STEP Tuition

  • STEP Tuition £125/hour

    STEP 2 and STEP 3 Tuition

Cambridge Graduate

My name is Nicole Taylor (creator of and I graduated with a 2.1 in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, notoriously the hardest Mathematics degree in the UK.  You can see my Part II exam break down and certification of degree below.

I have been tutoring STEP for over 3 years now and have successfully prepared many students for their STEP exams during this time. 

I achieved 4 A*’s at A-Level in Maths (283/300), Further Maths (288/300), Chemistry and Physics, along with all A*’s and 9’s at GCSE. I sat STEP 2 and STEP 3 in which I achieved 1,1 respectively and sat TMUA where I scored 8.4 overall (with a 9 in the first paper). Additionally, in my first three further maths papers, I scored 75/75, 74/75 and 74/75.

STEP Marker

I marked the 2022 STEP 2 and STEP 3 papers and as a result, I have seen first hand the pitfalls students fall into. I can help steer you away from the common mistakes, guide you through what an examiner wants from a question and how to write a good STEP solution.

I am a firm believer of hard work and practice, practice, practice. In my opinion, anyone with the right mindset and work ethic can achieve top grades. All it takes is an effective approach, a good attitude and sometimes guidance and support – which is where my one-to-one tuition comes in. I have the knowledge and experience to help you master the tricks and clever ways of tackling challenging STEP questions, to improve your problem-solving skills and to give you the self-confidence to put in the work and feel prepared for your STEP exams.

Voluntary Work

During my degree, I was an Access Mentor as part of an outreach programme (Slipstream, formally known as Project Access), which is dedicated to increasing the number of students from state schools and disadvantaged backgrounds admitted into Cambridge. In this role, I worked with both prospective applicants in year 12 and current offer holders in year 13. With the applicants, I helped with their personal statements and strengthening their application, interview preparation, mock interviews and in some cases, STEP preparation for those who were very keen. For the offer holders, I supported them with STEP preparation: working through STEP questions and highlighting key tips and tricks for several styles and types of STEP question, thus allowing them to perform much more strongly in the exam.

In the second year of my degree, I was assigned the role of Mathematics Gateway Adviser for Murray Edwards College’s Gateway Programme where I mentored the first year mathematics students at Murray Edwards College. This involved supporting them both academically, offering subject-specific advice, and pastorally, ensuring that they didn’t suffer from “imposter syndrome” and that they felt like they belonged at the University of Cambridge.

In the summer of 2021, I volunteered at Murray Edwards College STEP Summer School, supporting Year 12 students with mathematical problems and offering advice about university applications and personal statements.

STEP is notorious for being the hardest admissions test for Mathematics and for many, it can be extremely demoralising since the step up from A Level is significant. How to do well isn’t always clear, and sometimes the ‘tricks’ needed for questions are obscure, so without a guiding hand, it is unlikely for students to notice these and see the similarities among the diverse range of questions. As a result, from my own experience of preparing for and sitting STEP (achieving 1’s in both STEP 2 and STEP 3), and from the countless students I have tutored, I can help students with STEP, regardless of what stage of preparation they are in. I know first hand how to successfully prepare for and do well in STEP. But more importantly, I know exactly how to support you so that you can do the same.  The sessions are tailored to each individual depending on where their preferences and strengths lie, such as focusing on the Statistics and Mechanics in STEP, or instead focusing on Pure, for example.  

With my expertise, I can help you develop your mathematical intuition and problem solving skills, whilst building your confidence when tackling STEP questions.  I can teach you the clever tricks and techniques whilst working through STEP questions, in order to give you the upper hand in STEP exams.  Our sessions will improve your mathematical writing, allowing you to write clear and logical arguments – vital for gaining every mark in the exam.

My sessions take place over zoom, with the use of an online interactive whiteboard which allows both the student and I to write real-time and work through questions, feeling as authentic as in-person tuition.  At the end of each session you will receive a copy of the neat lesson notes and homework will be set for the following session – often the work you do to consolidate outside of the sessions has the biggest impact on your success. In addition, my support does not end at the end of a lesson, I am happy to answer any questions my students have in between sessions via WhatsApp or email.

