Results from STEP papers are used to supplement candidates' existing exam results, which are often claimed to be insufficient to distinguish between the very brightest applicants. Each year, roughly 400 people in the UK may take STEP to attempt entry to Cambridge University; many more may enter for the purpose of entering Warwick.
All of the Cambridge colleges require candidates to achieve good STEP grades before accepting them onto the maths course. Mathematics applicants for some Cambridge colleges who compete in the International Mathematical Olympiad are often excused from taking STEP.
Before 2003, STEP papers were available for a wide range of subjects, including, for example, chemistry and biology, but the mathematics STEP paper is the only one now in use. Three STEP Maths papers are set each year. Candidates may take a maximum of 2 of these, usually STEP I and II if they are taking one mathematics A Level, and STEP II and III if they are also taking Further Mathematics. STEP Maths grades are also occasionally required for other courses, such as computer science and engineering.
Mathematics I is sat at the same time as Mathematics III, meaning that were students to take both, they would have to be sat in succession. Traditionally, Mathematics I was for students applying to read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, while Mathematics II and III were for those applying to read Mathematics. People who have done Further Mathematics A-Levels would take Mathematics II and III whereas those who have done only the Core Mathematics A-level would take Mathematics I and II. For this reason few students have to sit Mathematics I and III.
Cumulative percentage of candidates achieving the following grades in 2006:
RAMPANT Louth handed the students of DCU an examination paper at Drogheda yesterday, but the college kids couldn't produce the answers.
Jan 26, 2009; tough for college kids RAMPANT Louth handed the students of DCU an examination paper at Drogheda yesterday, but the college kids...