Please check the Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing STEP pages for the STEP dates, registration and COVID-19 updates. Note that STEP 1 have been discontinued, but STEP 2 and 3 are being offered.
Students planning on entering the Mathematics and Statistics, MORSE or Data Science degree courses are strongly encouraged to take an additional Maths paper (STEP, TMUA, AEA, MAT) along with other qualifications needed to meet our conditional offer. Some reasons for taking such papers:
- Mathematics at university is more complex than mathematics at school. By preparing for and taking these examinations, you will put yourself in a better position to make a strong start to your degree course. We want to see all of our students succeed!
- Tackling questions from such papers can be an entirely different experience from solving A-level questions. You typically go through a period of thinking that the question is unsolvable. Take a break and try again the next day.
- Getting practice in harder questions means that you should find the standard A-level questions easier, so you should also do better in that examination.
In addition, there are two more incentives to take some of these papers:
- For sufficiently good performance you can get reduced or alternative offers as explained on our offer information page.
- For excellent performance you may get an entrance prize (see bottom of this page).
Resources for training in mathematical problem solving
- Advanced problem solving with NRICH
- Online courses for advanced papers including STEP
- Stephen Siklos' book Advanced Problems in Mathematics: Preparing for University with link to free pdf and html
Sixth Term Examination Papers (STEP)
STEP, or Sixth Term Examination Papers, are usually required for admission to the University of Cambridge. STEP papers are set by Cambridge Assessment as explain in their About STEP website. There are two different papers: STEP II and STEP III, where the latter requires knowledge of the Further Mathematics syllabus. For specifications and past papers consider the FAQs for test takers.
Preparation for STEP
You want to gain extensive practice in solving mathematical problems. There are many online resources that introduce you to problem solving techniques and that provide practice questions, some with solutions.
- STEP Support Programme including links to weekly online modules and an online discussion forum
- Underground mathematics collection of STEP questions
- STEP correspondence course with assignments
- University of Warwick videos of worked STEP solutions (scroll down and follow the links from this page)
Where can I take STEP?
The amount of support offered by schools varies widely. Some offer preparation as well as the sitting the paper, some just the latter, and some are not offering any of this. If your school is unable to help you to enter for STEP, or if you are outside the UK, here is where you can find an examination centre for STEP.
The Test of Mathematics for University Admission (TMUA) was launched in 2016 to assess the mathematical thinking and reasoning skills needed for undergraduate Mathematics courses or courses featuring Mathematics. It consists of two papers, one about mathematical thinking and one about mathematical reasoning and is made available once a year in late October/early November (registration deadline is typically in lates October). Scores are on a scale of 1.0 to 9.0 (with 9.0 being the highest).
How can I prepare for TMUA?
Resources to support your preparation can be found on the above mentioned site under Preparation for the test.
Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT)
The Mathematics Admissions Test is a subject-specific written exam used as part of the selection process at Oxford University, Imperial College and Warwick Mathematics.
What do I need to score in MAT for a reduced offer?
The MAT does not have a grading system and the average mark fluctuates from year to year preventing us from specifying our expectations for reduced offers before-hand. Students doing well in the MAT are likely to receive our reduced offer after a threshold has been determined. More details how to inform us that you are taking MAT will appear in this space by Fall 2021.
Feedback on your MAT
If you are a Warwick applicant sitting the MAT and you would like to know your mark you can obtain this by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org after the 31 March (please do not get in touch before this date offers are still being processed). To help us find your mark please let us know in your email your full name, date of birth and UCAS number.
Advanced Extension Award (AEA)
The Advanced Extension Award in Mathematics is a 3-hour examination paper on the pure mathematics syllabus of the single A level in Mathematics. It contains harder questions than those in the A level mathematics examination. The AEA paper in Mathematics is set by the Edexcel examination board on behalf of all the A-level examination boards. It should be available in all examination centres. Further details about the examination and a specimen paper can be found at the AEA web-page.
Preparation for AEA
The reasons given above should be enough to convince all of our undergraduate entrants to take either STEP or TMUA before coming to Warwick! But as an added incentive, specifically in connection with STEP, Warwick Statistics will give a £2000 prize to each entrant (subject to the conditions below) who achieves a Grade S (Outstanding) in any STEP paper OR score 7.5 or higher in TMUA. Please bring the original copy of your STEP certificate in to the Student Support Office where we will arrange the payment of your prize. Conditions of these prizes
- This offer applies to all students who enter any of the degrees G0L0 MMORSE, GLN0 BSc MORSE, GGC3 MMathStat, GG13 BSc MathStat, G304 MDatSci or 7G73 BSc Data Science in October 2022. They must make the degree their firm choice with UCAS and remain registered on the degree throughout the academic year 2022-2023.
- The qualifying Grade S (Outstanding) must be achieved in a STEP examination taken in the summer of 2022. Any of the STEP papers (II, III) can be used. Alternatively, the qualifying score of 7.5 must be achieved in a TMUA(*) examination taken in the autumn of 2021.
- Only one award per student.
- The STEP/TUMA exams are assessed in the regular (pre-pandemic) way.