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All You Need to Know About STEP Cambridge: 3 Tips to Prepare Well

The STEP Cambridge is a significant mathematical competition that the University of Cambridge conducts. The history of STEP relates to multiple subjects such as biology, chemistry, English literature, and numeric domains. However, it was only in 2003 that the authorities decided to shift toward a unified subject, Mathematics, to ensure better assessment. 

 reasons to attend the STEP Cambridge

The same is why STEP today stands tall as one of the most renowned and efficient tests to determine and evaluate the skills of some clever minds. The content below will illuminate some fantastic perks that make it worth attempting. So, without any further discussion, let’s jump in. 

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What is STEP Cambridge? 

STEP is an abbreviation of Sixth Term Examination Papers. It is an admission university undergraduate test which tests the mathematical capabilities of a student. From 2024 onwards, the assessment will be administered by the OCR. 

The official target audience of STEP has remained the University of Cambridge, Imperial College, London, and the University of Warwick. 

Candidates are offered grade 1 in STEP 2 and Step 3, at least, depending on various situations and requirements. 

STEP math paper pattern 

The paper pattern of the STEP is one crucial thing to understand when preparing. It helps to know what kind of questions can come in the future and prepare yourself for all the pressure and time limits. 

The whole paper is based on the A-level mathematical concept and AS-level concepts with some modifications. The paper has about 12 questions, of which eight are pure, two relate to mechanics, and 2 to statistics. 

Structure of the cambridge assessment is divided into 3 basic categories: STEP 1, STEP 2 and STEP 3. Following content sheds light upon each paper’s structure. 


STEP I primarily focuses on assessing candidates’ mathematical problem-solving skills and their understanding of fundamental mathematical concepts. The same is why, content  aligns with topics  covered in the first year of A Level Mathematics. Thus, ensuring a solid foundation in core mathematical principles. The specification is based on A-level math. However, some modifications exist, such as 11 questions, out of which eight are pure, and 3 are further questions on mechanics and probabilities. 

Question Types:

Questions may involve applications of calculus, algebra, and basic geometry. The main focus remains on the application of methods learned at the A Level stage

While challenging, STEP I serves as an introduction to the more advanced problem-solving skills required in the subsequent papers.


The main aim of  STEP II is to introduce students to  more advanced mathematical concepts and assess problem-solving skills in a broader mathematical context. In other words, STEP II is a step ahead of STEP I. 

It is based on the A-level mathematical concept and AS-level concepts with some modifications. The paper has about 12 questions, of which eight are pure, two relate to mechanics, and 2 to statistics. 

The content expands to include more complex calculus, algebraic techniques, and additional topics. It includes the differential equations and coordinate geometry.

Question Types:

Questions become more complex at this stage. Thus,  requiring a deeper understanding of mathematical principles. Candidates needs to demonstrate creativity in problem-solving.

Integration of Concepts:

STEP II often integrates multiple mathematical concepts within a single problem. Hence, encouraging candidates to approach problem-solving in a holistic manner.


Lastly, STEP 3 comprises A Level mathematics and A-level further concepts with some changes and modifications. The paper again has 12 questions, of which eight are pure, two relate to mechanics, and 2 to statistics. The students at this level are given more complex problems than usual to determine their capabilities and efficiency in mathematics. 

The paper is the representation of the pinnacle of the Cambridge STEP examination. It features the most challenging questions. It extends the content covered in both STEP I and STEP II.

The content of STEP III goes beyond standard A Level Mathematics. That means, it delves into more abstract and advanced mathematical reasoning. Topics may include group theory, complex analysis, and further applications of calculus.

Question Types:

Questions are  highly abstract and may involve proofs. Thus,  requiring candidates to demonstrate a deep understanding of mathematical theory and the ability to reason at an advanced level.

Overall, STEP III challenges candidates to synthesize knowledge from various areas of mathematics and apply advanced reasoning skills to solve complex problems.

STEP Real Questions 

To enable you to prepare well and acquire important information, here we discuss the real-time questions of STEP 1, 2 and 3 respectively. 


  • Solve the differential equation

Dx dy ​+2y=3x 2​


  • 1. Given the function
  • f(x)=ex sin⁡ x

find the values of x for which

  • f′′(x)=0
  • 2. Prove that the equation
  • x3+y3=z3 has no solutions in positive integers.


  • 1. Let G be a group of order 56 Prove that G is not simple.
  • 2. Determine the radius of convergence of the power series ∑=1∞nnn!x n
7 reasons to attend the STEP Cambridge

How to Prepare for Step, Cambridge 

Below are some points to pass the assessment with flying colors. 

1. Enroll in a mathematics course 

Enrolling in math mathematics can stimulate a similar environment you deal with within the examination. WuKongSch has a challenging math course to help you in this regard. Specially designed for the students, the course aims to develop problem-solving skills and teach you to solve problems efficiently and quickly. In addition, you can get help from professional teachers who not only explain but also ensure to keep you engaged throughout the learning session.

2: Speed up your preparation 

STEP Assessment is all about mathematical calculations. Different problems require different solving spans, depending upon the capability of the participant. However, during the assessment, you have limited time. 

The same is why it is crucial to speed up your attempting limit to get done with all the problems within the defined time limit. For this, practice daily and set a limit, such as 5 minutes or 10 minutes, to solve the problem. Try to finish it within the span and keep track of the progress. 

3. Work clever, not hard 

The key to success in the STEP is working smart instead of hard. That means, instead of working hours and hours, covering all the topics, getting your hands on the past paper and observing patterns. Look at what kinds of questions are continuously repeated and pay more attention to those. 

You can also consider cheat sheets to access formulas and solutions quickly. 


Are there any resources provided by Cambridge for STEP preparation?

Yes, Cambridge provides official STEP preparation materials for helping students. It includes past papers, solutions, and guidance notes. You can access them from their official website. 

Can international students take the STEP Cambridge assessment? 

Yes.  International students are allowed to take the STEP Cambridge assessment. In addition, some Cambridge colleges may require it as part of the admission process.

Is there a passing score for the STEP Cambridge assessment?

The STEP assessment does not have any specific passing requirement.  Instead, the participants are ranked based on their performance in the test. The difficulty of the questions is taken into account during the marking process


In a nutshell, STEP Cambridge is an assessment for Sixth Term Examination Papers. The main aim is to enhance the human capabilities related to mathematics. 

The content above is your ultimate guide about STEP, which discusses the top perks you can avail yourself of by attempting the paper. In addition, it also sheds light upon some points to score better.