Course for Year 13 students applying for STEP

Online and Nottingham


STEP presents a considerable challenge to even the ablest A-level maths students. Many students struggle with the increase in intensity and depth of knowledge required to tackle these tests, and many students find it tough to prepare alone. They can also find it difficult to gauge how well they measure up compared to others taking the exams.

Over recent years, the AMSP in the East Midlands has developed a popular course to prepare students for STEP. In normal years, this course has taken place face-to-face. However, the coronavirus forced us to move online. We quickly discovered that there are advantages to working online: students from a wider geographical area can attend; students can do the course from home. Now we use an online platform called Big Blue Button, which allows a lot of interactivity. Students can access the course through a laptop, tablet or phone, but those who can use a microphone or a stylus for writing on a touchscreen will benefit most.

We plan to run eighteen online sessions of approximately two hours each. These will run from September to March. In addition to the online sessions, we plan to run either a full day or half day Saturday event face-to-face session at the University of Nottingham at the end of the course in March or April.

Before each session students will be given background notes to read as well as STEP questions relevant to the week's topic. The notes include many worked examples of STEP questions. Experience shows that students who carefully read the notes and seriously engage with the questions set do best. This course is for students who work well independently. 

We aim to make the course as interactive as possible, and so there will be a limit to the number of participants to keep the numbers in online classrooms manageable. For reason, preference will be given to students from state-sector schools from the East Midlands, although applications from everyone are welcome.

Who will benefit from attending?

Students (particularly from year 13) who are serious about taking STEP, who enjoy working on technically difficult and intellectually challenging maths problems, and who are able to work independently.


  • Modular, arithmetic, divisibility and primes
  • The generalised binomial theorem and other extensions
  • Proof by induction
  • Sequences and series
  • Graph sketching
  • Coordinate geometry
  • Vectors
  • Matrices
  • Trigonometric functions
  • Complex numbers
  • Integration
  • Differential equations
  • Elementary probability
  • Probability distributions
  • Projectile kinematics
  • Circular motion
  • Polar coordinates
  • Hyperbolic functions

Materials and Equipment

To access the course online, students will need to use a computer, tablet or phone. Because we want to encourage as much interaction between students as possible, we strongly recommend that students use a microphone when joining the classes.


Any students can apply, but preference will be given to students from the East Midlands who attend state schools.

Key Facts

Event ref:




Target year:

Year 13

Curriculum focus:

University admissions tests

Mathematical focus:

Mechanics, Statistics, Pure, Problem solving, Reasoning

Event format:

Student course

Event length:

38 hours


East Midlands


Online and Nottingham


Mon 19th Sep 2022

Course times:

17:00 - 19:00




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If you have any queries about this event, please do not hesitate to contact:

Chris Luke
[email protected]

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