Exercise type: Open

Everything you need to know about the exercise type: Open

Updated over a week ago

The open exercise type is the default question type for exercises with mathematical answers. This can be numbers, variables, mathematical expressions like derivatives and intervals, equations, inequalities, etc. It supports multiple answer fields.

This exercise type can (but does not have to) contain variables. For more information about variables, see this article.

It is also possible to give tailored feedback on the student’s answer and to automatically grade this exercise type in a test. For more information on feedback and test usage, see this article.


A unique feature of open-type exercises is the possibility to add a Placeholder. This is a piece of text or a mathematical expression that is displayed in the answer field when the student loads the exercise. It can, for example, help the student by writing their answer using the right syntax. See an example below:

A Placeholder can be added by going to the “Texts” tab and clicking on “+Add” -> “... Placeholder”.

Placeholder texts should be written in LaTex using delimiters #...#. To specify an input box in this text, the command \box can be used. Note that the student can still delete the entire placeholder text and write a different answer if they want to.

Multiple answer fields

In the open exercise type we have the possibility to add more then one input field. For example, this exercise has two input fields:

All answer fields have their own solution, and in case of n answer fields, every answer field counts for 1/n part of the exercise score. Thus, if there are two answer fields, a student can get 50% of the points from the first answer field and 50% of the points from the second one.

To add or delete answer fields, go to the “General” tab. Here you see a dropdown under “Number of input fields” where you can change the number of input fields. Don’t forget to save.


If your school has access to SOWISO-made exercises, you should be able to find plenty of examples of open-type exercises in the author environment:

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