Simple ExamView Question Bank for Adding and Subtracting Integers

This tutorial will take you through a simple process to create a question bank for adding and subtracting integers. Textbook question banks drive me crazy when two different versions of the same quiz end up with 18+(-7) versus 11+(-15). Those different sums will not be assessing the same specific set of skills and concepts. So, let’s consider the several variations of a simple addition problem:

  1. 12+(-7), adding a negative to a positive and the result is positive, essentially a trivially modified subtraction problem.
  2. 10+(-13), similar to the first, but the result is negative. These two slightly varied addition problems are quite different for student beginning to learn the concepts.
  3. -7+15, adding a positive to a negative where the results is positive.
  4. -14+9, adding a positive to a negative where the result is negative.
  5. -6+(-7), adding two negatives.

For subtraction, there are several more variations.

  1. 20-12, probably okay to ignore the trivial situation, right?
  2. 13-17, subtracting a larger number from a smaller number. This is really the fundamental jumping off place for the conceptual leap of subtraction going into the realm of negatives.
  3. -9-7, subtracting from a negative, resulting in a number that is more negative.
  4. 3-(-8), subtracting a negative from a positive, which, yes, is essentially just adding two positive numbers. It can be surprising how challenging this can be to really grasp, though.
  5. -9-(-14), subtracting a negative from a negative with a positive result. Contrast that with the next . . .
  6. -10-(-8), where the result is negative.

Those last two can be really hairy for students learning these concepts. We want our quiz to provide diagnostic distinctions between all of these types of problems rather than treating them all as the same concept. Clearly, the choice of when and how to introduce, practice, and assess this material is yours. I do recommend quizzing each concept incrementatlly.

Starting with a new question in ExamView Question Bank editor, let’s build some algorithm definitions. For the first problem, define a and b, the answer as a+b, and a condition to prevent the answer from being zero. The algorithm definitions will keep the result positive.

Using CTRL-e to open the equation editor, you can enter the simple expression using the variables and the proper symbols.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *