Maths & Physics - James' Story

By James Maxwell

During my time at Queen Elizabeth School, I have developed a strong interest in mathematics and physics. Being interested in both subjects made choosing a university course a difficult decision.

Through researching the variety of courses provided by universities, I came across the Mathematics with Physics course at Cambridge University.

This allows for both maths and physics modules to be studied in the first year, only asking for specialisation in the second year. This course would enable me to gain a better understanding of what each course would entail at university to allow me to make a more well informed decision.

I sent off my UCAS application in October and heard back from Cambridge soon after, with an invitation to interview.

The interview consisted of a 1 hour maths test composed of about ten questions. We were instructed to answer those which appealed to us.

When the hour was up, I took my answers to an interview room where I discussed them with two of the University professors. I then worked through some more of the questions from the test with hints and prompts from the professors.

It was difficult to tell how the interview had gone. This made the eleventh of January a very tense day as I repeatedly checked my email anticipating a decision from Cambridge.

I was delighted to receive an offer from Trinity college.

Cambridge University requires applicants to sit entrance exams for most courses; in the case of mathematics this takes the form of the Sixth Term Examination Papers (“STEPs”) which are taken in June along with the A Level papers. Each STEP has a duration of 3 hours and consists of 14 questions. The grade is derived from the 6 best answered questions.

A typical maths offer askes for A*A*A at A level plus Grade 1 in both STEP 2 and STEP 3.



Last modified: Friday, 3 March 2017, 2:45 PM