Require Units in Numerical Questions

You can require your students to enter a unit with their response by adding the correct unit after the numeric value in Answer.

If you specify units, any equivalent answer specifying equivalent units is accepted. For example, your student could respond 1 mi or 5280 ft. You can configure your assignments to award partial credit for specifying compatible units even if the numerical part of the response is incorrect.

Note WebAssign cannot restrict the allowable units for numerical questions, for example, to require entry of MKS system units. If you need your students to enter a specific unit, create a multiple-part question that uses a numerical question for the value and a fill-in-the-blank question for the unit.

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

  1. In Answer, type the correct numerical answer followed by a space and the unit, for example, km or m/s^2.

    Observe the following rules when specifying units.

    Rule Incorrect Correct
    Type a space between the number and the unit. 20g

    20     g

    20 g
    Units are case-sensitive. 1 minute = 60 S 1 minute = 60 s
    Do not combine multiple values and units. 3 minutes 15 seconds 3.25 minutes
    To change the dimension of a unit, follow the unit with a caret (^) and an exponent. Do not use the words square or cubic. Do not use two asterisks (**) to specify the exponent. 3 square miles

    3 mi**2

    3 mi^2
    To divide a unit, use /. Do not use per. miles per hour miles/hour
    To multiply a unit, use a space or asterisk. Do not use a raised dot or hyphen. kW·h



    kilowatt hour

    Many unit names accept singular and plural forms interchangeably. Do not pluralize unit abbreviations. 3 mis 3 mi

    3 miles

    Do not enter a fraction for the number when units are required. 3/4 inch 0.75 inch
  2. When testing your question, test with alternative units. WebAssign supports most standard units and unit abbreviations in common use. However, to ensure that the unit in your question is supported, test it with each of the following criteria:
    • correct and incorrect responses using the unit you specified
    • correct and incorrect responses using standard abbreviations or variant spellings of the unit you specified
    • correct and incorrect responses using at least one different compatible unit

Example Numerical Question With Units

The following table summarizes an actual question.




Template2 2.NUM.02.




How far will a car travel in 3 minutes if its speed is constant 
at 60 mph? <br>


3 miles

Display to Students

Question as displayed to students