STEP, MAT and AEA
In addition to A-Level grades some Universities also require students to pass Sixth Term Examination Papers, STEP, Mathematics Admissions Test, MAT or an Advanced Extension Award, AEA in Mathematics as part of their offers for Mathematics degrees.
STEP Mathematics is a well-established mathematics examination designed to test candidates on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate Mathematics. STEP is used by the University of Cambridge as the basis for conditional offers. Other universities sometimes ask candidates to take STEP as part of their offer – in such cases, the university can advise on which papers to take.
The test consists of up to three, 3 hour paper based examinations. Candidates are usually required to sit either one or two of the examinations, depending on the requirements of the Universities they have applied to. STEP papers consist of 13 questions - 8 Pure Mathematics, 3 Mechanics and 2 Probability and Statistics based on A-Level Mathematics content of which candidates choose 6 questions to answer in a 3 hour time frame. Candidates can score five possible grades:
S - Outstanding, 1 - Very Good, 2 - Good, 3 - Satisfactory, U - Unclassified.
The Universities below are among those that include STEP in their entry requirements and offers when applying for Mathematics based courses.
The Admissions Testing Service works with the University of Oxford to assist in the administration of its Mathematics Admissions Test (MAT). The MAT is a paper-based test. It is a 2 hour 30 minute, subject specific admissions test for applicants to the University of Oxford’s undergraduate degree courses in Mathematics, Computer Science and their joint degrees. Imperial College London also uses the MAT for all of its undergraduate Mathematics course applicants.
The MAT is set with the aim of being approachable by all students, including those without Further Mathematics A-Level (or equivalent). The University of Oxford is responsible for the setting and development of the MAT, including the test format and scoring.
For general information about the test you can see the University of Oxford’s Mathematical Institute website.
The AEA in Mathematics is based on advanced A-Level Mathematics subject criteria. AEA Mathematics is accessible to all able candidates, whatever specification they're studying. Its availability has been extended up until the end of August 2017 as it continues to challenge and enthuse students. The AEA in Mathematics aims to challenge the top 10% of candidates and help differentiate between the most able students. Candidates answer 7 questions with a total of 100 marks available. There are two possible grades, Distinction which is the highest grade followed by Merit.
The Universities below will often include AEA in their offers to prospective students that are applying to study a Mathematics based course.