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# I still have trouble with STEP III Watch

1. Hello all
I have around 2 months to prepare for STEP III but I'm still not very good at it; in a paper, I can do around 2 questions on a good day (sometimes not even that) in 3 hours and still get stuck a lot. My issues are the following

- I'm still very slow at my algebra, differentiating and proving by induction large statements and functions takes a tremendous amount of time
- I have trouble seeing certain factorizations, e.g. x^n - 1 = (x-1)(x^n-1 + ... + 1) and as a result make questions more complicated than they need to be, spending around an hour going down the wrong path. This happened at least twice now
- My integration and coordinate geometry skills are terrible. Revising for FP3 though

Is there still a chance of improving my maths skills in these two months, or should I just forget about STEP III and focus on my other subjects? I don't need STEP III, but a decent grade in it could make up for a bad physics grade (which I'm even more hopeless at).
2. (Original post by PressTabStart)

Is there still a chance of improving my maths skills in these two months, or should I just forget about STEP III and focus on my other subjects? I don't need STEP III, but a decent grade in it could make up for a bad physics grade (which I'm even more hopeless at).
If you don't need STEP III, then definitely drop it and focus on your A-Levels, I'd say.
3. (Original post by PressTabStart)
Hello all
I have around 2 months to prepare for STEP III but I'm still not very good at it; in a paper, I can do around 2 questions on a good day (sometimes not even that) in 3 hours and still get stuck a lot. My issues are the following

- I'm still very slow at my algebra, differentiating and proving by induction large statements and functions takes a tremendous amount of time
- I have trouble seeing certain factorizations, e.g. x^n - 1 = (x-1)(x^n-1 + ... + 1) and as a result make questions more complicated than they need to be, spending around an hour going down the wrong path. This happened at least twice now
- My integration and coordinate geometry skills are terrible. Revising for FP3 though

Is there still a chance of improving my maths skills in these two months, or should I just forget about STEP III and focus on my other subjects? I don't need STEP III, but a decent grade in it could make up for a bad physics grade (which I'm even more hopeless at).

Focus on your other subjects if you do not need STEP III
4. (Original post by ODES_PDES)
Focus on your other subjects if you do not need STEP III
(Original post by Zacken)
If you don't need STEP III, then definitely drop it and focus on your A-Levels, I'd say.
Thanks, I won't drop it but I definitely won't consider it as important.

If it helps, I'm doing 3 A2s: maths, further maths and physics, I _have_ to take STEP I (which I find considerably easier now that I did lots of practice on it, after setting myself some mocks). My thinking is that any practice for STEP III is also practice for STEP I.
Final question, is practice for STEP exams as important as mathematical aptitude? I know some exceptional people start off well on STEP papers but do people go from being bad to good? This is what really grills me
5. (Original post by PressTabStart)
Thanks, I won't drop it but I definitely won't consider it as important.

If it helps, I'm doing 3 A2s: maths, further maths and physics, I _have_ to take STEP I (which I find considerably easier now that I did lots of practice on it, after setting myself some mocks). My thinking is that any practice for STEP III is also practice for STEP I.
Final question, is practice for STEP exams as important as mathematical aptitude? I know some exceptional people start off well on STEP papers but do people go from being bad to good? This is what really grills me
Yeh you can learn spots/'aptitude' well I think you can.

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6. (Original post by PressTabStart)
Thanks, I won't drop it but I definitely won't consider it as important.

If it helps, I'm doing 3 A2s: maths, further maths and physics, I _have_ to take STEP I (which I find considerably easier now that I did lots of practice on it, after setting myself some mocks). My thinking is that any practice for STEP III is also practice for STEP I.
Final question, is practice for STEP exams as important as mathematical aptitude? I know some exceptional people start off well on STEP papers but do people go from being bad to good? This is what really grills me
STEP is a new way of thinking, approaching, and solving a problem. It is completely different to what you're used to. When you go to University and start maths there you'll see how different it is to A-level.

You will learn
7. (Original post by PressTabStart)
My thinking is that any practice for STEP III is also practice for STEP I.
I would think that STEP I and STEP II is far better practice for STEP I than STEP III is due to the rather different syllabuses for those papers.

Most people go from bad to good. It is the minority who go from good to good.

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Updated: April 28, 2016
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