Alexandra Hewitt, AC for Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire
University admissions tests are no longer just for students aspiring to attend Oxford, Cambridge or Russell Group Universities. Many universities now give reduced offers for students sitting the MAT, TMUA or STEP papers.
If you have several students working towards admissions tests, and are keen to support them yourself, we run various professional development events. Our Problem Solving Conferences for students and teachers have workshops on problem-solving skills, mathematical presentation, group work and logic problems, as well as providing teachers with key information about university admissions tests. An open event is running in Portsmouth on Friday 5 July and there is one exclusively for Buckinghamshire Upper Schools at The Misbourne on Thursday 4th July.
Alternatively, you could try one of our On Demand PD courses, where you can tackle plenty of questions in your own time, without pressure! There’s one for the MAT and the TMUA and one for STEP. Both are full of useful insights into different styles of question, problem-solving and coaching, including thoughts about how to work with students who are cleverer than you!
If you are unable to provide support in school, the AMSP runs regular Problem Solving Workshops for Year 12 and Year 13 students. To benefit from attending, students just need to be doing well with their A level studies, enthusiastic about maths and willing to put in a bit of extra effort. Students spend a lot of time talking about maths and working with others, and we have a lot of fun seeing how apparently intractable problems actually fall out really easily in neat ways. There is often a surprising amount of laughter as frustration turns to success and satisfaction! It’s never too early to start preparing, and there are still spaces for Year 12 students to join the workshops in Oxford for the final two sessions in June and July. Next year in the South, workshops will run in Oxford, Reading, Guildford and Brighton.
Problem Solving Matters starts in July. This extended and intensive course takes place at five universities and helps students to prepare for the MAT and the TMUA, and also provides a solid base for STEP preparation. As well as learning the maths content, students benefit from working in groups and socialising with like-minded students.