STEP

Introduction

According to Admission Testing Services:

STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) Mathematics is a well-established mathematics examination designed to test candidates on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate mathematics.

STEP is used by the University of Cambridge as the basis for conditional offers. Other universities sometimes ask candidates to take STEP as part of their offer – in such cases, the university can advise on which papers to take.

There are also a number of candidates who sit STEP papers as a challenge.

The test consists of up to three 3-hour paper-based examinations: STEP 1, STEP 2 and STEP 3. Candidates are usually required to sit either one or two of the examinations, depending on the requirements of the universities they have applied to.

A lined answer booklet and a formula booklet are provided for each paper. Graph paper is not provided, as the test requires only sketches, not detailed graphs.

step-specification

STEP papers

Paper Test format Questions Timing
STEP Mathematics 1 (9465) The paper consists of 13 questions – 8 Pure Mathematics, 3 Mechanics and 2 Probability and Statistics based on A Level Mathematics content. Candidates choose 6 questions to answer 3 hours
STEP Mathematics 2 (9470) The paper consists of 13 questions – 8 Pure Mathematics, 3 Mechanics and 2 Probability and Statistics based on A Level Mathematics content. Candidates choose 6 questions to answer 3 hours
STEP Mathematics 3 (9475) The paper consists of 13 questions – 8 Pure Mathematics, 3 Mechanics and 2 Probability and Statistics based on A Level Further Mathematics content. Candidates choose 6 questions to answer 3 hours

Preparing for STEP

There are two parallel processes that must happen simultaneously:

  • Concept building (thematic discussions and practice exercises)
  • Problem Solving (using past papers)

The past papers of STEP are readily available online: here

For concept building purpose, the following books may act as a launching pad:

Vectors

  • Introduction Linear Algebra by Serge Lang (Chapter 1)

Algebra

  • Higher Algebra by Hall and Knight (or by Barnard and Child)

Function, Curve Sketching and Calculus

  • Single Variable Calculus by I.A. Maron
  • Single Variable Calculus by Piscunov (Polar coordinate portion)
  • Play with graphs (Arihant Publication)

Trigonometry

  • S.L. Loney

Coordinate Geometry

  • S.L. Loney

Problem Solving Book

  • Test of Mathematics at 10+2 Level by East West Press

Mechanics

  • Concepts in Physics by H.C. Verma
  • Problems in Physics by Irodov

Probability Theory

  • Elementary Probability Theory with Stochastic Processes by Kai Lai Chung

Academic Program

The Advanced Math Program includes STEP level training. It typically takes (at least) two years to fully master ALL the above topics.

Admission to it is highly selective. There are only 10 seats available every year (due to time constraint). Prospective candidates must appear in an interview and test before admission.

Contact for more details:

  • ashanidasgupta@gmail.com
  • +1 929 396 6828
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