Should I bother with STEP. Watch

ihatehannah
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c1: 97 ums
c2: 92 UMS
S1: 91 UMS
FP1: 94 UMS
M1: 89 UMS.
D1: 72 UMS( -.-)

Anyone with similar UMS marks achieved a decent mark on any STEP paper? I need to decide whether if I put my heart and soul into revising for it, I can come out with a good mark.
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Quirky Object
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(Original post by ihatehannah)
c1: 97 ums
c2: 92 UMS
S1: 91 UMS
FP1: 94 UMS
M1: 89 UMS.
D1: 72 UMS( -.-)

Anyone with similar UMS marks achieved a decent mark on any STEP paper? I need to decide whether if I put my heart and soul into revising for it, I can come out with a good mark.
There's no decision in STEP, as you probably know, and your UMS average without D1 is 93, which is pretty good. Just do some STEP I questions and see how you find them. It's meant to be hard at first, so don't get discouraged
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Zacken
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(Original post by ihatehannah)
c1: 97 ums
c2: 92 UMS
S1: 91 UMS
FP1: 94 UMS
M1: 89 UMS.
D1: 72 UMS( -.-)

Anyone with similar UMS marks achieved a decent mark on any STEP paper? I need to decide whether if I put my heart and soul into revising for it, I can come out with a good mark.
Those UMS marks are fine but are not going to predict your STEP performance well at all. You don't need to start putting your heart and soul into STEP now, you only need to do so in late January. The best way to decide if STEP is for you or not is by trying out some easy STEP I questions and working your way through some resources like Siklos's booklet. Your UMS is going to have little to no bearing on how you'll find STEP.
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black1blade
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What is decision maths actually like and is there any reason you got low marks in it? I've always heard it's a real easy module but there seem to be a lot of people on here kinda flunking it compared to other exams .
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black1blade
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Also yeah if you're extremely committed to maths go for it. You kinda need to do c3 and 4 first before doing any step questions though but you don't actually have to start practising til about january.
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ihatehannah
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(Original post by black1blade)
What is decision maths actually like and is there any reason you got low marks in it? I've always heard it's a real easy module but there seem to be a lot of people on here kinda flunking it compared to other exams .
Should I do AEA. Which one is easier? I've seen an AEA paper and I like the format compared to STEP.

D1 is so easyyyyyyyyyy, but at the same time it's so eassssssssssy to make mistakes. That's why.
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Zacken
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(Original post by ihatehannah)
Should I do AEA. Which one is easier? I've seen an AEA paper and I like the format compared to STEP.
AEA is by far easier. Whether you should do AEA or STEP depends on what university you want to apply to for maths.
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black1blade
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I'm fairly sure most unis other than cambridge accept AEA for maths so yeah might be easier to do that instead. AEA is basically like they take those really esoteric 1 mark questions they sometimes have at the end of a-level papers and expand on them. AEA is c3 and 4+ basically whereas step is a whole different kettle of fish. AEA is really good for training up your algebraic manipulation and making sure you don't make mistakes. Also preparing for the AEA will probably make normal c3 and 4 very easy, I think K-Man_PhysCheM said he found the relatively hard c4 this year very doable because he'd been doing lots of AEA prep.
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♥Samantha♥
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(Original post by black1blade)
Also yeah if you're extremely committed to maths go for it. You kinda need to do c3 and 4 first before doing any step questions though but you don't actually have to start practising til about january.
It's funny bc in class everyone says its easy, the teachers say its easy. then in the exam we all flunk it lol. and if u look at the grade boundaries they are always very low, indicating that as a whole the nation is pretty bad at it, yet for some reason its always seen as 'the easy module.'
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K-Man_PhysCheM
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(Original post by black1blade)
I'm fairly sure most unis other than cambridge accept AEA for maths so yeah might be easier to do that instead. AEA is basically like they take those really esoteric 1 mark questions they sometimes have at the end of a-level papers and expand on them. AEA is c3 and 4+ basically whereas step is a whole different kettle of fish. AEA is really good for training up your algebraic manipulation and making sure you don't make mistakes. Also preparing for the AEA will probably make normal c3 and 4 very easy, I think K-Man_PhysCheM said he found the relatively hard c4 this year very doable because he'd been doing lots of AEA prep.
Yeah, I agree with this. AEA really is just C1-C4 content, but with far more synoptic questions and usually a lot more algebra. I found it really helped consolidate my understanding of many A-level topics, especially C2 sequences/series (lots of really tricky questions involving geometric representations of C2 series stuff has come up in past years), vectors and integration (you'll never find C4 vectors/integration difficult if you've prepped AEA).

Warwick and quite a few other Unis give you a reduced offer if you have distinction in AEA. Oxford has the MAT, but adding AEA to your application can only help. Cambridge would be much more concerned about your performance in the STEP II and III examinations at the end of year 13.

