Answer calcPad Questions

WebAssign calcPad® questions are displayed with a rectangular answer box similar to answer boxes used for other question types, but when you click a calcPad-enabled answer box, the calcPad palette opens, allowing you to answer the question with a correctly formatted mathematical expression.

calcPad question with palette displayed.

To answer a calcPad question:

  1. Click the answer box to open the tool palette.
    Note: Don't use the keyboard to navigate to the answer box.
  2. Click the tool palette buttons or type to answer the question.
    • Tool palette buttons are organized in expandable groups, such as Operations and Trig.
    • Some buttons insert placeholder boxes to show you where you can type numbers, variables, or expressions.

      For example, if you insert a fraction, placeholder boxes are displayed for both the numerator and denominator.

    The expression is displayed in the answer box as you enter it. If necessary, the answer box becomes larger to fit your answer.

    To do this Do this

    Enter variables.

    Type the variable name using the case and spelling specified in the question. Variables are automatically italicized.

    Enter symbols like π or .

    Click Symbols and click the symbol.

    Move the insertion point in the answer box.

    Press the HOME, END, and arrow keys.

    Move the insertion point into or out of a placeholder box.

    Press the arrow keys or use the mouse.

    Note: Usually the insertion point is automatically moved to a placeholder box when it is created.

    Delete a character, the selected expression, or notation such as fractions.


    If you have trouble typing your answer, try using the pad buttons.

    • Answers are case-sensitive; x and X are not the same.
    • Do not type commas in numbers; 5,280 is not correct.
    • Use the pad button when entering fractions between commas (for example, fractions in a list). This notation can be typed, but not intuitively. See the examples for details.
    • Do not enter mixed numbers, for example, 2½. Instead, use decimals or improper fractions.
    • When entering scientific notation, always use a lowercase e, for example, 1.23e-5.
    • Unless instructed otherwise, express angles for trigonometric functions in radians.
    • Keyboard characters that are not mathematically useful — for example, &, @, and foreign language characters — are intentionally not displayed when typed. To enter Greek characters, use the buttons or keyboard shortcuts for the tool.
    • Do not use function notation — for example, f(x) — as these answers can't be graded.
    • Do not round your answer unless the questions instructs you to.