Numbers & Operations
Student-Produced Response
Student-produced response is The College Board’s way of saying, “Do it yourself, Bub.” Simply put, you, the student, must supply the correct answer without choosing from a group of answer choices. Answering student-produced responses requires filling in a grid like the one shown below. Therefore, we refer to these questions as grid-ins:
An example of a grid-in might be:
9. If , what is one possible value of a?
The grid is fairly self-explanatory. If you work out an item and the answer is 2, you write 2 in the space, then fill in the “2” oval underneath. There are also decimal points and fraction bars in case your answer is not a whole number. We refer to an individual grid-in as an item. A complete grid-in section, comprised of items, is called a set.
There are three peculiar things about grid-ins:
  1. There may be more than one correct answer to each item. You’re probably stuck in the “only one correct choice” mindset brought on by excessive multiple-choice preparation. But don’t let this paralyze you: if you get more than one correct answer, pick one, grid it in, and move on to the next item.
  2. Answers can never be negative numbers. Although there is more than one possible answer, there is actually a limit to what you can grid in. There is no way to denote negative numbers on a grid-in. Why? Who knows, and who cares for that matter? The fact is that all grid-ins must be positive (or zero, which is neither negative nor positive). So if you come up with more than one correct answer, be sure to choose one that is a positive number. If all your answers are negative, you have made a mistake in working out the item.
  3. Improper fractions must be simplified or converted to a decimal answer. Let’s say you come up with as the answer to an item. If you grid the answer in as , the computer that scans your answer sheet will read your answer as . To avoid getting this item wrong, convert the improper fraction into the plain old fraction or the decimal 1.5.
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