Should I take STEP next year?

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    None of the universities I'm applying to require STEP, but universities do encourage their offer holders to take it as STEP smoothens the transition from A Level to university maths. I also find many of the STEP questions genuinely interesting and challenging. However, I'll also have to take STEP around the same time as my A Levels and I don't want to compromise my A Level grades as I do need to meet my offers.
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    Added note: I've already done a number of STEP I questions
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    (Original post by Palette)
    None of the universities I'm applying to require STEP, but universities do encourage their offer holders to take it as STEP smoothens the transition from A Level to university maths. I also find many of the STEP questions genuinely interesting and challenging. However, I'll also have to take STEP around the same time as my A Levels and I don't want to compromise my A Level grades as I do need to meet my offers.
    I'd just say keep doing problems to challenge yourself and then if you really want to do the exam then do it. If you feel properly preparing for STEP will affect your A-Level grades don't sit the exam.
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    (Original post by Palette)
    None of the universities I'm applying to require STEP, but universities do encourage their offer holders to take it as STEP smoothens the transition from A Level to university maths. I also find many of the STEP questions genuinely interesting and challenging. However, I'll also have to take STEP around the same time as my A Levels and I don't want to compromise my A Level grades as I do need to meet my offers.
    Then don't take it. If they don't require it, no need to sit it, it wouldn't change anything. You can always just do the STEP papers in your own time, especially summer before uni after your A-Levels.
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    Depends on the Uni, some do take STEP into consideration even if they don't ask for it as part of their typical offer. Either way of advise that you carry on as you were, if closer to the time you feel that STEP wouldn't be detrimental to your other studies then I'd encourage you to go for it.
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    it would make you more competitive an applicant if you did do them, but as everyone else has said, don't bother if you know it will affect your A-Levels which are the most important thing
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    Nearly all unis have very high offer rates for Maths so you don't need to make yourself "more competitive". But you do need to ensure you will meet the offers and not be distracted by STEP if it's not required.

    As others have said, do a *little* STEP if you enjoy it, and then give it more emphasis once you have your A-levels out of the way.

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    (Original post by jneill)
    Nearly all unis have very high offer rates for Maths so you don't need to make yourself "more competitive". But you do need to ensure you will meet the offers and not be distracted by STEP if it's not required.

    As others have said, do a *little* STEP if you enjoy it, and then give it more emphasis once you have your A-levels out of the way.

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    high offer rates? do you mean entry requirements or they make a lot of offers? from my research your not likely to get into a good university for maths without ABB minimum with an A in maths. and that would be semi decent you basically need AAA+ to get in to somewhere which is quality according to entry requirements. of course I have heard somewhere that universities ask for higher grades to appear more prestigious but actually accept significantly lower grades. I have no idea if this is true but I would not gamble my place on it just got to push hard to get the grades. there is one decent uni only one i found that say they accept BBB-AAB but they were Scottish and I have nothing against the Scottish but I don't get the impression they love the English exactly. So if I apply as an English man I am either getting outright rejected or been asked for A*A*A* + distinction in all three step papers.

    Or do you mean they just make a lot of offers? Like mud at a wall they make a lot of offers but only take the ones that hit the offers? and ask for high grades knowing most will miss?
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    Or do you mean they just make a lot of offers? Like mud at a wall they make a lot of offers but only take the ones that hit the offers? and ask for high grades knowing most will miss?
    yes
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    (Original post by Luke7456)

    Or do you mean they just make a lot of offers?
    Yes. They have 95% offer rates....

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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    So if I apply as an English man I am either getting outright rejected or been asked for A*A*A* + distinction in all three step papers.
    This is utterly ludicrous.

    Or do you mean they just make a lot of offers? Like mud at a wall they make a lot of offers but only take the ones that hit the offers? and ask for high grades knowing most will miss?
    Both - they have high entry requirements and make a lot of (high) offers and take in the ones that meet the high offers. Most people applying for Maths will have at least two guaranteed A* (or A's at AS) in M/FM, so the lowest you'll see an applicant applying with is AAx.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    This is utterly ludicrous.



    Both - they have high entry requirements and make a lot of (high) offers and take in the ones that meet the high offers. Most people applying for Maths will have at least two guaranteed A* (or A's at AS) in M/FM, so the lowest you'll see an applicant applying with is AAx.
    Yes, that's what I thought as well, people with B in maths shouldn't bother applying for a degree should they? I keep seeing as well that people who have below an A in maths don't get accepted much.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    This is utterly ludicrous.



    Both - they have high entry requirements and make a lot of (high) offers and take in the ones that meet the high offers. Most people applying for Maths will have at least two guaranteed A* (or A's at AS) in M/FM, so the lowest you'll see an applicant applying with is AAx.
    Yeah I don't always think rationally when i get upset and was somewhat triggered when I saw the tuition fee break down as free for Scottish students £1800 for European students but £9250 for rest of UK. so apologies for getting carried away.

    So what is better combos for Cambridge maths entry? I was advised to ask you because apparently you self study. If my talents are mathematically based, do they prefer A level in statistics A level in maths and A level in further maths, or A level in maths A further maths and an A level in psychics? or would I be better of just doing A level maths further maths and additional further maths all with EdExcel?

