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STEP Tutors - Sixth Term Examination Paper Oxford Cambridge UCL Imperial Warwick

STEP Tutors – Sixth Term Examination Paper

Mayfair Consultants offers comprehensive support for STEP preparation. We provide one-to-one tutorials, in our London office and remotely, to give you the flexibility you need and where you need it. Our team of exceptional tutors is just a phone call away, ready to adapt to your requirements. We assist with the online STEP application procedure and test preparation to support you in fulfilling your university offer. Our STEP Tutors can guide you through preparing for your STEP Exam and revision programme.


What is STEP?

The Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP) is a mathematics examination aligned to undergraduate-style mathematics questions (refer to our page on the Mathematics courses here).


Applicants to mathematics courses at universities such as Imperial College and the University of Cambridge can be asked to take STEP as part of their conditional offer. STEP “is aimed at the top 5% of all A-level mathematics candidates” (as stated on the University of Cambridge website).


What does STEP assess?

There are two examinations: STEP 2 and 3. The candidates sit one or both papers, depending on their offer details. STEP assesses applicants’ ability to apply knowledge to non-standard problems. The tests are taken at the beginning of June (Step 2) and the middle of June (Step 3).


Details on the papers are provided below:

Assessment Content covered Duration Questions available Questions required
STEP 2 A level Mathematics and AS level Further Mathematics 3 hours 12 6
STEP 3 A level Further Mathematics 3 hours 12 6


Both papers are intended to have the same difficulty and consist of 12 questions: 8 pure, 2 mechanics and 2 statistics/probability questions. There are 20 marks available for each question. All the questions attempted will be marked and the final result in each paper is based on the 6 highest-scoring questions.


Just like in an A-level examination, the marking scheme for the questions is designed to reward the progress made in the question, even if the final answer obtained is incorrect (analogous to so-called ‘method marks’ in A-levels). Regardless of the method used, correct answers will be awarded full marks.

Calculators are not allowed in this examination and formula books are not available to candidates.


What score should I be aiming to achieve?

The possible grades are:

– S – outstanding

– 1 – very good

– 2 – good

– 3 – satisfactory

– U – unclassified


For Cambridge Mathematics: the candidate’s answers are available to Cambridge admission officers. Candidates that just missed their offers can then be judged on basis of their answers, instead of marks only. The grades required as part of the offer vary by college, but a minimum of two 1 grades are typically required. For typical offer data see the Useful Resources section below.


For Imperial College Mathematics Bsc: grade 2 in either STEP might be required. Candidates who apply up to 15 October sit the Mathematics Admissions Test (‘MAT’) instead. Some MAT candidates with borderline marks may also receive the STEP offer.


For Warwick Mathematics BSc: grade 2 in either STEP might be required (or a suitable grade in MAT or TMUA).


What UK Universities use STEP:

– University of Cambridge

– University of Warwick

– Imperial College London


How can I prepare for STEP?

Take time to review STEP specifications, specimens, and past papers. Take particular care to notice how the specification has changed in recent years. Are there any new topics introduced this year? These are likely to come up in your exams, so take time to research and practice them. It is also important to remember that a significant amount of material examinable for STEP is covered in your Mathematics and Further Mathematics classes. Make sure you understand what material goes beyond your programme syllabus and schedule time to revise.


Practice is key for these examinations. You will find that the STEP papers are longer and more challenging than the A-level exams. Practising past papers under timed conditions will help you feel more confident on the examination day. Even though there have been changes to the assessment scope in recent years, the style of the questions remains the same and hence most of the past questions can be used for preparation (as highlighted on the University of Cambridge website). A revision technique often recommended by Oxbridge tutors is to attempt the questions again after you finish the practice paper and before checking the solutions. Take your time to go through the paper again to find and solve the questions that you could not do because of the time constraint? Then, practice any fields that you repeatedly get wrong.


Cambridge University offers free resources to facilitate your learning towards the STEP grade you need. These include an online STEP support program, databases of past questions and worked answers. Make sure you use the resources available to you and understand how to best show your working.


Would you prefer to get professional help to fulfil your university offer? At Mayfair Consultants we offer online and in-person tutoring to give you one-to-one, tailored support. We will support you in your endeavours at every step of your learning and provide resources and sessions that will help you develop your knowledge effectively and expand your strengths.


How to register?

If your school is registered to run the admissions test, ask your Exams Officer to register you for the test. The registration deadline is around the beginning of May in your final year. If your school does not run the Cambridge pre-interview examinations, you need to find an examination centre and register through them.


STEP tutors & experts in London and remotely

Mayfair Consultants offers at-home, one-to-one STEP tuition for our clients. Our team consists of exceptionally skilled specialists, with many holding postgraduate degrees. We will guide you on how to apply the knowledge in Mathematics and tailor the approach to you, helping you reach your full potential in Mathematics quickly, with support at each step of your way. If you would like to arrange private lessons or have any questions about our tuition services please call us on tel: +44 (0) 207 665 6606 or you can send us an email via our contact form.


Useful Resources for STEP Tutors & Students:

For offer data in the Years 2017 – 2019 (inclusive) see:



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