The Mathematical Bridge, Queens' College. Credit: SarahTz
Students who apply for Mathematics or for Computer Science with the 50% Maths option are normally asked to sit STEP Mathematics exams. Our conditional offers will be based on both our standard entrance requirements for these courses and the relevant STEP papers.
Don't be discouraged if STEP material looks very difficult when you first look at it - the style is very different from A level, the International Baccalaureate etc. STEP exams normally require plenty of preparation and practice in order to do well, but there are lots of online resources to help you with this. Your work on STEP will help you a lot with the transition to the kinds of mathematical problem-solving you will meet at Cambridge. Once you get into it, we hope that you will enjoy working on the material!
Resources for STEP
Cambridge University STEP Support Programme
Cambridge University has a free online STEP course designed for students preparing to take STEP papers. The course has online modules for individual study, which are open to everyone.
We suggest that you follow the structure. Don't be tempted to do assignments which are ahead of your school age (so don't do Year 13 assignments if you are in Year 12).
- In Year 12, we recommend you start studying the Foundation modules. They are also useful for Year 13 students who want to take STEP I.
- The STEP II modules and STEP III modules assume that you have already worked through the foundation modules. We recommend that you start these in Year 13 (ideally you would start working on the STEP II modules soon after the beginning of Year 13, and the STEP III modules around January of Year 13).
- This booklet by Stephen Siklos (available for free as a PDF download) provides a useful introduction to STEP.
- NRICH Mathematics offers free online STEP preparation, which you can start once have completed one year of A level Maths (or equivalent).
- The Exam board's STEP website includes practical information about sitting the test, details of the material covered, past papers and examiners' reports.
- The Cambridge Mathematics Faculty also has its own page about STEP.
- The Further Mathematics Network can offer support for STEP preparation. See online courses.
- Dr Peter Mitchell's website contains lots of useful mathematics including complete solutions to STEP papers from past years.
- Stephen Siklos's website contains some additional material, including a few video solutions of STEP questions.