What are the Best STEP Resources?

5 min read

UPDATE: From 2024, OCR will be replacing CAAT as the official testing body for STEP. The STEP 2 and 3 test papers will not be changing dramatically. For more information on scoring and important dates, please see the OCR website.

The STEP exams are designed to be very challenging, being targeted at the top 5% of A-level Maths candidates. However, there are a number of great online resources you can use to help prepare, such as STEP books or an online STEP course. Here are some great STEP resources explained below:

Cambridge `STEP Explained’ Webinar

This webinar was recorded by Cambridge for their virtual open day in 2020. This will give you a good broad overview of the paper and is a valuable STEP resource if you can’t attend an open day in person.

STEP Past Papers

Cambridge Assessment have made all the STEP past papers from 1998 onwards available for download here. These also contain the solutions and mark schemes. 

Worked solutions from 1996 onwards can also be found on the MEI website.

The STEP database

The STEP database categorises all STEP questions up until 2018. Use it to explore new types of questions that you haven’t come across before, or use the search filter to focus on certain question types that you tend to struggle with.

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STEP Support Programme resources

The STEP support programme is offered by the University of Cambridge to help applicants develop their mathematical problem-solving skills for the STEP.

The programme contains online modules for independent preparation with hints and solutions. There are foundation modules and modules for STEP 2 and STEP 3, all available on their website.

Full worked solutions to recent STEP papers are also provided here.

The STEP support programme has put together a STEP specification mapping document which shows how the syllabus from old STEP papers from 2018 and earlier relates to the new syllabus.


The Support Programme resources are also developed by NRICH

Their resources archive offers a gentle introduction to advanced mathematical problem solving, broken down into 24 modules. The material is selected to ease you into the course, gradually introducing new techniques while building your confidence and speed. 

Advanced Problems in Mathematics: Preparing for University

This is a STEP book written by Dr. Stephen Siklos. It explores STEP questions with commentary and a focus on the methodology required to independently tackle problems in advanced mathematics. It can be accessed here.

For more information on the STEP exam, why not read our articles ‘STEP 2 Top Tips‘ and ‘STEP 3 Top Tips‘, for more support with your STEP preparation.

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