to do an engineering degree.
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    Well now you've just gone back on loads of things you said.
    (Original post by Smack)
    Maths is only the basis of university engineering, not proper engineering.
    I never said that engineers don't need maths after university.
    Ok, true, but definately implied he wouldn't need it to the same extent.

    You also said:
    And you don't need an engineering degree to work in most forms of engineering anyway.
    Nowadays you pretty much do need a degree to work in engineering. An engineering degree is preferred, although in some cases maths or physics will do.
    Make up your mind.

    Are you trying to say that electrical or electronics engineers don't or can't work in the oil & gas sector? Did you miss the part where I said that it is the most technologically advanced sector behind space?
    You mean the bit you edited in? I don't think its that black and white, in fact i'd argue oil and gas engineering isn't that technologically advanced, just has a massive investment in it, which is a completely different thing. Just because your uni has links with oil and gas and you obviously have stuff about them pushed down your throats doesn't mean you need to shove it down ours too.

    As I've said above, my point should be blatantly obvious to anyone who can read English, but I've got a feeling that doesn't apply to you.
    I'm going to ignore the personal attack and just take it as a sign that you're unable to express yourself properly to argue your points.


    And I'm saying that as someone who is actually studying engineering (i.e, I'm not an applicant for 2011 entry) that he sounds like someone who'd prefer maths or some sort of physics.
    So your studying mecheng (not electrical) at Aberdeen or wherever, so you know more about the relevance of STEP and AEA in applying to Cambridge and Imperial than someone who's actually applied to them this year? I doubt you applied to them, have had interviews with them and have an idea of what they think of STEP and AEA.

    Someone who is going to study engineering is more likely to enjoy playing with engines, making their own electronics or mixing household chemicals than sitting a Step exam.
    Did he say he dosen't enjoy doing these things? All you know about the OP is that he enjoys maths, which I think is perfect for engineering.

    No. I am saying that if he wants to take Step for fun, and is asking about how much maths is in an engineering degree his interests are probably more with mathematics than engineering, which can be boring and tedious at times and doesn't always include advanced maths. As someone who is actually studying an engineering degree I think I am well placed to comment on whether someone else would like an engineering degree, and I've got a feeling the OP is primarily in it for the maths, which is not a good reason to do an engineering degree.
    Like I said, completely different course at a completely different uni, interested in a very different sector. You've based it all on your 'feelings' though so great..
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    Did he say he dosen't enjoy doing these things? All you know about the OP is that he enjoys maths, which I think is perfect for engineering.
    I think this is where you're going wrong. Forgive me if I'm misinterpretting what you've said, but enjoying maths isn't 'perfect' for engineering - engineering as I'm sure you know, is far, far more than just maths. I know when you're in the process of applying there's a big emphasis on mathematical ability, which probably explains why your posts are so inclined, but engineers don't merit themselves on their maths skills: we're problem solvers primarily. As Smack has said, maths is only a means used to quantify concepts - perhaps an easier way to think about it would be if you and I were having an discussion about Politics in Spanish: a good knowledge of Spanish will help you get your point across better, but ultimately it's your argument that will make or break you. Bit random but there you go
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I classify that as applied maths because there are clear applications for it. I use this definition for pure maths. "[P]ure mathematics is mathematics motivated entirely for reasons other than application...Another insightful view is that of pure mathematics as not necessarily applied mathematics."



    Maths is only the basis of university engineering, not proper engineering. There is a big distinction. And you don't need an engineering degree to work in most forms of engineering anyway. I genuinely think that the OP would be happier doing a maths degree and then if he wants to there would be plenty of opportunities for him to work within engineering in a role that'd suit him, i.e. with lots of maths, like reservoir engineering.

    As I've already said engineering is a degree for people who want to make things. There'll be lots of practical and project work. It's not a maths degree and if I was of a sufficient mathematical ability to be considering Step then I'd most likely not feel very stretched mathematically doing engineering.



    Oil & gas is where the money's at!

    Edit: and also because it's the most technologically advanced sector outside of the space industry that demands the highest quality of graduates.
    I full whole heartedly agree with you. We use maths in engineering because we have to, not because we want to! Indeed, i am forever making macros in excel to stop me having to do it! Haha!

    There is money in Marine Engineering as well though! Chief Engineer on a superyacht earns upwards of £200k plus tips Plus you can get to Chief status within a max of 10 years of leaving uni. So by my reckoning, I could be on an awful lot of (tax free) money by 32. WIN!

    Hence why I am in Marine Engineering!
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    (Original post by Peel)
    I think this is where you're going wrong. Forgive me if I'm misinterpretting what you've said, but enjoying maths isn't 'perfect' for engineering - engineering as I'm sure you know, is far, far more than just maths. I know when you're in the process of applying there's a big emphasis on mathematical ability, which probably explains why your posts are so inclined, but engineers don't merit themselves on their maths skills: we're problem solvers primarily. As Smack has said, maths is only a means used to quantify concepts - perhaps an easier way to think about it would be if you and I were having an discussion about Politics in Spanish: a good knowledge of Spanish will help you get your point across better, but ultimately it's your argument that will make or break you. Bit random but there you go
    Yes but isn't it possible that he finds engineering fascinating and building stuff and all that AND also enjoys maths. These uni's are asking for A*'s in maths for a reason.

    I get that maths is a tool for engineers, but how can enjoying something that you will have to do and use a lot not be a good thing? And I'd also argue that STEP tests your problem solving skills as much as your mathematical ability, even if its not an physical problem.

