Is working through STEP papers a good way to prepare for university maths?

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adanjargon
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So my situation is probably different from a lot of you. I'm an international student and I will be studying in Australia, though my entry date is next year due to covid related reasons. I was interested in studying in the UK, but due to a mixture of covid and financial issues I decided against it. However, I became familiar with certain exams necessary for entry in some universities, namely STEP.

Obviously I don't need STEP for entry in my university (I've been accepted), but nonetheless I took a peek at some STEP questions and they seem very interesting. I'm doing the STEP support program, and I'm doing the foundation assignments and the questions are really fun, especially so compared to A-level questions. I've also done some questions in Stephen Siklos booklet and they seem really fun as well if not a little challenging.

So my question is this, would "preparing" for the STEP exam help me prepare to study university level math? For those of you who prepared STEP, would you say studying for STEP increased your "mathematical ability"? I plan on doing all the assignments in the STEP support program and then doing all the problems in the Siklos booklets, to finally start solving actual STEP papers. Would doing so be a productive use of my time? I'm currently on a gap year so I basically have all day to do anything I want.

I've heard some people say that doing STEP questions just makes you better at doing STEP questions, which might be true, but there must be a reason Cambridge relies on STEP right?
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zetamcfc
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(Original post by adanjargon)
I've heard some people say that doing STEP questions just makes you better at doing STEP questions, which might be true, but there must be a reason Cambridge relies on STEP right?
Yes, because it correlates well with being able to handle university (specifically Cambridge) maths.

''Would doing so be a productive use of my time? I'm currently on a gap year so I basically have all day to do anything I want.''

Nope, find some texts on set theory and real analysis and work through them, that should actually help you in your university maths. By all means do STEP questions as a hobby, but if you're going to university and don't need STEP there is no point going through it.
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