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Faculty of Mathematics


General advice

In general, Part III will provide at most a quick review of material covered in Cambridge undergraduate courses. Therefore it is a good idea for students to spend time consolidating their mathematical background in the relevant subject areas before arriving in Cambridge.

A good strategy is to look at the courses offered in the Part III Guide to Courses, but bear in mind that courses and their descriptions may change from year to year.  In the guide you will find prerequisite pages for some subject areas, as well as prerequisites inside the individual course descriptions. Many of these refer to Cambridge undergraduate courses. Details of the contents of the undergraduate courses can be accessed via the link below. To help you find out whether you need to learn any new material, it is a good idea is to look at the example sheets and past exam questions for the relevant undergraduate courses (links also provided below). Note that the example sheet questions are designed to be challenging problems.

To give you more detailed guidance than the above advice, we also provide advice by subject area below. These resources are not complete yet, so for courses/areas for which you cannot find enough information in the resources, please use the advice given in the above paragraph.

The expectation is that most students will handle the amount and depth of mathematical learning required without further assistance. However, you will find some sources of support to help you make the transition as detailed in the Additional Support section of the current student webpage.

Tripos resources

Note that in Cambridge we call question or exercise sheets "Example sheets". Example sheet questions vary from a few straightforward exercises to really challenging problems. We recommend that you look at the main questions, excluding "extra", "additional" or "starred" questions. Do also check the former exam questions page.

  • Formal list of content of Cambridge undergraduate maths courses.
  • Past exam questions for undergraduate courses.
  • Undergraduate example sheets (and some lecture notes) for pure maths and statistics courses. (Including very few Part III courses at the end.)
  • Undergraduate example sheets (and some lecture notes) for applied maths and theoretical physics courses.
  • Part III example sheets and some lecture notes for applied maths and theoretical physcis courses.
  • Lecture notes collected by the Archimedeans (students maths society) both for undergraduate and some Part III courses. Note some of these are for fairly old versions of the courses.

Advice by subject area

Listed below are the areas as in the Guide to Courses, linking to pages with preparation suggestions and resources. Completeness of resources varies as we are still working on building up this preparation material. We have structured these materials into two levels:

  • Reality check: These exercises and topic lists are there to provide a reality check for you to test if working over the summer to catch up on the core prerequisites for the subject area is realistic. If you can't do the exercises given here fairly easily, we strongly recommend that you reconsider your choice of area, and/or whether Part III really is for you.
  • Prerequisites: These are necessary or extremely useful for the Part III courses. If you do not have these prerequisites already, we believe you can catch up on these if you use your summer well, and can continue catching up a little more in parallel to the courses once you are here. We try to provide exercises so you can check your level and can determine what you still need to work on.
  • (Any course or topic listed in brackets is of secondary importance, but the topics covered in it might still be useful, or certain topics might still be useful for that course, which will be clear from context.)

Preparatory workshops

At the beginning of the academic year, we usually offer some preparatory workshops. These are aimed at Part III students who have taken undergraduate courses in the relevant areas, but whose courses may not have covered all the material needed for the Part III lecture courses. We know that two hours cannot substitute for a whole undergraduate lecture course, so the workshops aim to give some intuition and a helping hand with further study. If you prepare for these topics already over the summer, you will have a much better chance at reaching the correct level (if you are not there already).

Certain basics will be assumed in the workshops. We have listed these under "first level prerequisites" on this website. If you find you are missing these also, you should definitely be doing some work over the summer, or possibly reconsider which areas you want to study and whether Part III is the correct course for you.

The timetable for October 2019 will be added shortly