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Entering Your Answers Using the Blutick Maths Editor

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To answer any question on Blutick you need to enter your working into the Blutick Maths Editor. In this article we’ll look at some of the main features to help you use the site effectively.

The Soft Keyboard

First, let’s take a look at the soft keyboard that’s displayed just below your answer box.

Soft keyboard of mathematical buttons

Here you’ll find some of the most commonly used maths symbols. 

× Multiply Note that the x on your keyboard is reserved for the character x in algebra, and will not be recognised as the ‘multiply’ sign. If you try and use x for multiply, you’ll get an error.

÷ Divide Type in your first number, then the ‘divide’ button and your second number to complete the expression.

ℼ Pi Useful for questions involving circles, this button enables you to enter quickly and accurately!

 Fraction You can use this button in a couple of ways:

  1. Press the fraction button first and then enter the numbers on the top and bottom
  2. For a mixed number, enter the whole number first then click the button and fill it with the numbers to complete your mixed number.

Square Write your base number, then click the square button.

√ Root Click the square root button then enter the number inside the square root sign.

Nth root (For writing the cube root or fourth root etc). Press the button, enter the power you want (e.g. 3 for a cube root) and then the number inside the root sign.

Power/superscript Write your base number, then click the power button and type.

Subscript Write your base number, then click the subscript button and type.

° Degree Write your base number, then click the degree button.

A Handy Feature

For longer questions, you can save time by copying down your working. 

Click on the previous line of working to copy it into the answer box. Now you can edit it for your next line of working!

Question indicating where to click to to copy working on to the next line

Keyboard Shortcuts

In addition to using the soft keyboard, you can use keyboard shortcuts to enter maths symbols. Here are a few that you might find useful:

* (asterisk) This is used for multiplying. It is usually entered on a keyboard by pressing ‘shift’ and ‘8’. It appears as a dot in the answer box, rather than a ‘times’ sign, but works in exactly the same way.

/ (slash) This is used to create a fraction and is usually found next to the right ‘shift’ key. Type your numerator (remembering to use brackets if there’s more than one term on the top), then ‘/’ and finally your denominator term(s).

^ (hat) This is used for powers. It is usually entered on a keyboard by pressing ‘shift’ and ‘6’. You’ll see the cursor moves up to the superscript position. Enter the ‘base’ number, then the ‘^’ and then your ‘power’ number.

LaTeX Code

If you’re familiar with LaTeX, you can also use it here to input your answers.

For example, if you require a square root, write ‘\sqrt’, hit the spacebar and then a square root will appear.

Answering a question using LaTeX code

Mathematical Operators

For questions on trigonometry you can simply type in ‘sin’, ‘cos’ and ‘tan’ to use these operators in your answer! 

Question showing entering working using mathematical operators

You can even type symbols like in as ‘pi’ and they’ll be replaced with the symbol itself.

What if I’m using a phone or tablet?

You can still use Blutick! Use the punctuation/symbols keys of your phone or tablet keyboard. On Android devices, you can view these keys by pressing the !#1 key. On iOS devices, press the .?123 key.

Android display showing data entry and indicating mathematical symbols

Here a Blutick student is using an Android device. The asterisk (*) key has been used for “multiply”, which displays as a dot. The “x” key is only used to denote the algebraic “x”.

 

Finally, remember to take care with using the correct case for your letters. ‘x’ is almost always lower case, and angles are usually upper case (e.g. A, B, C). Look at what has been used in the question/diagram and do the same!

We hope the information in this article speeds up your working from now on. Any questions, please do get in touch!

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