The Student Room Group

Looking for advice on STEP and Self study

I am a year 12 student taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography and am a prospective student to apply to the University of Cambridge for Maths. At the moment I am Predicted A*A*A*A With my A being in Further maths as we have not done any work on the subject. I am planning on self-studying through the Year 13 content in Both FM and Physics and having my Dad help me through the Geography Modules he teaches. This should in turn allow me more time in the future to focus more on the STEP examination and find my study for MY A levels easier as i have been more familiar with the Content for longer than my peers at School. However, I have been struggling so far to find the right resources and techniques to balance the self study with my current workload and was looking for advice on how I can study both courses so that I have a strong understanding of most of the course by the time I return to school. This links into the STEP problems I am facing as I do not know how to effectively self study which will be a stopping block in me excelling in the run up to the exams. Has anyone found any resources that is not just staring at a textbook hoping it goes in that are of actual use.

Many thanks
Original post by jsecook
I am a year 12 student taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography and am a prospective student to apply to the University of Cambridge for Maths. At the moment I am Predicted A*A*A*A With my A being in Further maths as we have not done any work on the subject. I am planning on self-studying through the Year 13 content in Both FM and Physics and having my Dad help me through the Geography Modules he teaches. This should in turn allow me more time in the future to focus more on the STEP examination and find my study for MY A levels easier as i have been more familiar with the Content for longer than my peers at School. However, I have been struggling so far to find the right resources and techniques to balance the self study with my current workload and was looking for advice on how I can study both courses so that I have a strong understanding of most of the course by the time I return to school. This links into the STEP problems I am facing as I do not know how to effectively self study which will be a stopping block in me excelling in the run up to the exams. Has anyone found any resources that is not just staring at a textbook hoping it goes in that are of actual use.
Many thanks

You don't get good at STEP questions with a textbook unfortunately - the only proven way to get good at STEP that I have ever found is to do STEP questions. Cambridge run a site called the STEP Support Programme which has pretty much everything you need to get going - then you can use Physics and Maths Tutor to get full past papers. The one thing to note that is you can be very much isolated in doing STEP (my teachers couldn't help me with the questions, and I'm fairly sure this is an issue in most schools), this is changing with the likes of the YT channel R2Drew2 who does great videos going through the SSP assignments, but you just have to really persevere sometimes - its part of the difficulty.
Original post by jsecook
I am a year 12 student taking Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography and am a prospective student to apply to the University of Cambridge for Maths. At the moment I am Predicted A*A*A*A With my A being in Further maths as we have not done any work on the subject. I am planning on self-studying through the Year 13 content in Both FM and Physics and having my Dad help me through the Geography Modules he teaches. This should in turn allow me more time in the future to focus more on the STEP examination and find my study for MY A levels easier as i have been more familiar with the Content for longer than my peers at School. However, I have been struggling so far to find the right resources and techniques to balance the self study with my current workload and was looking for advice on how I can study both courses so that I have a strong understanding of most of the course by the time I return to school. This links into the STEP problems I am facing as I do not know how to effectively self study which will be a stopping block in me excelling in the run up to the exams. Has anyone found any resources that is not just staring at a textbook hoping it goes in that are of actual use.
Many thanks

Find problem sets or past exam questions and dedicate time to solving them regularly.
Try explaining concepts you've learned to a friend or imaginary audience. This helps solidify understanding.
Summarize key points and create flowcharts or mind maps to visualize relationships between concepts.
Self-studying can be challenging, but with dedication, the right resources, and effective techniques, you can achieve your goals. Good luck!
Original post by WannaDoMaths
You don't get good at STEP questions with a textbook unfortunately - the only proven way to get good at STEP that I have ever found is to do STEP questions. Cambridge run a site called the STEP Support Programme which has pretty much everything you need to get going - then you can use Physics and Maths Tutor to get full past papers. The one thing to note that is you can be very much isolated in doing STEP (my teachers couldn't help me with the questions, and I'm fairly sure this is an issue in most schools), this is changing with the likes of the YT channel R2Drew2 who does great videos going through the SSP assignments, but you just have to really persevere sometimes - its part of the difficulty.
Yeah this is the answer.

Main tip I'd add beyond this is to not look up any solutions or answers until you've been stuck on a question for at least an hour. Reading a markscheme or solution is very passive and ignores the important part of learning how to guide your own solutions (this is the biggest difference to A-Level; a STEP question may ask you for something that first requires you to find A, then B and then C and test that you understand the topic well enough to appreciate that A, B and C are necessary intermediate steps. The same question in an A-Level paper would explicitly ask the student to find A, then B, then C as separate parts of the question). At least give yourself the opportunity to get stuck for a while so you can have a learning moment if you do succumb to looking up the answer (such lessons are rarely forgotten).

Start with STEP I also since it's easier and closer to A-Level, its also quite common for the occassional STEP I question to barely require any A-Level theory or combination of topics.

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