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    (Original post by Yannis)
    I found Siklos really helpful, even though I'm not sitting the papers. I did the questions before my Oxford entrance paper and interview and I thought that was good preparation
    You take 8 A-Levels? :rolleyes:
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    (Original post by Yannis)
    I found Siklos really helpful, even though I'm not sitting the papers. I did the questions before my Oxford entrance paper and interview and I thought that was good preparation
    "A-levels: Maths, Further Maths, Applied Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Russian, French, Philosophy AS" - WTF?! :eek:
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    I really appreciate your advice I really do, but I can't help but feel it's just not happening for me. People say I'll pickup momentum, I'll get used to it, but every time I do stumble across a solution it just compounds my feelings of stupidity and inadequacy "I can't believe I was so slow to notice that." It gets particularly frustrating when I resort to asking for help, and the teachers can't do it either, so I'm back when I started. I also can't follow Dr Siklo's book for some reason, more evidence for myself that I'm not even on the learning curve.
    In my opinion and experience the further you get sucked deep into something the more paradoxic the situation becomes. You try harder and harder to get a grasp on whatever you are trying to do to improve but you only end up making it harder and start to miss the obvious things and lose your ability to think outside the box. (E.g. when someone who knows nothing at all about a topic/game and makes an educated guess/assumption that you didn't think of and he turns out right, kinda like biginners luck)
    If you're not under any extreme immediate time pressure then my advice would be to take a 3-5 days gap from the STEP papers, relax, go back and see what happens.
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    (Original post by Veedy)
    In my opinion and experience the further you get sucked deep into something the more paradoxic the situation becomes. You try harder and harder to get a grasp on whatever you are trying to do to improve but you only end up making it harder and start to miss the obvious things and lose your ability to think outside the box. (E.g. when someone who knows nothing at all about a topic/game and makes an educated guess/assumption that you didn't think of and he turns out right, kinda like biginners luck)
    If you're not under any extreme immediate time pressure then my advice would be to take a 3-5 days gap from the STEP papers, relax, go back and see what happens.
    Maybe he should get a private maths tutor - if he could afford it.
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    (Original post by bono)
    Maybe he should get a private maths tutor - if he could afford it.
    Maybe, though he needs to keep focus on his a-levels as well, unless he's almost certainly getting 3 A's.
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    Hmm... That looks pretty hard, are there any STEP I papers? I've only done P1!

    They look like BMO questions. There is a good book I am in the middle of: The Mathematical Olympiad Handbook, which is available on amazon for £19.99 I think, it teached you some good maths at the start and has more problems than you will ever finish, with hints and outlines of solutions if you just can't get your head around it. I recommend it!

    Hey, I saw question 5, would this be correct?
    min/max of y is -0.25a and 0.25s?

    just difference of two squares, root each side and remember the +/-, work each one through with completing the square, and get two of each answer? I'll be so happy if it is, I did a STEP 2 question!!! (lol...)

    Anyway good luck and NEVER GIVE UP EVER EVER
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    (Original post by theone)
    Dr Siklos' book is fairly difficult, the solutions only seem easy to follow, or at least possible to follow, if you've had a decent go at the question. It will happen for you, if you make it happen I think. All you've got to do is really put your head down and do as many questions as you can, make sure you know the syllabus thoroughly, and if you can't do a question straightaway, don't hunt for a solution, sit there and think for some time, even an hour, or have a break and think about it in passing. Once you begin to develop that understanding, things will gradually become a lot clearer, as I'm sure they will. Don't worry, you're definitely on the curve
    These are exactly the words I needed to hear. You're right. Cheers man
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    (Original post by bono)
    Here is pause for thought:

    Lets say, if you were extremely ill on the day of the exams, and couldn't turn up.

    Would Cambridge favour you to give you the place, say, over some1 who did the STEP Papers and failed to meet the offer?

    They may sympathize.
    I'm gonna let somebody else answer that one :P But it's an interest question, what happens if you're unconscious for your exams?
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    Dr Siklos eh?

    *rushes to amazon searching*
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    (Original post by bono)
    Yes, the curve that goes to infinity! (that is sort of some terrible joke as how the curve enver ends as STEP is solid..)
    Or perhaps the curve is (y-1)^2 + x^2 = 1
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    (Original post by Veedy)
    In my opinion and experience the further you get sucked deep into something the more paradoxic the situation becomes. You try harder and harder to get a grasp on whatever you are trying to do to improve but you only end up making it harder and start to miss the obvious things and lose your ability to think outside the box. (E.g. when someone who knows nothing at all about a topic/game and makes an educated guess/assumption that you didn't think of and he turns out right, kinda like biginners luck)
    If you're not under any extreme immediate time pressure then my advice would be to take a 3-5 days gap from the STEP papers, relax, go back and see what happens.
    This is entirely true, certain aspects of doing a STEP question I'm actually getting WORSE at, I find myself trying to keep my mind open but focused, and actually what I get is missing obvious techniques.

    Many thanks for your advice.