STEP is a lot more "proofy" in many ways (as in you have to construct more formal proofs), so its more like undergraduate mathematics (or so I've heard). It's very different to A-level maths, though you will need to learn some more A2 content before getting stuck in. Particularly, STEP III requires everything up to and including full A2 further maths content. As other posters have said, late January would be a good time to start; just make sure you're really dedicated. Note that AEA prep won't really help STEP at all, since they are so different.
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black1blade
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(Original post by K-Man_PhysCheM)
Yeah, I agree with this. AEA really is just C1-C4 content, but with far more synoptic questions and usually a lot more algebra. I found it really helped consolidate my understanding of many A-level topics, especially C2 sequences/series (lots of really tricky questions involving geometric representations of C2 series stuff has come up in past years), vectors and integration (you'll never find C4 vectors/integration difficult if you've prepped AEA).

Warwick and quite a few other Unis give you a reduced offer if you have distinction in AEA. Oxford has the MAT, but adding AEA to your application can only help. Cambridge would be much more concerned about your performance in the STEP II and III examinations at the end of year 13.

STEP is a lot more "proofy" in many ways (as in you have to construct more formal proofs), so its more like undergraduate mathematics (or so I've heard). It's very different to A-level maths, though you will need to learn some more A2 content before getting stuck in. Particularly, STEP III requires everything up to and including full A2 further maths content. As other posters have said, late January would be a good time to start; just make sure you're really dedicated. Note that AEA prep won't really help STEP at all, since they are so different.
Yeah I need to do some series-ous revision on progressions :P. I think the difficulty with vectors is when they ask anything that isn't just a bog standard use of already learned methods and techniques which was what that isosceles triangle question in the c4 this year was. Next year is the very last year of current spec so I bet ocr are gonna bring all they've got to the table in terms of making the most non standard questions possible which is kinda good in a way because it means grade boundaries aren't ridiculous.
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K-Man_PhysCheM
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(Original post by black1blade)
Yeah I need to do some series-ous revision on progressions :P. I think the difficulty with vectors is when they ask anything that isn't just a bog standard use of already learned methods and techniques which was what that isosceles triangle question in the c4 this year was. Next year is the very last year of current spec so I bet ocr are gonna bring all they've got to the table in terms of making the most non standard questions possible which is kinda good in a way because it means grade boundaries aren't ridiculous.
Yeah, you see from AEA I'd seen vectors questions like that one, so unlike my friends I didn't get stumped for a while which left more time for the rest of the C4 paper: all the more reason for OP to try AEA.

Yeah, next year's papers may be really hard. Mind you, M3 boundary this year was crazy: you could lose 14 raw marks and still get 100 UMS iirc!

I kinda can't wait to finish further maths though, like I swear in learning A-level Maths + triple science AS-levels in one year, I've learnt 10 times more than I have any other single year of my life!
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black1blade
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(Original post by K-Man_PhysCheM)
Yeah, you see from AEA I'd seen vectors questions like that one, so unlike my friends I didn't get stumped for a while which left more time for the rest of the C4 paper: all the more reason for OP to try AEA.

Yeah, next year's papers may be really hard. Mind you, M3 boundary this year was crazy: you could lose 14 raw marks and still get 100 UMS iirc!

I kinda can't wait to finish further maths though, like I swear in learning A-level Maths + triple science AS-levels in one year, I've learnt 10 times more than I have any other single year of my life!
Same and I only did double science! (I learnt about lots of raunchy metaphysical poets though :P). I can't wait til full further and year 2 physics (most of the annoying people in my class are dropping) and year 2 chemistry. The only thing I'm maybe not looking forward to is exam season with those super long exams in chemistry and physics but I'm sure I'll pull through. I guess having 21 hours of exams will really test our stamina... Also olympiads are gonna be fun, maybe if I work really hard i'll see you in round 2 for physics or chemistry (more likely chemistry)!
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K-Man_PhysCheM
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(Original post by black1blade)
Same and I only did double science! (I learnt about lots of raunchy metaphysical poets though :P). I can't wait til full further and year 2 physics (most of the annoying people in my class are dropping) and year 2 chemistry. The only thing I'm maybe not looking forward to is exam season with those super long exams in chemistry and physics but I'm sure I'll pull through. I guess having 21 hours of exams will really test our stamina... Also olympiads are gonna be fun, maybe if I work really hard i'll see you in round 2 for physics or chemistry (more likely chemistry)!
Haha yeah, those paper 3 synoptic questions gonna be challenging, and 2nd year content looks a lot more interesting tbh. Good luck in Olympiads, hope to see you there! (maybe even at the camps if we do well enough!)
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black1blade
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(Original post by K-Man_PhysCheM)
Haha yeah, those paper 3 synoptic questions gonna be challenging, and 2nd year content looks a lot more interesting tbh. Good luck in Olympiads, hope to see you there! (maybe even at the camps if we do well enough!)
Maybe we'll even get on international team together! (okay now I'm 100% fantasising :P). Also yeah I've got a massive paper 3 for edexcel physics with loads of synoptic but my chem ocr B has 2 totally synoptic papers and a much shorter practical techniques paper. I will actually be very happy if 60 out of my 270 marks for chemistry related to practicals are quarantined within 1 paper XD.
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Physics Enemy
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(Original post by Zacken)
AEA is by far easier. Whether you should do AEA or STEP depends on what university you want to apply to for maths.
I strongly disagree. The AEA can be hard e.g.) 2014 and 2016, and if it's more accessible, you need well over 80% to get a Distinction. All Qs are compulsory. With STEP, you pick your Qs out of 13, you're only looking at doing 4-5 Qs well.

