FMSP Support

The FMSP provides support for students by helping them to develop deeper problem-solving skills based on the content they already know. Details of STEP, AEA, MAT and general problem solving courses run by the FMSP can be found in the table at the bottom of this page. You can also look in the regional pages for courses in your area.

The FMSP also produces materials to help students prepare for STEP, AEA and the MAT. Examples of these materials can be found in the A level problem solving section of this website

Descriptions of the STEP, AEA and the MAT papers can be found below. For a full description and the key information, download this Factsheet.


The STEP (Sixth Term Examination Paper) Mathematics is a well-established mathematics examination designed to test candidates on questions that are similar in style to undergraduate mathematics.

The STEP is used by some universities as the basis for conditional offers.

STEP is available to all and there are also a number of candidates who sit the STEP papers as a challenge. STEP papers are an invaluable source of interesting problems.


First examined in June 2002, the AEA in Mathematics aims to challenge able candidates and help differentiate between the most able candidates.

The AEA in Mathematics is accessible to all able mathematics students, whatever the specification they are studying. The examination is based on the specification for A level Mathematics and so it is not necessary to teach any additional content to prepare a student for AEA mathematics.

MEI Online Support for STEP and AEA

MEI provides online support for students preparing for the STEP and AEA papers. This support runs from February to June each year. The application process for 2017 will open in December 2016. All details and an application form can be found on the MEI website.


MAT stands for Mathematics Admission Test and was formerly known as the Oxford Entrance Test for Mathematics degrees.

Oxford University and, from September 2013, Imperial College, London require students to take the Mathematics Admissions Test, MAT in addition to their A levels. The MAT is taken in November (of year 13) and the results are used to select candidates to invite for interviews at the universities.

MEI Online Support for the MAT

MEI provides online support for students preparing for the STEP and AEA papers. This support runs from September to November each year. The application process for 2016 has now closed. Check back in July 2017 for details of next year's course.

Regular Problem Solving Classes

The FMSP funds and organises regular problem solving classes at universities and other venues for both year 12 and year 13 students. Details for these classes appear in the events listings below as well as on the regional pages. The map below shows the locations of the regular problem solving classes.

Please check the table below for details of regular problem solving classes and one-day problem solving conferences.


Title Description Venue Region Start date Info file
STEP Preparation Sessions4 twilight sessions between April - June to prepare for the STEP examUniversity of NottinghamEM26/04/2018Info
STEP and AEA Preparation DayThe day is principally intended for students who will be taking STEP and/or AEA exams in summer 2017. Students can come unaccompanied but teachers may also find the day useful.Lancaster UniversityNW26/04/2018Info
Year 12 Student and Teacher Problem Solving ConferenceA one day course focusing on developing problem solving alongside AS/A2 MathematicsThe Ron Dearing UTCYH13/06/2018Info
Yr 12 Problem Solving DayA one-day conference for sixth form students and their teachers developing deeper mathematical problem-solving skills, including sessions on STEP/MAT/AEA.Portsmouth UniversitySE18/06/2018Info
Take Maths To The LimitThis one-day event will provide teachers and their year 12 students with information and guidance about applying for mathematics courses at university, including the entrance tests MAT, TMUA and STEP. There will be problem solving workshops and opportunities to try to solve some of the entrance test problems.University of BathSW03/07/2018Info
Year 12 Mathematical Modelling DayThis is an event designed to encourage enthusiastic Y12 mathematicians to undertake some in-depth study through two mini projects which show different aspects of the applications of mathematics.Lancaster UniversityNW11/07/2018Info