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When/how to study for STEP etc etc Watch

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    Hi, I just finished year 12 and I'm wondering when it's appropriate to start studying for STEP.

    Bit of background info, just finished my AS levels: Maths, Physics, Chem, Computing. Dropped Physics and gonna self teach an AS in Further Maths next year (sadly I can't take 9 modules in one year along with my other subjects smh) I'm aiming to get C3, C4, and FP1 done before year 13 begins. I'm studying C3 atm and it doesn't seem too bad at all. Hopefully I got AAAA but I'm not too sure about the physics grade ugh.

    I looked at a STEP paper, however, and I could srsly only answer half of one question. RIP... I mean I think I've got 90UMS average in my single Maths modules, but I'm not sure about being able enough for step - it seems really hard. Is it fine that I couldn't answer much rn? How do I get better at it hahaha

    Since I'm not doing the full FM A-level (didn't realise I'd like maths this much( ), to apply to Cambridge, would I take STEP I and II?? I'm assuming FP2/FP3 knowledge are required for STEP III so I can't take that. ik I'm disadvantage not having the full A-Level but eh past me is an idiot

    Also, bit random but wtf to include in a maths personal statement??

    SOZ for the poorly structured and heavily fragmented post, it's late
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    i know that on this, i'm assuming Cambridge-made website they have a ton of help for STEP. like literally, a ton of worksheets!

    https://maths.org/step/welcome

    if you scroll down and find the support programme link, it should come up

    i'm also self-teaching myself C3, C4 and FP1 this summer! do you think we'd be able to manage it by September? do you have a sort of timetable planned out or are you just getting through as much as you can before year 13 starts?
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    You really need to be doing full further maths a-level, even physics having started it. I read that in Oxford's last cycle, not 1 person without full further maths got an offer for any of the maths degrees. Bear in mind most of those had no choice in the matter.

    For Cambridge you can multiply that problem by 10. Your best bet could be maths or maths & comp sci at Oxford. If you do well in the MAT you may get an offer regardless. MAT is more accessible too as it's based on slightly more than AS maths (C1 - C3 will do).
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    (Original post by ashaxo99)
    i know that on this, i'm assuming Cambridge-made website they have a ton of help for STEP. like literally, a ton of worksheets!

    https://maths.org/step/welcome

    if you scroll down and find the support programme link, it should come up

    i'm also self-teaching myself C3, C4 and FP1 this summer! do you think we'd be able to manage it by September? do you have a sort of timetable planned out or are you just getting through as much as you can before year 13 starts?
    thanks for the link! I'll check it out later and tbh I'm not sure yet, I think c4 might require a little more time but so far I'm like 40% through C3 and I'm going to work through FP1 in parallel. I don't have a timetable (I can never seem to stick to one smh), just trying to get as much done as possible.


    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    You really need to be doing full further maths a-level, even physics having started it. I read that in Oxford's last cycle, not 1 person without full further maths got an offer for any of the maths degrees. Bear in mind most of those had no choice in the matter.

    For Cambridge you can multiply that problem by 10. Your best bet could be maths or maths & comp sci at Oxford. If you do well in the MAT you may get an offer regardless. MAT is more accessible too as it's based on slightly more than AS maths (C1 - C3 will do).
    This is my concernnnn, everywhere I've read has told me this. I'm going to try and drop Chemistry to do the full a-level in FM but I really doubt my school will let me. I've considered applying to Oxford but I didn't get an A* in Maths at GCSE (don't ask...). Considering Oxford care abt GCSEs isnt it less likely getting a place there? I'd love to avoid STEP but the GCSE Maths grade is my concern.

    I mean, I have contacted a college who say they accept single maths students too, but you defo have a point. Thanks for your response tho!! Smh it seems like Cambridge is a STEP too far lol rip
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    (Original post by Nyquist)
    This is my concernnnn, everywhere I've read has told me this. I'm going to try and drop Chemistry to do the full a-level in FM but I really doubt my school will let me. I've considered applying to Oxford but I didn't get an A* in Maths at GCSE (don't ask...). Considering Oxford care abt GCSEs isnt it less likely getting a place there? I'd love to avoid STEP but the GCSE Maths grade is my concern.

    I mean, I have contacted a college who say they accept single maths students too, but you defo have a point. Thanks for your response tho!! Smh it seems like Cambridge is a STEP too far lol rip
    If you score well in the MAT they'd hardly care. GCSEs are a fallback when they have little info on you.

