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Increasingly worried about STEP [all papers] watch

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    I feel that the questions at least the core ones aren't too bad. But I don't get any of the stats or mechanics questions.

    It takes me far too long to complete a core questions like 30 mins for the STEP 1 questions.

    I feel so overwhelmed with how much I need to do with STEP, my other a levels are all fine.

    With further maths, the questions asked are at least methodical and I can practice for them, whereas in STEP they just throw stuff that I have not seen before (you know what I practically mean).

    I have to look at the solutions to sikloses booklets to most questions. smh what do I do.

    Also do extra timers get 45 mins extra on top of the 3 hours, and what happens if you have another a level exam on the same day.
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I feel that the questions at least the core ones aren't too bad. But I don't get any of the stats or mechanics questions.

    It takes me far too long to complete a core questions like 30 mins for the STEP 1 questions.
    Since if you can do each question in 30 minutes you'd get a perfect score, I'm really not sure why you think this is a problem.

    I have to look at the solutions to sikloses booklets to most questions. smh what do I do.
    You've plenty of time yet. Most people find it gets a lot easier with practice.
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I feel that the questions at least the core ones aren't too bad. But I don't get any of the stats or mechanics questions.

    It takes me far too long to complete a core questions like 30 mins for the STEP 1 questions.
    I feel so overwhelmed with how much I need to do with STEP, my other a levels are all fine.

    With further maths, the questions asked are at least methodical and I can practice for them, whereas in STEP they just throw stuff that I have not seen before (you know what I practically mean).

    I have to look at the solutions to sikloses booklets to most questions. smh what do I do.

    Also do extra timers get 45 mins extra on top of the 3 hours, and what happens if you have another a level exam on the same day.
    This means you can do 6 full questions in 3 hours, which is the most you need to do! Since it's only October now and the exams aren't till June, you have plenty of time to improve your speed, especially as your mathematical knowledge is still maturing in your brain!
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    what happens if you have another a level exam on the same day.
    STEP usually takes place at the very end of the exam season (although last year a few A Level exams did take place after the STEP exams). If a clash was to occur, it would be dealt with in the usual way by keeping the student isolated between papers.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Since if you can do each question in 30 minutes you'd get a perfect score, I'm really not sure why you think this is a problem.

    You've plenty of time yet. Most people find it gets a lot easier with practice.
    I should have made this clearer, sorry about that. This is only for step 1 questions, for the step 2 and 3 I have only been able to do 1 so far without help. And for the others I am currently not making enough progress.

    Again, I want to go about it right, should I practice on mechanics/stats more? I find the core to be more easier at least for myself...

    (Original post by davros)
    This means you can do 6 full questions in 3 hours, which is the most you need to do! Since it's only October now and the exams aren't till June, you have plenty of time to improve your speed, especially as your mathematical knowledge is still maturing in your brain!
    But this is only for STEP 1, and since I consider currently my stats and mechanics weak for the STEP questions I am at the mercy of what the core questions are. And for extremely difficult ones I have my choice restricted further.
    (Original post by Mr M)
    STEP usually takes place at the very end of the exam season (although last year a few A Level exams did take place after the STEP exams). If a clash was to occur, it would be dealt with in the usual way by keeping the student isolated between papers.
    I see thanks.

    D1, FP3 and S2 are all at the end of june? June 29,30.

    So would step be like last year and in mid june do you know?

    Thanks all.
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I should have made this clearer, sorry about that. This is only for step 1 questions, for the step 2 and 3 I have only been able to do 1 so far without help. And for the others I am currently not making enough progress.

    Again, I want to go about it right, should I practice on mechanics/stats more? I find the core to be more easier at least for myself...


    But this is only for STEP 1, and since I consider currently my stats and mechanics weak for the STEP questions I am at the mercy of what the core questions are. And for extremely difficult ones I have my choice restricted further.

    Thanks all.
    I would persevere with the applied, you never know where gift questions will pop up




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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I should have made this clearer, sorry about that. This is only for step 1 questions, for the step 2 and 3 I have only been able to do 1 so far without help. And for the others I am currently not making enough progress.

    Again, I want to go about it right, should I practice on mechanics/stats more? I find the core to be more easier at least for myself...