    With regards to a tutor, a teacher at Manchester grammar very kindly said I could sit in his STEP class and he would help me with the approach, but it's very hard to make it with timetabling issues, and his class have finished all the STEP II/III past papers and are now doing the hardest questions, so whilst the class is alot better than help from my college, I could perhaps do with more more suitable help. I could get a private tutor if it would help, but where? I asked a teacher at college and they said they didn't know of anybody. I also have a very busy schedule with practically no frees, which is frustrating because I'm doing physics which probably isn't going to be necessary for my offer (practically got the B grade in economics I need).
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    Dr Siklos eh?

    *rushes to amazon searching*

    No need! http://www.math.cam.ac.uk/undergradu...vancedproblems
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    This may cause a bit of contraversy, but i'd advise you not to get a tutor. The whole point of step is to test that understanding which can not be taught by teachers, but has to be developed and understood by the student. Certainly there are certain bits of advice you can heed, but it's far better just to work by yourself, I have no doubts over the level of your self-motivation. As for the words, you're totally welcome .

    Also, don't bother bogging yourself down in olympiad questions, as one member suggested. Indeed, olympiad questions test that understanding at a different level (the level is far more elementary but the understanding is far deeper). Only do such questions if you want practice in 'how to think' and how you might find solutions for otherwise impossible questions. If you can, get a copy of solutions for one year, work through 6 or 7 questions and then see if you do a question or two from another paper.

    Chris
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    My friend has to do that step for robinson college.

    The first time our further maths class looked at them, we all started rolling around on the floor with the impossibility of them.

    But in the lesson the other day, he was going through some stuff he had done at home, and he was actually getting some of it right! So its not impossible at all!

    He may actually be getting som ehlp from a guy doing a Dphil in maths at oxford now, casue its the boyfriedn of our maths teacher who did maths at oxford. insidentally, so did two of the other maths teachers. We are very lucky being near oxford! But he did some of this stuff on his own. Try and get some help, you probably need to know how to start going about looking at the questions.
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    Just read post above.

    I think these test are stupid, casue some people are lucky enough to get help. I got a bit of help for the BMAT, but i mostly investigated and prcatices myself.

    But, to be honest, if you can get a tutor get one. i wouldnt make a principle stand aboutit; its everyone for themselves, so do what you can to get through it.
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    (Original post by Suzy_vet)
    Just read post above.

    I think these test are stupid, casue some people are lucky enough to get help. I got a bit of help for the BMAT, but i mostly investigated and prcatices myself.

    But, to be honest, if you can get a tutor get one. i wouldnt make a principle stand aboutit; its everyone for themselves, so do what you can to get through it.
    I wouldn't say it's a matter of principle in the slightest. I think that not having a tutor would, in the long run, be far more beneficial for. Remember please i self-taught myself step I, and currently have one lesson a week which is incredibly unhelpful for step. But everyone's situation is different, in my experience, those students who succeed are the ones who teach themselves.
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    (Original post by fishpaste)
    No need! http://www.math.cam.ac.uk/undergradu...vancedproblems
    Thankyou very much, that it exactly the sort of maths I like 'getting my teeth into'.
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    (Original post by theone)
    I wouldn't say it's a matter of principle in the slightest. I think that not having a tutor would, in the long run, be far more beneficial for. Remember please i self-taught myself step I, and currently have one lesson a week which is incredibly unhelpful for step. But everyone's situation is different, in my experience, those students who succeed are the ones who teach themselves.
    I totally agree. I look at it like this - STEP is hard, but so is a degree course at Cambridge, and you definitely wont have the luxury of a tutor to help you in cambridge. So you should do it on your own or with some help from teachers. This way if you do well and get in you know that you will do well in cambridge, and if you fail and dont get in, it is still a good thing because maybe you werent up to it and will benefit more from going somewhere else. This is exactly my outlook on STEP. Im obviously going to try, but if im struggling with even this then maybe id be better off elsewhere.

    To fishpaste I found Siklos book mostly good but slightly too easy to give up on a q after 5 mins and look over the page. When i started doing papers (only done a very old specimen so far) I found i could do it - done all pure and some mech. The thing you must do is understand the clues in the question - ask yourself why did you just do whatever you did, look at the notation. The first part almost always sets up the remaining parts, you just have to spot the link. Also dont give up, think about it for a while, sometimes you get it just by staring at the q for long enough. Once you have got a q understand how the q worked and the types of ideas you used throughout. This will help you in the long run
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    (Original post by theone)
    Given that several International Maths Olympiad people who go to cambrigde have to take step, and their level of maths is likely to be very high first year university at least, i'd say it's quite likely.
    i know someone who got 49/50, which i think is a distinction? I don't really know that much about STEP, but this guy that I know was pretty much a maths genius!
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    I'm getting to grips with the STEP now (can do the questions but sturggle within the time constraints). I find that reading the solution out to someone else who will be able to understand the maths regularly helps - I usually end up spotting my mistake when talking it through.

    I think if you approach it thinking it is impossible, they will stay that way, but if you approach it thinking "I can do this" then you start to get to grips with them. Yes, they are very hard, but they're not impossible. That and lining up an insurance offer which you'd be happy at.

    Good luck.
 
 
 
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