Many universities use admissions tests such as MAT (Mathematics Admission Test), TMUA (Test of Mathematics for University Admission) and STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) for students applying to read Mathematics or Computer Science. Candidates sit MAT and TMUA at the end of October in Year 13, and they sit STEP in June, at the end of the A level exam season.
These exams are challenging for several reasons: they demand highly developed mathematical thinking with much greater emphasis being placed on proof and reasoning; the questions posed are often much less structured than those students become used to on A level papers. Consequently, it is important that students prepare properly for these exams, and this preparation typically takes many months.
Students from several different schools around the region meet with me at the Kedleston Road campus of the University of Derby on Wednesday afternoons and at Brooke Weston Academy in Corby on Thursday afternoons. Although we are several weeks into each of the 18-week courses, there is still plenty of time for newcomers to benefit from enrolling. The courses are free.
Each week I teach a particular topic and students are given extensive background notes and plenty of questions to do. Students are expected to do a lot of independent work, reading notes and attempting questions.
By Chris Luke