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What is STEP?

STEP is an additional mathematics examination, usually taken at the end of Y13, which forms part of conditional offers to applicants for mathematics and some related degrees at Cambridge and some other universities. STEP is designed to test candidates on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate mathematics. Although demanding, preparing for STEP gives you a chance to engage with interesting, challenging mathematics, to stretch yourself and to develop the mathematical reasoning, independence and confidence needed in an undergraduate mathematics degree. 

The University of Cambridge offers free online resources to help potential university applicants develop their advanced mathematical problem-solving skills and prepare for STEP mathematics exams. You can find out more about STEP and Cambridge mathematics admissions here.

Free online resources to support STEP preparation

Our STEP Support Programme is designed to help university applicants develop their advanced problem-solving skills and prepare for sitting STEP Mathematics examinations. The programme consists of online modules for individual additional study, along with hints and full solutions.

The resources are free and open to everyone.

  • The Foundation modules provide a structured introduction to solving STEP problems. The modules also introduce mathematical ideas beyond the A-level syllabus and include supportive self evaluation materials. They are designed to be studied weekly over about 6 months. If you are planning to take STEP 2 and 3 at the end of Year 13, we recommend you start studying the Foundation modules in Year 12. They are also useful for Year 13 students who want to study Mathematics at university but who are not planning to sit STEP papers.
  • The STEP 2 and STEP 3 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 2 modules soon after the beginning of Year 13, and the STEP 3 modules around January of Year 13).


STEP Support Programme