    If it doesn't all work out this time you could take a gap year. I'm surprised that in 2017 students are still applying without a-levels.
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    (Original post by Nyquist)
    Hi, I just finished year 12 and I'm wondering when it's appropriate to start studying for STEP.
    There are plenty of excellent resources and help via TSR.

    Start here: (there will be a 2018 thread in due course)
    https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=4275906

    STEP *is* hard - that's the point. It also looks *very* hard the first time you see a paper because the question style is unfamiliar.

    Practice is the key. As is having most of C1-4 under your belt.

    If you are applying to do Maths at Cambridge you will pretty much need FM as your offer is on STEP II and III. FM at AS-level *might* be just about ok, but the full A-level becomes an actual requirement in 2019.
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    If you score well in the MAT they'd hardly care. GCSEs are a fallback when they have little info on you.

    If it doesn't all work out this time you could take a gap year. I'm surprised that in 2017 students are still applying without a-levels.
    Really? I've read everywhere that Oxford rly care about GCSEs, I did quite well contextually (2nd best in my year, around 30% 5A*-C pass rate in my school lol). Would they look past my A in my Maths GCSE (I got 6A* 5A which is slightly below average for an Oxford applicant i think, but still competitive or sumthin, right?)


    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    There are plenty of excellent resources and help via TSR.

    If you are applying to do Maths at Cambridge you will pretty much need FM as your offer is on STEP II and III. FM at AS-level *might* be just about ok, but the full A-level becomes an actual requirement in 2019.
    Thank youuu I should have found that thread myself haha but that looks rly useful.

    ALSO i emailed Fitzwilliam college and they say if you have single maths their offer is based on STEP I and II. Do I even stand a chance?? I srsly feel like the fact I didnt pick FM has KILLED me ffs
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    (Original post by Nyquist)
    Thank youuu I should have found that thread myself haha but that looks rly useful.

    ALSO i emailed Fitzwilliam college and they say if you have single maths their offer is based on STEP I and II. Do I even stand a chance?? I srsly feel like the fact I didnt pick FM has KILLED me ffs
    If Fitz have said it's ok then that's up to them. Different colleges are entirely responsible for their own admissions.

    Edit: tagging Zacken for his thoughts.
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    (Original post by Nyquist)
    Really? I've read everywhere that Oxford rly care about GCSEs, I did quite well contextually (2nd best in my year, around 30% 5A*-C pass rate in my school lol). Would they look past my A in my Maths GCSE (I got 6A* 5A which is slightly below average for an Oxford applicant i think, but still competitive or sumthin, right?)
    They generally care because 1) students have little more than GCSEs when applying 2) not everyone sits a big entrance exam like the MAT that counts for a lot.

    Regarding state/private, blunt truth is there's no extra credit given to those from worse backgrounds. They demand strong performance there and then.

    And they make no bones about it, having said explicitly social mobility/engineering isn't their role. Ratio hasn't improved in the last 5, 10, 15 years. If anything it's got slightly worse.

    In short, Maths at Ox/Cam is straightforward in terms of how one gets in. No 'tricks'. A few on TSR have got in post a-level/step too.
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    (Original post by Nyquist)
    ALSO i emailed Fitzwilliam college and they say if you have single maths their offer is based on STEP I and II. Do I even stand a chance?? I srsly feel like the fact I didnt pick FM has KILLED me ffs
    Being honest, I expect that Fitz will grill you quite heavily about why you aren't doing FM, and I would expect them to ask you for at least one S grade (probably two).

    I'd also say that if you're doing well in the Maths A-level, FM is very self teachable (even in a year) for someone who's "Oxbridge level", because to a large extent, FM is just "more maths", not "harder maths", if that makes sense. There's a support organization that can help if you're school can't: http://furthermaths.org.uk/

    This isn't to say that you have no chance - it's definitely possible to get in without FM. But it would be disingenuous to imply doing so wasn't extremely rare.
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    (Original post by DFranklin)
    This isn't to say that you have no chance - it's definitely possible to get in without FM. But it would be disingenuous to imply doing so wasn't extremely rare.
    I was saying earlier, reading about Oxford's last cycle, nobody without full FM got an offer, let alone in. I'd expect nearly all without full FM had no choice.

    Cambridge are probably similar with the 0 stat, but there's a chance of an SS offer from Fitzwilliam. I think his best chance is sitting the MAT, it's C1-C3.

    Cambridge won't process applicants without full FM from next year.
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    And they make no bones about it, having said explicitly social mobility/engineering isn't their role. Ratio hasn't improved in the last 5, 10, 15 years. If anything it's got slightly worse.
    The ratio of private:state has certainly improved at Cambridge across the medium term. Dunno about Oxford.

