Working with Questions in MathXL for School

Working with Questions in MathXL for School
The pages below provide best practices for entering answers into the MathXL
question player to ensure students get proper credit for their answers.
When viewing questions in the MathXL question player, you will use different
areas of the screen for viewing the question, entering your answer, checking
your answer, and accessing tools to help you learn.
Answer entry
Tap or click assignment status bar to
access any question on the assignment
Tools to help you learn
(usually not available during tests)
Special instructions for
answering the question
Number of parts
in the question
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Check Answer button
(not available during tests)
Use arrow buttons to move
through the assignment
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Question Types
There are a variety of question types used in the program. The most common
question types are:
1) Multiple choice Select one answer among several options provided.
2) Fill-in-the-blank Select one answer from a drop down menu.
3) Free response Enter your own answer using the math palette and the
Answering Multiple Choice Questions
For multiple choice questions, select your answer from the options provided.
Select one correct answer.
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Answering Fill-in-the-Blank Questions
Fill-in-the-blank answer
Fill-in-the-blank questions have an answer box with an arrow pointing down.
1) Click or tap on the arrow to display the answer choices.
2) Click or tap your answer selection to make it appear in the answer box.
Click or tap the arrow to display the
answer choices, then click or tap the
answer you’d like to select.
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Answering Free-Response Questions
Enter your answer into this box.
In order to answer a free-response question, follow these steps:
1) Click or tap inside the answer box to reveal the blue button.
2) Start typing the answer using your keyboard to enter numbers and/or
variables (x or y, for example). If you need to enter a math symbol, click
or tap on the blue button that appears under the answer box:
1. Click or tap inside the answer box to reveal the blue button.
2. Click or tap on the blue button to open the math symbol palette.
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3. Once you click or tap on the blue button, the symbol palette will
4. Click or tap “More” to see more symbols and operators.
3. Tap or click a symbol
on the symbol palette
to enter it in the
answer box.
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4. Tap or click More to see
more symbols and operators.
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Using Templates from the Symbol Palette
If your answer requires special formats (for example, fractions or square
roots), use the symbol palette to help you insert your answer.
1. For example, if you want to enter
as your answer, you
would click or tap this template on the symbol palette:
2. Blue boxes are then inserted into the answer box. Click or tap inside
the blue boxes. (You can also use the tab or the arrow buttons/keys
to move into and out of the blue boxes.)
3. Enter the correct number in each box, using the arrow keys or
buttons to move between boxes.
4. Once you have entered a number into a blue box and then moved
outside of that box, the blue background disappears in that box.
5. In some cases, when you have finished entering numbers in the blue
boxes, you will need to use the arrow buttons (or keys) to move
outside the template to continue entering your answer.
For example, if you are entering
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,, make sure you move
Page 6
the cursor to the right of the fraction template before starting to
type “+ 5.”
Other templates available on the symbol palette include:
Square roots
Absolute Value
Each template works the same way:
1) Click or tap the template on the math palette to move it into the
answer box.
2) Click, tap, or tab into the blue box.
3) Enter the correct number(s) into each blue box.
4) After entering numbers into the template, use your arrow buttons to
enter any information that belongs outside the template.
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Entering Math Symbols from the Keyboard
Here are the symbols and shortcuts that will be accepted as correct from
your keyboard.
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Important Tips for Entering Answers
1. When entering math symbols, it is best to use the symbol palette
provided, otherwise your answer may not be marked “correct.”
Multiplication symbol: When you need to enter a multiplication symbol,
do not use the letter “x” from the keyboard, a “bullet,” or small dot. Even
though these entries may look correct, they will not be recognized as
Use the multiplication symbol on the symbol palette or type an * (asterisk)
from your keyboard. (See acceptable keyboard entries on page 8 above.)
Negative sign: When you need to enter a negative sign, do not use the _
(underscore). You may use the minus sign or hyphen from your keyboard.
Parentheses: Don’t forget to enter parentheses in your answer where
needed. The opening parentheses will display in red until you have
entered the closing parentheses:
You can also use the following template for entering x and y coordinates
with parentheses:
2. Spaces: When entering numbers, it’s important not to enter spaces
between the digits. For example, when entering the number twelve (12),
do not enter a space between the one and the two (1 2). The extra space
will make your answer incorrect.
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If you enter a space between a number and a symbol, however, the spaces
will be ignored by the program:
2 + 3 (with spaces) will be scored the same as 2+3 (without spaces)
2 < 3 (with spaces) will be scored the same as 2<3 (without spaces)
3. Do not copy and paste answers or symbols from other programs or
locations on your computer. Copying and pasting symbols or answers from
other programs can sometimes introduce hidden symbols that will cause
your answer to be scored incorrectly. The symbol palette and the
keyboard provide everything you need.
4. Do not use letters (such as a lower case L or an upper case i) for the
number one.
5. You can use the tab key or the arrow keys on the palette or on the
keyboard to move your cursor in the answer box.
Use these arrow keys to move your
cursor in the answer box.
6. Use the “un-do” and “re-do” arrows to remove your entry and then put it
7. Use the “Clear All” button at the bottom of the player window to delete
everything you have entered in the answer box.
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