    If they are not fussed either way I think it makes more sense to go with Ed Excel because more convenient been with all the same exam board, also all learning resources seem to focus much more on Excel then other exam boards and I guess if things don't go quite according to plan the modules can be shuffled around a bit. I mean like if i did very well across the board but bombed one exam it could be filed in with my best units so I still get 3 A*s etc.

    is it a good idea to do psychics if I am 100% self taught? I mean do you have to do a practical and or coursework how would i be assessed like that? Further I am trying to select modular choices so I can put down actual grades when I apply next year not predicted grades is psychics still modular?

    If i did 12 of the 18 modules this year and actually had A*A* they would make an offer for just the one remaining A level assuming successful at getting offer of A*/A for just the one?
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    Yeah I don't always think rationally when i get upset and was somewhat triggered when I saw the tuition fee break down as free for Scottish students £1800 for European students but £9250 for rest of UK. so apologies for getting carried away.
    If you think that's bad, I've got to pay 25k for Maths at Cambridge, so...

    So what is better combos for Cambridge maths entry? I was advised to ask you because apparently you self study. If my talents are mathematically based, do they prefer A level in statistics A level in maths and A level in further maths, or A level in maths A further maths and an A level in psychics? or would I be better of just doing A level maths further maths and additional further maths all with EdExcel?
    Either one of A-Level in M, FM Physics or A-Level in M, FM, AFM would be suitable for Cambridge. I'd advise against doing A-Level Statistics. And that's for all uni's, not just Cambridge.

    If they are not fussed either way I think it makes more sense to go with Ed Excel because more convenient been with all the same exam board, also all learning resources seem to focus much more on Excel then other exam boards and I guess if things don't go quite according to plan the modules can be shuffled around a bit.
    Yep, Edexcel is easy for self-teaching.

    I mean like if i did very well across the board but bombed one exam it could be filed in with my best units so I still get 3 A*s etc.
    This applies to other boards as well, though.

    is it a good idea to do psychics if I am 100% self taught? I mean do you have to do a practical and or coursework how would i be assessed like that? Further I am trying to select modular choices so I can put down actual grades when I apply next year not predicted grades is psychics still modular?
    Well, it's not a bad idea. Depends on if you want to do it or not.

    If i did 12 of the 18 modules this year and actually had A*A* they would make an offer for just the one remaining A level assuming successful at getting offer of A*/A for just the one?
    There's no way to tell, it'll be solely on a case-by-case basis and up to the discretion of the college.
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    Thanks to all for your advice!
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    If you think that's bad, I've got to pay 25k for Maths at Cambridge, so...



    Either one of A-Level in M, FM Physics or A-Level in M, FM, AFM would be suitable for Cambridge. I'd advise against doing A-Level Statistics. And that's for all uni's, not just Cambridge.



    Yep, Edexcel is easy for self-teaching.



    This applies to other boards as well, though.



    Well, it's not a bad idea. Depends on if you want to do it or not.



    There's no way to tell, it'll be solely on a case-by-case basis and up to the discretion of the college.
    yeah the college fees are not exactly a pleasant extra I might have to defer entry a year if I somehow get a place, can you do that or is that up to the discretion of the college? I have read it is not good idea to apply for deferred entry so it may be better to apply normally then defer, but I hope to have the money somehow by start if i get in anyway.

    Why not do A level statistics is it because not any specific textbook for it, or is it because universities do not respect it much?
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    I'm planning to do comp. sci at Cambridge. I sent their admissions team an e-mail regarding the 'usefulness' of a STEP exam, even though it's not explicitly stated in their standard offer. Here's what they replied back:

    (when asked about taking STEP 1 as an amelioration for lack of A2 FM):
    " It would be very unusual if we included STEP 1 in an offer for CS/NS or CS/75% just because he says that he's taking it. There's an outside chance that we would use STEP 1 to make an offer if we had strong doubts about his Maths from interview or CSAT, but in that case the STEP would mean that he gets an offer rather than not getting an offer at all, so it's still in his interests to take STEP 1."

    followed by

    "If we had doubts about his maths in interview or CSAT, then doing STEP 1 could make up for it -- in that sense, doing STEP 1 would count in his favour and possibly make him more likely to get an offer.".

    "STEP 1 doesn't fully make up for only doing FM to AS level, but it certainly helps -- both in terms of likelihood of doing well enough at interview and in CSAT to get an offer and in terms of how well he'd cope with the Tripos once admitted."


    This was answered by Dr. Fawcett from Churchill college.

    Keep in mind, this is for comp. sci, not pure maths, but I still feel as though this gives a good insight into how some universities view it.
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    (Original post by ETbuymilkandeggs)
    Keep in mind, this is for comp. sci, not pure maths, but I still feel as though this gives a good insight into how some universities view it.
    No, it gives a good insight into how Cambridge views it, not other universities.
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    (Original post by Zacken)
    No, it gives a good insight into how Cambridge views it, not other universities.
    Hopefully still useful nonetheless.
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    (Original post by Luke7456)
    Yeah I don't always think rationally when i get upset and was somewhat triggered when I saw the tuition fee break down as free for Scottish students £1800 for European students but £9250 for rest of UK. so apologies for getting carried away.
    Thats because Scottish students get free education as its a devolved matter for the Scottish Government to decide on.

    I wouldnt take that as 'Scottish Universities dont want English Students'. On the contrary, plenty of the more selective Scottish Unis are criticised for not offering enough places to scottish students due to wanting the increased revenue that non Scottish students provide for the Uni.
 
 
 
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