Check Significant Figures in Numerical Questions

You can require your students to specify the correct number of significant figures in their response by setting the $SIGFIGS variable in Answer.

If you check significant figures, you might want to award partial credit for responses that use the correct number of significant figures even if the student's calculation is not correct. See Set Significant Figure Checking for Assignments.

When your question checks significant figures, the default tolerance for the question is ±1 at the last significant digit. For example, if the answer is 330 to 2 significant digits, the responses 320, 330, and 340 would all be accepted.

By default, answer format tips tell your students whether significant figures are checked. You can hide answer format tips for your assignments.

To check students' responses for significant figures:

  1. In Answer, type the following code before the correct numerical answer:
    <EQN $SIGFIGS=digits; ''>
    where digits is the correct number of significant figures.
  2. Type the correct answer on the same line.
    Ensure that your answer is specified to the correct number of significant figures. If it is not, it will be rounded to the correct number of significant figures and the tolerance will be based on the rounded answer.

Example Numerical Question With Significant Figure Checking

The following table summarizes an actual question.

QID

1079760

Name

Template2 2.NUM.03.

Mode

Numerical

Question

If the space shuttle maintains a constant speed of 7740 m/s for 
32.5 minutes, how far will it have traveled? <br>
<_> km

Answer

<EQN $SIGFIGS=3; 7740*1e-3*(32.5*60)>

Display to Students

Question as displayed to students