    And they both certainly do give consideration to social factors

    Oxbridge spend millions on outreach.

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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    The ratio of private:state has certainly improved at Cambridge across the medium term. Dunno about Oxford.

    And they both certainly do give consideration to social factors

    Oxbridge spend millions on outreach.

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    Must be a tiny change, and I was thinking of Oxford when I said that, but in both the ratios are still way out of whack vs the country.

    Outreach is only for a very small number and I'd Q what leeway is made for maths applicants.

    Generally there is no formula for 'shifting' grades/ums, interview/test scores, MAT, STEP etc to account for socioeconomic or social factors.
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    If Fitz have said it's ok then that's up to them. Different colleges are entirely responsible for their own admissions.

    Edit: tagging Zacken for his thoughts.
    Essentially just echoing what DFranklin (and you) said. I'd expect a very heavy grilling on wh FM wasn't taken, especially if offered by the school and playing against him in deciding whether he gets an offer or not. If he does, a STEP I/II offer is very rare but if Fitz has said that that's what they're willing to consider, then perhaps he'll get it. (as you said)

    FM is very self-teachable in <a year for a realistic Cambridge applicant, so that'd be my advice.
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    Must be a tiny change, and I was thinking of Oxford when I said that, but in both the ratios are still way out of whack vs the country.

    Outreach is only for a very small number and I'd Q what leeway is made for maths applicants.

    Generally there is no formula for 'shifting' grades/ums, interview/test scores, MAT, STEP etc to account for socioeconomic or social factors.
    Cambridge had 41.2% independent schooled acceptances in 2011 versus 37.5% in 2016. A 10% "improvement".

    There's no "formula" at Cambridge but credit is certainly given to disadvantaged applicants. Yes academic performance is very important but:

    "Another candidate from a comprehensive school has four contextual data flags by her name. There is a note too about "teaching difficulties" – a physics teacher who left during the sixth form and a stand-in for chemistry. This is an easier case – her interview scores are high, an eight and a seven out of 10. She has a 92% mark in her chemistry A-level. One of the academics reviews her "flags": "She's got low socio-economic, low-performing GCSE, low Oxbridge – she's nearly got the full set."
    Partington says: "Take her."

    https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...ns-really-work
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    That's a 3.7% change. I'm skeptical about your claim, not saying it never happened over the years but it's very rare. Especially in the context of maths.

    The truth is if your MAT is below the threshold, you do sub-par in Cam's test and STEP, have a dodgy module or 2 then it's highly unlikely to get an offer.
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    (Original post by Physics Enemy)
    That's a 3.7% change. I'm skeptical about your claim, not saying it never happened over the years but it's very rare. Especially in the context of maths.

    The truth is if your MAT is below the threshold, you do sub-par in Cam's test and STEP, have a dodgy module or 2 then it's highly unlikely to get an offer.
    Do you know how % changes are calculated? The 10% change is not a claim, it's direct from Cambridge's admissions stats.

    MAT is not relevant for Cambridge.

    STEP is sat post-offer as an offer requirement, alongside your A-levels.

    It seems you aren't very familiar with Cambridge's procedures...



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    Start as soon as possible. One of the things that I've noticed is that the problems just "look" difficult. But if you read the given information very carefully, you will realise that there are essentially many clues hidden in the text that guide you. I've been preparing for Olympiad maths lately and the following books really helped. Like I just finished IGCSEs and without even doing A level maths, I can already solve many STEP II problems.

    AoPS Vol1 and Vol2 (AoPS also has other textbooks to complement learning like precalculus, calculus etc)
    Mathematical Circles
    Number Theory: Structures, Examples and Problems
    Challenges and Thrill of Pre-college Mathematics
    An Excursion in Mathematics

    These may not be related to STEP but develop critical thinking. Also check out BMO past papers.
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    most importantly: avoid martin liebeck sources at all cost. he is fiendish fool who indulges on the souls of the hopeful
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    (Original post by Doonesbury)
    Do you know how % changes are calculated? The 10% change is not a claim, it's direct from Cambridge's admissions stats.

    MAT is not relevant for Cambridge.

    STEP is sat post-offer as an offer requirement, alongside your A-levels.

    It seems you aren't very familiar with Cambridge's procedures...



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    You told me about a 3.7% drop for private schooled. True, I was telling him about Oxford too and why it may suit his position more. He will still sit a test whilst he's at Cam before interviews. Yes STEP is post-offer unless you apply after. Ultimately up to him.
 
 
 
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