    But this is only for STEP 1, and since I consider currently my stats and mechanics weak for the STEP questions I am at the mercy of what the core questions are. And for extremely difficult ones I have my choice restricted further.

    You still have a lot of time before next June!

    I would personally recommend focusing on the Core stuff first - irrespective of STEP, or wherever you go to do a Maths degree, the Core (and FP) knowledge underpins everything you do at university. As you practise more of it, it will embed itself in your brain and start to mature, and you will hopefully see how things fit together better.

    After that, it is certainly a good idea to have a look at some of the applied questions, but I would say don't learn things for the sake of trying to add potential questions in STEP - decide whether you're a "mechanics person" or a "stats person" and focus on the areas you enjoy.
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    (Original post by davros)
    I would personally recommend focusing on the Core stuff first - irrespective of STEP, or wherever you go to do a Maths degree, the Core (and FP) knowledge underpins everything you do at university. As you practise more of it, it will embed itself in your brain and start to mature, and you will hopefully see how things fit together better.
    Agreed. And to a fairly large extent, the mechanics/stats questions in STEP test you on your in depth knowledge of the Core, so you need to make sure this is up to speed first.

    After that, it is certainly a good idea to have a look at some of the applied questions, but I would say don't learn things for the sake of trying to add potential questions in STEP - decide whether you're a "mechanics person" or a "stats person" and focus on the areas you enjoy.
    The nice thing about the applied side of STEP is that if you have the pure down, I think you can reasonably pick up enough applied to be able to tackle a couple of questions (or more) per paper in a fairly short period of time, and although the learning curve may be steep, it's relatively short compared with the time people take to get up to speed with the pure.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    The nice thing about the applied side of STEP is that if you have the pure down, I think you can reasonably pick up enough applied to be able to tackle a couple of questions (or more) per paper in a fairly short period of time, and although the learning curve may be steep, it's relatively short compared with the time people take to get up to speed with the pure.
    Yes - the advice I would give to someone who was "confident about the pure" would be slightly modified from that I'd give (or have given) to someone who wasn't

    And November 1st is still frighteningly early to expect to be comfortable with the whole range of knowledge required for STEP - I'd be pretty impressed / scared of someone who was already in that position at this point of the year!
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    I have already done C1(89) C2(83) S1(83) FP1(88). I had mitigating circumstances at the time of the exam. Would you guys recommend me doing any of therse exams again. I am not doing fp1 again though. should have mentioned this before.

    (Original post by KMan98)
    I would persevere with the applied, you never know where gift questions will pop up




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    I am doing M1-M5 so I will definitely bursh up on my mechancis.
    I see thanks.

    (Original post by davros)
    You still have a lot of time before next June!

    I would personally recommend focusing on the Core stuff first - irrespective of STEP, or wherever you go to do a Maths degree, the Core (and FP) knowledge underpins everything you do at university. As you practise more of it, it will embed itself in your brain and start to mature, and you will hopefully see how things fit together better.

    After that, it is certainly a good idea to have a look at some of the applied questions, but I would say don't learn things for the sake of trying to add potential questions in STEP - decide whether you're a "mechanics person" or a "stats person" and focus on the areas you enjoy.
    Great reply.

    I have done S1(83) would you recommned me doing it again?
    I am doing a lot of work for Mechanics at the moment
    (Original post by Jordan\)
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Agreed. And to a fairly large extent, the mechanics/stats questions in STEP test you on your in depth knowledge of the Core, so you need to make sure this is up to speed first.

    The nice thing about the applied side of STEP is that if you have the pure down, I think you can reasonably pick up enough applied to be able to tackle a couple of questions (or more) per paper in a fairly short period of time, and although the learning curve may be steep, it's relatively short compared with the time people take to get up to speed with the pure.
    Thank you this was a good response

    (Original post by davros)
    Yes - the advice I would give to someone who was "confident about the pure" would be slightly modified from that I'd give (or have given) to someone who wasn't

    And November 1st is still frighteningly early to expect to be comfortable with the whole range of knowledge required for STEP - I'd be pretty impressed / scared of someone who was already in that position at this point of the year!
    I am only relatively comfatrtable with step 1 core at this stage. Still have a long way to go for step 2 and step 3.

