Change Tolerance for Numerical Questions

You can set the tolerance for your numerical questions as a numerical value by adding {tab} and the tolerance value after the answer.

  • In most cases, the default tolerances used in WebAssign (±2% or ±1 at the last significant digit) or specified in the code for a textbook question result in accurate scoring of correct and incorrect answers and should not be changed.
  • If you change the tolerance, your students' answers might not be scored accurately.
  • Do not set the tolerance to 0; this often results in some correct answers being marked incorrect. Instead, use a very small tolerance such as ±0.01%.

The default tolerance for numerical questions depends on the type of question.

If the Numerical Question: Its Default Tolerance Is:
Requires a fractional answer 0
Checks significant figures or decimal places ±1 at the last digit
Does not otherwise set the tolerance ±2% of the answer key
Note: Tolerances set in the question are ignored if different tolerance values are set for the sections or assignments for which the question is scheduled.

To set the tolerance as a numerical value:

In Answer, type the following code immediately after the correct numerical answer:
{tab} tolerance
where tolerance is the non-negative numerical tolerance value by which your students' responses can differ from your answer and be considered correct.
For example, to specify an answer of 56 and accept answers between 55.97 and 56.03, type 56 {tab} 0.03.
Note: To add the {tab} operator, either type the characters {tab} or click Add tab.You cannot enter {tab} by pressing the Tab key.

To specify the tolerance as a percentage of a non-randomized answer, manually calculate the tolerance by multiplying the answer by the percentage tolerance you want to use.

Example Numerical Question With Specified Tolerance

The following table summarizes an actual question.




Template2 2.NUM.05.




34 + 10 + 5 = <_>


49 {tab} 0

Display to Students

Question as displayed to students