QUOTE(noodle @ Jan 3 2008, 06:39 PM)
What are step grades?
Achievement in the Sixth Term Examination Papers (STEP) normally forms part of a conditional offer to read mathematics at Cambridge. The examinations are administered by the Cambridge Assessment (which is the parent company of the OCR examination board) and are taken in late June. Entries for STEP Mathematics are made using a secure online. Centres will be able to start registering their candidates in early February 2008 for the tests.
There are three STEP mathematics papers, numbered I, II, and III. Your offer will usually include grades in two of the papers, normally I and II if you are not taking the full Further Mathematics A-level (or an equivalent qualification) or II and III if you are taking Further Mathematics A-level (or an equivalent qualification).
Each paper consists of 13 questions: 8 pure, 3 mechanics, and 2 statistics and probability. Each paper is assessed on answers to at most 6 questions. There are five grades, which are (from highest to lowest) S, 1, 2, 3, and U.
The syllabus for Mathematics I and II is based on a typical single subject A-level syllabus: the Pure Mathematics content is very slightly more than the A-level common core. The syllabuses for the Mechanics and the Probability and Statistics sections are each equivalent to two or three A-level modules but, since there is no common core for these areas, the material may not coincide with the modules of your particular A-level. Paper I is intended specifically for candidates who are not taking Further Mathematics (or the equivalent) and the questions are intended to be easier than those in Paper II. The syllabus for Mathematics III is based on a typical Further Mathematics A-level syllabus (there is no Further Mathematics core syllabus) and the questions are intended to be of about the same level of difficulty as those of Paper II.