I'd say it's slightly easier to get a 1 in STEP 1 than AEA Distinction typically, and I'd prefer having to get a 2 in STEP II vs AEA Distinction. The TSR scores I've seen tally with this. Admittedly it's not a big sample size, can vary a bit by year.

Having said that, as with UMS, you can't really talk about transferability, have try it and find out. Likewise, no point trying to predict your STEP III score from your AEA score. And all of it depends on a person's strengths and weaknesses.
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K-Man_PhysCheM
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(Original post by black1blade)
Maybe we'll even get on international team together! (okay now I'm 100% fantasising :P). Also yeah I've got a massive paper 3 for edexcel physics with loads of synoptic but my chem ocr B has 2 totally synoptic papers and a much shorter practical techniques paper. I will actually be very happy if 60 out of my 270 marks for chemistry related to practicals are quarantined within 1 paper XD.
See you at the international gold medal ceremony?? (jk ofc) Oh cool, I'm doing OCR A Physics and AQA Chemistry; both have 2 shorter papers and one longer synoptic paper. Ah yes, practical questions can be quite sneaky/annoying, good to get them out of the way all together! Anyway, we've really drifted from the point of this thread.

To OP: definitely try AEA, it will boost your A-level maths and make the normal exams a lot easier, and can help lower University offers for maths degrees.
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Zacken
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(Original post by Physics Enemy)
I strongly disagree. The AEA can be hard e.g.) 2014 and 2016, and if it's more accessible, you need well over 80% to get a Distinction. All Qs are compulsory. With STEP, you pick your Qs out of 13, you're only looking at doing 4-5 Qs well.

I'd say it's slightly easier to get a 1 in STEP 1 than AEA Distinction typically, and I'd prefer having to get a 2 in STEP II vs AEA Distinction. The TSR scores I've seen tally with this. Admittedly it's not a big sample size, can vary a bit by year.

Having said that, as with UMS, you can't really talk about transferability, have try it and find out. Likewise, no point trying to predict your STEP III score from your AEA score. And all of it depends on a person's strengths and weaknesses.
I strongly disagree. AEA is incredibly easy compared to STEP, saying that all questions are compulsory and you need over 80% for a distinction is akin to saying that A-Level is harder than STEP because all the questions are compulsory and you need 80% for an A.

I'd take getting a distinction in AEA (no harder than scoring full marks in C4 tbh) over a 2 in STEP I.
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Physics Enemy
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(Original post by Zacken)
I strongly disagree. AEA is incredibly easy compared to STEP, saying that all questions are compulsory and you need over 80% for a distinction is akin to saying that A-Level is harder than STEP because all the questions are compulsory and you need 80% for an A.

I'd take getting a distinction in AEA (no harder than scoring full marks in C4 tbh) over a 2 in STEP I.
Fair enough. I strongly disagree with your last point, I've seen enough Merit/1 combos on here to dispute it (tho it can be a few marks either way and can vary by year). If you ever get time, I'd ask you to have a go at the AEA 2016 paper, you may be surprised.

As for scoring full marks in C4, well I'd take having to get a 1 in STEP II over that, because I know I'd definitely lose a few marks somewhere, for something.

To bring some data to this: roughly the same calibre of people sit AEA & STEP I, about 17-18% get a 1 or more in STEP I, only 12-13% get an AEA Distinction. 40-45% get a Merit or more (these days), but ~ 35% get a 2 or more.
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MR1999
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(Original post by ihatehannah)
c1: 97 ums
c2: 92 UMS
S1: 91 UMS
FP1: 94 UMS
M1: 89 UMS.
D1: 72 UMS( -.-)

Anyone with similar UMS marks achieved a decent mark on any STEP paper? I need to decide whether if I put my heart and soul into revising for it, I can come out with a good mark.
Couldn't agree more with black1blade and K-Man_PhysCheM about the AEA. However, there will be no more AEA exams, so if you want to show off your maths abilities, you're gonna have to sit the STEP.
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