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Oxford or Cambridge? watch


    (Original post by In One Ear)
    Can any successful applicant of oxford or cambridge comment on the MAT/STEP respectively?
    MAT is much easier, but it's meant to be. It's designed to be accessible to people who have only taken AS level maths, at the start of year 13, without much preparation. STEP II/III are designed for people who have taken maths + FM, are taken at the end of year 13 and you are expected to prepare thoroughly if you want to do well.

    I saw a statistic somewhere that said that successful applicants averaged 75% on this test- given that 40% of the paper is in the form of 10 four mark multiple choice questions that shouldn't really be answered incorrectly...well...i don't think it would overly be a problem.
    It's harder when you're actually doing it. >_>

    The STEP on the other hand, though i've only spent perhaps 30 minutes sampling it, looks like a completely different beast. Could anyone direct me to what they might expect of a competitive applicant to attain on this test?
    I think four good solutions are expected for a 1, so 45 minutes per question. You need to practise STEP questions a lot if you want to do well: you can't expect to just pick up a paper, look through it for half an hour and make much/any progress.

    Presumably the average score of successful applicant in the STEP would be lower than that of a successful applicant of Oxford's MAT to compensate for the test's clearly greater difficulty? Or is Cambridge maths really just harder to get in?
    Yes, it's harder to get in to Cambridge. That's not to say that the students are of a higher quality, or that you're more likely to get in if you apply to Oxford, but the amount of work you need to do to get into Cambridge is much greater.
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