My hourly rate for online tuition is £125 per hour long session.  You may notice that my rates are higher than those of other tutors. This is because it reflects my qualifications in having graduated from the University of Cambridge with a 2.1 in Mathematics, and my experience in successfully helping students in all aspects of the admissions process to top universities; whether it be preparing them for STEP, coaching them for the interview or helping them achieve the qualifications they need to meet their offer. Just read my reviews to see what my students and their parents have to say about my teaching.

In addition, the support I offer to my students doesn’t end once the lesson is over – I am happy to answer questions from students in between sessions, over email or WhatsApp.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange a free taster session to see whether my online 1-1 tuition is the right choice for you, please use the “Book Now” button at the top of the page which will direct you to my enquiry form below. I will respond via your preferred contact method as soon as possible.

One of the most important things to ask yourself when looking for tuition for you/your son/your daughter is whether online tuition is the best option for you. As a result, I have written an article which covers this, as well as explaining how online tuition works and what equipment you need so that you can make an informed decision when enquiring about tuition. I also cover what students should do in and outside of online lessons to ensure they get the most out of them. Read the article here.

If you have any questions or would like to arrange an initial taster session and/or book a lesson, please fill out the enquiry form below and I will contact you as soon as possible via your preferred method of contact.

Below is some more information about the STEP Tuition I offer and the ideal time to start your STEP preparations:

STEP 2 Tuition is best started during the summer between year 12 and year 13. By this time, the student will have covered enough of the Pure content in A Level Maths to start tackling the questions.  Students typically require STEP 2 for Mathematics and Mathematics related university courses. Examples of such universities are the University of Cambridge, the University of Warwick, Imperial College London and many more. 

STEP 3 Tuition is best undertaken from December/January in Year 13. By this time, students will have covered sufficient A Level Maths and A Level Further Maths content such that some STEP 3 questions will be accessible. Students typically require STEP 3 (as well as STEP 2) for Mathematics at Cambridge. The typical offer is 1,1 in both STEP 2 and 3. It is the most challenging STEP paper and thus requires the most preparation.

My programme of tuition is designed to build confidence, break down the initial barriers that prevent students from “getting their teeth” into the STEP questions and to fine-tune their techniques and problem-solving skills, necessary for getting all the way through a question . Some common reasons students may find this difficult are:

  1. The question may be on material the students have not covered yet. I can help with this. I have an extensive knowledge of the A Level Maths syllabus so this course can be tailored to what the student has already covered in class, filling in any key gaps which would allow for more STEP questions to be accessible.
  2. Students are put off trying the Mechanics and Statistics questions in STEP because they are often seen as intimidating and less familiar than the pure based questions. BUT, often these questions are more doable with regular practice and the right kind of guidance which I can offer. This is potentially because fewer students attempt these in exams due to students being less familiar with the statistics and mechanics content, so usually they are not as conceptually difficult or complex as the Pure questions.
  3. Students often struggle to spot the subtle hints in the wording of questions that allow you to spot the patterns and links needed to work through a question in full. From my experience as a STEP marker, I am able to help students spot these these hints, enabling them to answer the rest of question the intended way and making future questions they tackle more accessible.
  4. Students have great difficulty choosing the questions to answer in the exam (6 of the 12 questions). STEP is an exam where the revision regime is a fine balance between playing to your strengths VS addressing your weaknesses. I wrote an article on “How to Prepare for STEP”, outlining in more detail how this can be implemented, which you can find here

Sessions can be booked as frequently as the student would like, with some students finding two sessions a week most effective, and others preferring one. Work is set between each session, allowing for the continual practice of techniques learnt in the sessions.

In addition, my support does not end at the end of a session; I am happy to answer any questions my students have in between sessions via WhatsApp or email.

If you are interested in my STEP 2 Tuition, have any questions or would like to arrange a taster session, please feel free to contact me using the “Book Now” button at the top of the page.