Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free
x Turn on thread page Beta

STEP/MAT Questions and Panic watch

Announcements
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    I am somewhat interested in applying to Oxbridge for Maths and would be a 2017 entry. I have a solid base of 1 A^, 5 A* and 6 A grades at GCSE (A* in all three sciences), and am currently doing well in my A Level subjects of Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. However, despite almost always getting 90% or more in Maths practice exams (mean = 68.0, standard deviation = 2.26), I lack any ability at STEP or MAT Questions. Over the course of the half-term I decided to have a go at one or two such questions, from the easiest papers. And yet I found these almost impossible. I managed to sometimes do one of the starting points on the very easy questions, but in general I struggled massively. I don't know to what extent I should be discouraged. Is Maths at Uni not the choice for me, if I find even the entrance exam fiendishly difficult?

    I don't want any specific tips (or I'd have put this in the Maths forum), but are there any good tips for dealing with questions which are well above the standard you are used to? Not just in Maths, but in general as well.

    Thank you in advance.
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bjornhattan)
    x
    Practice. Never check the solutions until you're confident that you're done with the question or you can't do it after sleeping on it for at least 1/2 days.

    We all sucked at STEP at the beginning, I used to be the same as you - fast forward a few months and I can confidently attempt at least 1/2 questions on a STEP III paper.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    What Zacken said. I found it took time to "discover" the frame of mind and get used to the question style. But now I have I am finding it is getting easier.

    Presumably you are in Y13?

    Edit: Stressing "easier". It's by no means easy and I don't think it's meant to be.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    What Zacken said. I found it took time to "discover" the frame of mind and get used to the question style. But now I have I am finding it is getting easier.

    Presumably you are in Y13?

    Edit: Stressing "easier". It's by no means easy and I don't think it's meant to be.
    No, Y12. When I say easier, I mean Step I. Although to be fair, I don't see how it can get much worse;.
    Offline

    22
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    What Zacken said. I found it took time to "discover" the frame of mind and get used to the question style. But now I have I am finding it is getting easier.

    Presumably you are in Y13?

    Edit: Stressing "easier". It's by no means easy and I don't think it's meant to be.
    I agree very much with your point about it not being easer whilst getting easier. I personally find that that's one of the enjoyable facets of STEP. You can feel yourself improving over a long enough time frame but it will by no means stop posing a challenge, so the questions remain enjoyably challenging throughtout your STEP phase.

    Also, @OP, bear in mind that you are in the minority that has started STEP Prep, many applicants wil only start in Jan, so you're already ahead, if that's any use in making you feel better.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bjornhattan)
    No, Y12. When I say easier, I mean Step I. Although to be fair, I don't see how it can get much worse;.
    In Y12 there will be little you can do, unless you are willing to read ahead and learn a lot. So I really would not panic. Most people, as Zacken has said, don't start preparing for STEP until Jan of Y13 so you're already miles ahead!

    Around January time you may wish to begin going through the assignments (starting at Assignment 1) on correspondence.maths.org as they were designed for people at that stage. Other than that STEP prep is difficult in Y12 because often you will not know what a question requires before you try it.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    In Y12 there will be little you can do, unless you are willing to read ahead and learn a lot. So I really would not panic. Most people, as Zacken has said, don't start preparing for STEP until Jan of Y13 so you're already miles ahead!

    Around January time you may wish to begin going through the assignments (starting at Assignment 1) on correspondence.maths.org as they were designed for people at that stage. Other than that STEP prep is difficult in Y12 because often you will not know what a question requires before you try it.
    Ah, but I've been informally doing A Level content for about four years now. By mid-Y10 I had a decent grounding in C1-4, and I have since covered most of FP1 as well. So it's not as if I only have C1.
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Bjornhattan)
    Ah, but I've been informally doing A Level content for about four years now. By mid-Y10 I had a decent grounding in C1-4, and I have since covered most of FP1 as well. So it's not as if I only have C1.
    Even then you are still in Y12. I also knew most of C3, 4 at the start of Y12 but it did not translate into instant STEP success. Try a year of Further Maths (which I assume you are doing) and I found the experience (not the content, just generally being exposed to a wide range of maths on a daily basis) has helped loads.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    Even then you are still in Y12. I also knew most of C3, 4 at the start of Y12 but it did not translate into instant STEP success. Try a year of Further Maths (which I assume you are doing) and I found the experience (not the content, just generally being exposed to a wide range of maths on a daily basis) has helped loads.
    Thank you very much for the advice, I look forward to the day when I have more confidence on STEP.
 
 
 
Reply
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
TSR Support Team

We have a brilliant team of more than 60 Support Team members looking after discussions on The Student Room, helping to make it a fun, safe and useful place to hang out.

Updated: October 30, 2015
Poll
Do you agree with the proposed ban on plastic straws and cotton buds?
Useful resources

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.