Answer Numerical Questions

Numerical questions require you to enter a number for the answer. The question might also require you to enter units or to specify the correct number of significant figures. The kind of answer that is expected should be clear from the question.

If your instructor has enabled answer format tips, numerical questions are also indicated by an answer format tip that instructs you to enter a number. The exact text of the answer format tip might vary, depending on the required form of the answer and whether significant figures or units will be checked.

numerical question example

If your instructor has enabled it, the sigfig icon sigfig icon is displayed beside the answer box for questions that check for significant figures.

To answer a numerical question:

To answer a numerical question, type a number using the following notation:



A decimal number


A fraction or ratio


Scientific ("e") notation


Each of the examples in this table are equivalent expressions. Do not use commas or spaces to separate digits in your answer.

Unless otherwise indicated, many numerical questions also allow you to enter the following simple arithmetic expressions:



A sum (+)


A difference (-)


A product (*)


A quotient (/)


An exponent (**)


The standard order of operations is observed: parenthetical expressions are evaluated first, followed by exponents, products and quotients, and then sums and differences.

Tip: By default, numerical questions require the answer to be within 2% of the correct value. However, particular questions, classes, or instructors might require greater accuracy, and will usually inform you if that is the case.