Answer Math Questions with Calculator Notation

Some questions require you to enter a mathematical expression for the answer, but do not display a tool for entering math notation. Instead, you type your answer using calculator notation.

If enabled by your instructor, an answer format tip is displayed below the answer box when it is selected and provides information about the form of the answer that is expected. Either of the following answer format tips might be shown:

  • Enter a mathematical expression
  • Enter a mathematical expression or equation with exact values

These questions are often displayed with the symbolic formatting help button symbolic formatting help button. You can click this button to see the allowed notation.

Any response that is equivalent to the answer formula will be graded as correct. For example, 4x+12 would be equivalent to (x+3)4. You can enter an asterisk (*) for multiplication or use implicit multiplication with variables.

  1. Type your answer using calculator notation and the exact variables specified in the question. Unless the question asks for your answer to be in a specific form, any mathematically correct expression that is equivalent to the key will be accepted as correct.
    question example with preview button after answer box
  2. Click the preview button preview button to see the expression you entered in formatted mathematical notation. This is often important in order to see if you have placed your parentheses correctly.

    Clicking the preview button in the above question would display the following formatted notation:

    100 d + 49 12
  3. Edit your response and preview it again if needed. Submit your response only when the formatted notation is correct.
    • Angles for trigonometric functions are expressed in radians.
    • Answers are case-sensitive; x and X are not the same.
    • Do not type commas in numbers; 5,280 is not correct.