Support FAQs

What is the buffer for acceptable numeric answers in Expert TA?

Numerical answers are accepted within a plus or minus 3% range in Expert TA.

How do I create an instructor account?

Currently, you must contact Expert TA support or your Account Manager to create an instructor account.

How do I use scientific notation to input an answer?

In Expert TA, you will use the standard scientific notation, not E notation. For instance, the number 5,000,000 would be written as 5*10^6. NOT 5E6.

When entered into the answer bar in Expert TA, it would look like this:
ETA Scientific Notation Example

Where can I see how much time each problem takes?

The “Difficulty” rating for a question is a general indicator of how long a problem will take to complete. A general guideline for each difficulty level is:

Level 1 – 5 minutes or less
Level 2 – 5 to 10 minutes
Level 3 – 10-15 minutes
Level 4 – 15-20 minutes
Level 5 – 25 minutes or more

I’m getting an error message saying “You are not allowed to have more than one instance of the Expert TA Assignment Application open at the same time.” What does this mean and how do I fix it?

Your browser is recognizing that you have Expert TA open in multiple tabs. Sometimes, even though you only have one tab opened, you were not successfully logged out of Expert TA before shutting down a previous tab and the browser still recognizes that you have more than one instance open of the software. In order to fix the problem, close all of your browser windows and tabs, and then re-open a single window with Expert TA. This should then allow you to open your assignments. Some browsers are more susceptible to this issue and while you can use any browser you like, we suggest using Chrome. If you still need additional help, contact If you have a screenshot of the problem, please include that in the e-mail.

Why are OpenStax’s sections not matching up with the content in Expert TA? I thought my textbook was mapped so they would match?

There are some differences between the PDF version of OpenStax’s College Physics that is available for download versus the web-based version of the book. You will want to use the PDF version to ensure that your sections and problems fully match the content in Expert TA. If the content is extremely different, contact your account manager to ensure that your class was set up with OpenStax’s College Physics as the textbook.

I’ve been using the 14-Day Trial option in The Expert TA. Now I’m ready to pay, but how do I make my payment?

There is not currently a way to end the trial early. After the trial period expires, the payment box you saw when you chose the 14-Day Trial option will reappear. At that time, you can choose to pay with a credit card or an “Access Code” purchased from the bookstore. In the meantime, if you have a access code we recommend taking a picture of the code with your phone (if you are able) and keep it in a safe place. The Expert TA does not replace lost access codes.

How do I ensure that my grade and homework is submitted? I don’t see any sort of “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.

Your homework is automatically submitted along the way as you submit each answer. When you click the “submit answer” button on any question, we upload that answer and save it to our database. Even if you lost power half-way through and assignment, all the work you did up to that point would be saved and waiting for you when you logged back in. The grade sheet is also updated real-time. If you just stared an assignment and submitted an answer for part a of problem one a – within a few seconds your instructor would see your grade update in his grade sheet and would even be able to see your answer.

I registered and paid for one class, but I ended up switching classes right after. How do I switch to the new class without having to pay again?

As long as you are still in the same semester, Expert TA can fix this for you. First, be sure to go register with the new class code all the way up to the point where the payment screen appears (this may or may not happen based on whether you have reached the $65 capped amount). At this point, email us at and let us know which class you want to be removed from and which class you want to remain in. Please identify the names of the classes and instructors clearly so we can make the switch for you. You will be identified via email once the change is made.

I used Expert TA in a previous semester, but I did not pass and I have to retake the class again this semester. The system is not letting me re-register for the class since I took it already? How can I re-register?

Each semester, even if the class name is the same, a unique class code is generated for a class. Your instructor should provide you with this new class code for the semester. It is often sent by email, located on a syllabus or posted in your class management system if you have one. If you try to register using a past class code, the system will notify you that you were already registered in that class. Expert TA provides a 2-year license once a student has paid $65. So, if you have paid less than that in previous semesters, you will be prompted to pay the difference before you can obtain access to the new class.

How does the “late work percent” calculate? For instance, if it is set to 80%, does the student lose 80% or lose 20% for late answers submitted?

Late work percent allows you to still give credit to students who submit homework after the “due date”, but before the “end date”. So, the percentage you identify is the percent of the final score awarded to the student, rather than a deduction. So, if an instructor sets up the percentage as 80%, and a student gets an answer correct without any deductions (normally 100%), they would now receive an 80% instead.

What is True Partial Grading?

A: Most physics instructors care as much or more about the detailed work their students provide as they do about the final numeric answer.

When they are grading by hand, instructors analyze the elements of the problem solving process, including symbolic expressions key to the solution. Expert TA’s true partial credit grading software grades those symbolic expressions in a sophisticated, human-like way so students understand their mistakes and instructors can assess and give partial credit for more than just “right or wrong.”

With true partial grading, instructors can give their students credit for what they did right and make deductions only for those parts they did wrong — giving credit where credit is due.

Expert TA is the only educational software system available today with true partial credit grading capability. Learn more about true partial credit grading >

I’ve never used an online problem or grading system before. Why would I want to change?

A: First, think of the hours spent hand-grading problems today. Isn’t there a better way that you or your teaching assistant could use that time – such as interacting more with students or conducting more research?

Second, our expertly crafted problems, instructor controlled hints and feedback, and real time grade reports, help students learn physics more successfully.

Third, Expert TA is flexible, easy-to-use, and approaches grading and coaching in a very human-like manner. This makes it easier and more comfortable for instructors and TAs to give our online system a try.

Fourth, Expert TA collects detailed and individual data about how students and instructors interact with the system. But, we don’t just collect it – we analyze it and find meaningful information that helps us improve the system and helps instructors understand how students are learning.

Learn more about these great features >

Our school is about to give up on assigning homework problems. Too many of the students get the answers off the Internet. How does Expert TA prevent this?

A: Expert TA takes several steps to maintain academic integrity. We are committed to deliberate strategies, such as problem masking, randomized variables, and others, to keep it that way. Learn more about these strategies >

I have chosen to save my students hundreds of dollars by using OpenStax free College Physics text. How does Expert TA work with OpenStax?

A: We believe in helping lower students’ college costs and are in a strategic partnership with OpenStax to do this. We have added OpenStax problems to our already extensive independent library. Expert TA adds unique value to OpenStax problems with fully integrated hints, specific feedback and partial credit grading. Learn more about our partnership with OpenStax >

Can Expert TA work with the textbook I’m using today? I don’t want to change.

A: You don’t have to change. Our textbook-independent library of peer-reviewed problems can work seamlessly and effectively with your class regardless of the textbook you choose. For your convenience, we’ve even mapped our problems to many of the major texts. Learn more about our problem library >

What types of errors does Expert TA find and how?

A: Our powerful math engine analyzes students’ equations to find trigonometry errors, sign errors, confused variables, and switched forces, among others. View feedback examples >

Expert TA captures every part of the student’s work along the way, so that the instructor and student can go back and identify where the student is getting off-track and address those concepts in particular. Learn more about real-time grade reports >