    As would I haha.
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I have already done C1(89) C2(83) S1(83) FP1(88). I had mitigating circumstances at the time of the exam. Would you guys recommend me doing any of therse exams again. I am not doing fp1 again though. should have mentioned this before.
    I don't think there's any real point in retaking these - they're not bad enough to affect your final grades. However, to be honest I'd expect a Cambridge admissions tutor to be looking at those marks quite critically.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    I don't think there's any real point in retaking these - they're not bad enough to affect your final grades. However, to be honest I'd expect a Cambridge admissions tutor to be looking at those marks quite critically.
    I think my situation is more atypical to other cambridge maths applicants. I did email the admissions tutor and they said that their focus for me in particular would be on the STEP exams.

    I will apply in october next year, so I was just contemplating whether I should do them or not. I was thinking of doing c1 for ums boosting, it is on the same day as M3, but I won't prepare for C1 so it won't take any time out. At least if I give C1. For step, my understanding of s1 was quite weak - so I am really restricted in step questions to S2-S4, Mechanics and Pure Questions.

    I remember I had trouble with probablily and normal distribution, but I think I am fine with normal distribution after covering some of S3.
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I will apply in october next year, so I was just contemplating whether I should do them or not. I was thinking of doing c1 for ums boosting,
    Why do you need to boost your UMS? As I understand the boundaries, to get an A*, you need to score 90 in C3 and C4 - your current module grades will be fine for the rest of it.

    it is on the same day as M3, but I won't prepare for C1 so it won't take any time out. At least if I give C1. For step, my understanding of s1 was quite weak - so I am really restricted in step questions to S2-S4, Mechanics and Pure Questions.
    From what I've seen, contents of S1 vary quite a lot from board to board. For STEP, I would pay careful attention to what is on the STEP syllabus - it's generally a significantlly smaller set of material than you'd cover doing A-level stats modules. (But at the same time there's some stuff like generating functions that comes up fairly often in STEP but is pretty unusual to cover at A-level).

    Edit: The reason I emphasize "For STEP" is because many people find the optimum choice of material for STEP to be very different from the choice for M/FM. So you end up needing to (a) choose the right modules to get A*A* in M/FM, and then (b) choose the right material (not necessarily modules, you may want to pick and choose from bits of modules) to maximize chances in STEP. In particular, doing S4/S5 to maximize stats optioms in STEP is probably a pretty inefficient way of going about things.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    Why do you need to boost your UMS? As I understand the boundaries, to get an A*, you need to score 90 in C3 and C4 - your current module grades will be fine for the rest of it.

    From what I've seen, contents of S1 vary quite a lot from board to board. For STEP, I would pay careful attention to what is on the STEP syllabus - it's generally a significantlly smaller set of material than you'd cover doing A-level stats modules. (But at the same time there's some stuff like generating functions that comes up fairly often in STEP but is pretty unusual to cover at A-level).

    Edit: The reason I emphasize "For STEP" is because many people find the optimum choice of material for STEP to be very different from the choice for M/FM. So you end up needing to (a) choose the right modules to get A*A* in M/FM, and then (b) choose the right material (not necessarily modules, you may want to pick and choose from bits of modules) to maximize chances in STEP. In particular, doing S4/S5 to maximize stats optioms in STEP is probably a pretty inefficient way of going about things.
    I just think I could easily improve on C1 C2 S1. Do you think I should not redo these, despite it having no time taken away from revision.

    Very interesting advice, and definitely the thing to do. I didn't think of doing it like that. I am doing all three maths a levels.

    Finally, is the past papers and siklos booklets etc. all the necessary prep needed for STEP, is there no revision guide etc.
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    (Original post by Mihael_Keehl)
    I just think I could easily improve on C1 C2 S1. Do you think I should not redo these, despite it having no time taken away from revision.
    There's really no point in re-taking any of those. If you'd had an absolute 'mare and got Cs and Ds in the modules then fair enough, but with the marks you posted earlier you should just move on to more important things.

    (And with regards to S1, if the Edexcel syllabus is anything to go by, two-thirds of it is stuffed with pointless drivel that quite honestly has no place in A level anyway. The key concepts for STEP are probability and random variables - both discrete and continuous. For general preparation to uni you can add to those topics understanding of binomial, poisson and Normal distributions, hypothesis testing and correlation / regression. Anything else really has marginal benefit [unless you enjoy it, of course!])
 
 
 
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