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Covid-19: STEP 2021
The STEP 2021 details are finalised and updated on our website. We will, however, continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation carefully.
If there are any updates to STEP 2021 due to Covid-19, we will share them with you on our dedicated Covid-19 web page.
Yes, STEP is open to all.
Usually, the university will specify which papers a candidate needs to sit in their offer letter. If in doubt, contact the university directly.
You can take the test at any centre that administers STEP.
You cannot register yourself for STEP – you must be registered by a STEP centre.
If you cannot find a test centre within reasonable travelling distance of your home town, please read our Support Site article.
Yes, you can withdraw your entry for the test. Your Exams Officer will need to do this for you. Your entry can only be withdrawn until Friday 07 May 2021. If your entry is withdrawn by 07 May, your registration fee will be refunded.
Access Arrangements are available if you have a disability or special requirement, and are entitled to support for other exams.
You need to inform your centre of any special requirements when they register you for the test.
Your centre will:
For more information about our policies and processes, please visit our Support site.
Requests for special consideration are used to indicate to institutions that a candidate suffered temporary illness, injury or indisposition at the time of the assessment. They may also be used to indicate that there were problems with an aspect of the administration of the test, such as a fire alarm during the test session.
Please note, for STEP we are only able to pass on special consideration notifications to the University of Cambridge, the University of Warwick and Imperial College London.
No, extra time is not allowed for candidates without English as their first language.
Candidates can take rulers, protractors and compasses into the examination. They should write their answers in black pen only, and use pencil for diagrams and graphs.
Bilingual dictionaries can also be used by candidates who don’t have English as a first language. You do not need to ask us for permission to do so. Your dictionary will be checked by invigilation staff prior to use and cannot contain any notes.
Calculators are not allowed in the examination.
Having one large answer booklet makes it easier to ensure that scripts are fully anonymised for marking and that each candidate’s answers are kept together.
We surveyed a large number of scripts, and concluded that a 48 page answer booklet is more than enough to ensure that you will not run out of space.
If you have relevant Access Arrangements you can request an additional answer booklet.
You should not use extra sheets of paper and no extra sheets should be attached to your answer booklet. If you do attach extra sheets of paper, they will be removed and will not be marked or forwarded to your institution.
No, you should write all your rough working in the answer booklet and then neatly cross it out. You should not use additional rough paper, and you should not be issued with additional rough paper.
Yes, you can answer as many questions as you wish. All your answers will be marked and then the marks from your best six questions will be added to make your final score.
However, it is not advisable to attempt more than six questions, and candidates who do so rarely score as well as those who concentrate on answering six questions.
Credit is always given for any mathematically correct solution that addresses a question directly.
However, you should be aware that if a specific method is required in the question and you offer a different method, then your answer is unlikely to qualify for many marks as it will be deemed not to have addressed the question directly in the way required.
This is correct. There is one exception to this: if you cross out work and then subsequently decide you want it to be marked. In this case you will need to indicate clearly that you want a specific piece of crossed out work to be marked.
No, crossed out work will not be marked unless you clearly and explicitly indicate that you want something you have accidently crossed out to be marked.
In this case, an examiner will briefly assess your answers and mark the one they deem to be the most substantial, that is the one that they judge will give you greatest credit. If the examiner cannot easily ascertain which of your answers is more substantial, they will mark the first answer in the answer booklet and the others will not be marked.
We strongly recommend that you set your work out neatly and systematically as this will mean it is easier for markers to follow your reasoning. Markers are trained to ensure that, as far as possible, all work you submit is assessed, including work that is not so easy to follow. If a marker cannot follow your work, or finds it illegible, they will consult others in their marking team, their marking supervisor and a mathematics assessment expert; if no further progress can be made following consultation, no marks will be awarded.
So long as your work is legible, it is not necessary, or advisable, to attempt to rewrite your answers as this will take valuable time away from your answering questions.
As STEP questions rarely require the simple recall of complex formulae, we have discontinued the use of formulae booklets in 2019.
Where a particular formula is needed, and it is not considered reasonable to expect you to recall or derive that formula, it will be included in the question.
No, all question papers must be retained by the centre at which you are taking the test. This is to ensure that, for security, no question papers are available for a period after the examination.
In many years, four questions well answered have been sufficient to secure a grade 1 in STEP. However, this is not always the case and should not be taken as a definitive statement of what is required to secure a grade 1.
No, there are no bonus marks available for answering a complete question. Each question is marked out of 20 and the markers adhere strictly to the mark scheme. Each year, after the STEP examination cycle is complete, we publish these mark schemes on our website.
STEP results will be released via our Results Online system.
Results Online – Candidates
Results Online – Centres
Results Online user guide – candidates
Results Online user guide – centres
When registering on Results Online, if you cannot select your date of birth in the pop-up calendar, please type it into the box.
Sorry, no. For security reasons we cannot reissue candidate PINs. If you have lost your PIN, you will need to ask the Exams Officer at your STEP centre to download a Statement of Results for you.
This depends on the institution you have applied to – check with them directly.
Grade boundaries for STEP are set to ensure that the number of successful offers that result closely meets the number of places available at the official user institutions. The official users of STEP are the University of Cambridge, the University of Warwick and Imperial College London. This means that the setting of the grade boundaries in any given year will be dependent on the performance of the cohort of applicants to these institutions.
Yes, if you are holding an offer from the University of Cambridge, the Cambridge Admissions Office and Colleges have access to your STEP scripts.
Yes, you can submit a Results Enquiry.
For certain tests, if a candidate thinks a Malpractice case or a Results Enquiry outcome was incorrectly handled, they can submit an Appeal.
If you have applied to the University of Cambridge, the University of Warwick or Imperial College London, Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing is responsible for informing these universities that a Results Enquiry or Appeal is taking place. Cambridge Assessment Admissions Testing is also responsible for informing them of the outcome of the Results Enquiry or Appeal.
If you have applied to any other institution, any changes to your results will be communicated via UCAS. You may want to inform the institution in advance that you have made a Results Enquiry or Appeal.
Sorry, no – we are unable to return STEP scripts.