This article contains information for candidates taking the STEP Mathematics admissions test in 2018.
Introduction to STEP
What is STEP?
STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) Mathematics is a well-established mathematics examination designed to test candidates on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate mathematics.
The STEP test dates are designed to fit in with the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) cycle for applications:
STEP Paper 1 takes place on 12 June
STEP Paper 2 takes place on 18 June
STEP Paper 3 takes place on 21 June
You can find detailed information about the test on our website.
Do I need to take STEP?
Candidates who have received offers from certain courses at the University of Cambridge or the University of Warwick will normally be required to sit STEP as a post-interview test.
The courses requiring STEP can be viewed here.
Other universities may take STEP results into account, please check the relevant university's website for more information.
Preparing for the test
|How can I prepare for the test?
You can find lots of materials to help you prepare for STEP, including past papers, on our website. Answers are included from 2004 onwards, and the Examiner’s Report also from 2007.
|What is the syllabus?
You are advised to familiarise yourself with the STEP test specification, available on our website.
Registering for the test
How do I register for the test?
If you are currently attending school or college, please ask your Exams Officer if your school can administer the STEP for you. Most of our candidates sit the test at their school and often their school is already registered to administer admissions tests.
If you are not currently attending school or college, you will need to find an authorised centre where you can sit the test. You can search for Admissions Testing centres using the find a centre page of our website.
What are the entry fees?
The standard fee per exam paper is £50.00. The fee for candidates registered after the standard deadline is £69.00 per paper. Further details can be viewed here.
Some centres add an administration fee to the STEP entry fee, which covers the cost of invigilation, despatch costs and room hire which are essential for running the test: contact your centre for details.
When should I take STEP?
If you submitted your UCAS application with a view to entering university in 2018 (or a deferred entry in 2019) you will take the STEP in June 2018. If in doubt, please contact the universities directly.
Which STEP Papers do I need to take?
Usually, the university will specify which papers you need to sit in their offer letter. If in doubt, please contact the relevant university directly.
How do I request access arrangements?
Candidates are responsible for notifying their Exams Officer (in advance) of any access arrangements they require.
A selection of access arrangements that can be requested include: extra time (usually 25%), Braille Question Papers, Unmodified A3 Question Paper & Answer Sheet, Modified enlarged A4 Question Paper, Reader, Scribe, Supervised rest breaks and Use of laptop.
As a general rule, candidates are allowed the same access arrangements as they receive for their school/public exams but these must be formally requested by the candidate's test centre.
I am on a school trip on the test day, can I still take the test?
Yes, it is possible to sit the test while on a school trip/holiday provided you register with a centre in that location. Test centres can be found on our Find a Centre page.
Taking the test
What is the scheduled start time?
The local start times for STEP can be found here.
Please contact your test centre directly to confirm the exact start time. Bear in mind you will be required to arrive at the centre in advance of the advertised test start time.
I have a timetable clash - what should I do?
We know that the scheduled times for admissions tests/assessments can sometimes clash with other exams and tests or otherwise be logistically impossible for some students.
It is very important that you notify your test centre as early as possible should you be unable to take an admissions test at the scheduled time as the centre will need to submit a Timetable Variation request on your behalf.
What equipment is allowed in the test room?
Candidates can take rulers, protractors and compasses into the examination.
Candidates should write their answers in hard pencil.
Bilingual dictionaries can be used by candidates who don't have English as a first language.
Calculators are NOT allowed.
After the test
Can Special Consideration be applied to my result?
If you believe that your performance was affected by temporary illness, injury or any other issue, you can ask for this to be taken into account as a Special Consideration.
If you took the test at an internal centre, you should ask your Exams Officer to submit the Special Consideration request on your behalf.
If you took the test at an open centre, you should submit the Special Consideration request form yourself.
The deadline for requesting Special Considerations is 5 working days after the test.
Once the request has been submitted, we will review the evidence to see if the circumstances reported have impacted negatively on the candidate’s performance: if we believe that there has been a negative impact, we will advise the institution(s) of a severity level between 1 (low impact) to 5 (high impact) in accordance with guidelines provided for awarding bodies. We cannot enter into discussion with centres, candidates or their representatives on the level of Special Consideration which should be indicated to the institution(s). The detailed evidence and/or the nature of the Special Consideration will not be shared with the institution(s). For STEP, we would ONLY notify the universities of Cambridge and Warwick.
How and when are results released?
STEP candidates receive a Candidate Results Information sheet on the day of the test(s) containing login details for the Results Online - Candidates site.
Results are released on 16 August and will be available to view/download for 60 days.
We will send the results to the universities you have applied to (University of Cambridge and/or University of Warwick) via the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), provided that the course applied to is listed on the Courses Requiring document.
If you applied to any other university you will need to notify them of your result directly.
Please ensure that your browser cookies are enabled when using the Results Online - Candidates site.
In order to access your results, please click here.
I have lost my Results Online login details - can you re-issue them?
For security reasons we cannot re-issue candidate PINs. If you have lost yours, you will need to ask the Exams Officer at your test centre to download your Statement of Results and forward this to you.
I don't think my result is correct, is there a Results Enquiry process?
Yes, you can submit a Results Enquiry if you think that there has been an error in the processing or reporting of your STEP results and therefore the results do not reflect your performance on the day of the test.
Requests for results enquiries must be made using the online form (which will be available via the Useful Documents webpage once results have been released) no more than 5 working days after the results have been released.
If you took the test at an internal centre, the form should be submitted by your Exams Officer. You will be notified of the outcome via your centre.
If you took the test at an open centre, you can submit the form without going through your centre. We will notify you of the outcome directly.
Admissions Testing will respond within five working days of receiving the Result Enquiry form. If you have applied to the University of Cambridge or the University of Warwick, we will notify them directly of any change in your results. Other institutions will be notified via UCAS.
If you applied to any other university you will need to notify them directly of any change to your result.
Can I submit an Appeal?
If you think a Results Enquiry or Malpractice case was incorrectly handled, you can submit an Appeal.
An Appeal should be submitted on your behalf by the test centre, using an online Appeal form (which will be available via the Useful Documents webpage). If the test was taken at an open centre, the Appeal form may be submitted directly by the candidate.
Exactly how long any specific Appeal takes depends on the individual case. The panel that looks at Appeals will always try to make a decision in time for it to be taken into account during the current university admissions round.
Please note that while the Appeals panel makes every effort to review the Appeal during the current university admissions round, it cannot be guaranteed. Applicants should take this into consideration, before submitting their Appeal.
Still have questions? Get in touch - we will be happy to help!