    If he enjoyed maths, and didn't like physics or building things or solving problems, then of course I would suggest a maths degree. But I've ASSUMED that he enjoys all these things, otherwise he wouldn't have posted here, while Smack has ASSUMED that because he only put he enjoys maths that he doesn't enjoy all those other things.
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    Well now you've just gone back on loads of things you said.
    Ok, true, but definately implied he wouldn't need it to the same extent.
    Which is correct: you're unlikely to do as much maths in engineering than you will do in university engineering.

    You also said:

    Make up your mind.
    They don't contradict each other. Read them properly.

    You mean the bit you edited in? I don't think its that black and white, in fact i'd argue oil and gas engineering isn't that technologically advanced, just has a massive investment in it, which is a completely different thing.
    You have absolutely no clue about that sector, then.

    Just because your uni has links with oil and gas and you obviously have stuff about them pushed down your throats doesn't mean you need to shove it down ours too.
    I'm not shoving it down anyone's throats. It's an example of a sector that employs a lot of engineering graduates, and I'm making the OP more aware of the recruitment policies of the most lucrative and technologically advanced sector within engineering. I'm bringing a lot more to the table than you are.

    I'm going to ignore the personal attack and just take it as a sign that you're unable to express yourself properly to argue your points.
    Explain to me the point in even bothering with you when your reading comprehension is so low.

    So your studying mecheng (not electrical) at Aberdeen or wherever, so you know more about the relevance of STEP and AEA in applying to Cambridge and Imperial than someone who's actually applied to them this year? I doubt you applied to them, have had interviews with them and have an idea of what they think of STEP and AEA.
    I'm pretty sure I said this:

    Step and AEA might be an advantage when it comes to entry to an undergrad engineering degree at some universities. I don't know anything about undergrad entry policies so you're best contact the universities you're interested in applying to and ask them.
    But then we've already established that you can't read.

    Did he say he dosen't enjoy doing these things? All you know about the OP is that he enjoys maths, which I think is perfect for engineering.
    And as someone who is actually studying engineering, I am telling you that "loving" maths is quite irrelevant. You have to be somewhat good at it and you cannot dislike it, but there are more important things for an engineering student to love. I much prefer the designing of components, tooling, structures, and testing of things to the study of maths. I liked it for a start because it felt more intuitive and useful but now I'm kind of indifferent to it, unless it's vector calculus. Most of the people on my course are also indifferent to maths, and so far at least a third have either secured a graduate job (I'm in third year of a five year degree) or are practically guaranteed one due to their scholarships or previous work placements.

    I don't know enough about the OP to know whether he's got what I think, as someone who is currently studying an engineering degree, to be a good engineer. I am basing what I think makes a good engineer based on my experience, which has led to me believe that I lack a lot of the hands on practical experience that the best engineers had when they were younger. This makes it slightly more difficult for me in projects because I don't know "how things work" or "how it's done" or "what'll work in reality" as well as some of the others.

    Learning and practising really advanced maths won't make you better at this, but this is the key factor that employers pick up on, as that is what engineering is all about: designing and making things. You can probably guess already that I'm not one of that ~1/3rd who have a graduate job offer yet, and from my interviews I will say that the technical questions have been made solely to test your ability to understand how things work, and make you think about how you would do something, not test your advanced mathematical ability.

    It's theoretically possible to get a very good engineering degree solely from being excellent at maths and equations. Usually the exams (which test your mathematical analysis abilities) are worth more than the reports (which still contain a lot of calculations), and you could just pick a highly theoretical final year project. But that's not really engineering, and that's why there are people with 1sts who don't get graduate job offers.

    Like I said, completely different course at a completely different uni, interested in a very different sector. You've based it all on your 'feelings' though so great..
    I don't think you actually read what I have written at all, have you?
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    (Original post by Smack)
    I don't think you actually read what I have written at all, have you?
    At the end of the day, he's come along and said he's interested in doing engineering and because he enjoys maths wants to know if he should bother doing STEP.

    You told him he go should contact uni's and should probably be doing a maths degree.

    Considering he said he was interested in Physics or Engineering and said he enjoyed maths, it is really not useful or helpful to tell him to go do a maths degree and that is only my point. Ask him questions about his interests etc, sure, but don't flat out tell him he should do maths when you know nothing about him.
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    (Original post by hello dave)
    Yes but isn't it possible that he finds engineering fascinating and building stuff and all that AND also enjoys maths. These uni's are asking for A*'s in maths for a reason.

    I get that maths is a tool for engineers, but how can enjoying something that you will have to do and use a lot not be a good thing? And I'd also argue that STEP tests your problem solving skills as much as your mathematical ability, even if its not an physical problem.

    If he enjoyed maths, and didn't like physics or building things or solving problems, then of course I would suggest a maths degree. But I've ASSUMED that he enjoys all these things, otherwise he wouldn't have posted here, while Smack has ASSUMED that because he only put he enjoys maths that he doesn't enjoy all those other things.
    Yeah it's perfectly possible, but right now you're just making assumptions - why not just ask the OP? It's great if you enjoy maths, but there's a point where learning anymore maths will become obselete, and will be the least of your worries. Cambridge and Imperial ask for A*s in maths, partly because they can, partly because they're oversubscribed, but predominantly because they're very theoretical (rather than hands-on courses) that set engineers up for research and practice, at least in my experience. In truth, I doubt I'll use near 50% of the more matematical material we've covered because somebody has developed a program to save time, or because codes are in place to make sure we don't screw up. University engineering is very different to real life engineering.
 
 
 
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