How can I use variables when creating Math or Science content?

EP Studio allows you to use variables when building content, which can be especially beneficial within the Math and Science subject areas. This article contains a basic guide on creating variables and using them when building questions.

Getting Started

Start by navigating to the Content Library, and creating a new Smart Lesson. Add a new Quiz section question. Toggle to the Variables tab, and add a new variable by selecting New variable.

add new variable

Now you can select the type of variable you would like to create.

Variable types

Number Range

This option can be used to allow a specific range for the variable. This option is fairly broad and you can set your minimum and maximum parameters.

Select the Num range option, then enter your chosen parameters. 

number range example - variable

If you would like the number to appear with decimal places or to set significant figures, you can add rounding to your number range.


This option can be used to outline specific options for the variable. Hit enter on your keyboard to add additional options.

This can also be helpful to insert interchangeable names for people within a lesson.

adding options as variables


Here you can write an expression that allows you to link to existing variables. You may need to use keyboard shortcuts for mathematical operators (for example, *) and you can find a list of these here.

In the example below, I've used the named Num Range and Options set in the two examples above. This option can be helpful for linking variables together, creating the solution to your question or steps along the way.

adding formula as variable


This option can be used to link a static number to a named value and can be helpful if you are creating a series of questions where you would like a set value to change for each question.

adding a constant as a variable

Note: Variables will only save for an individual question, but you can use the copy question button if you wish to use the same variables in another question without building them again from scratch.

Calling up variables

There are two ways that you can call up variables that you have created, and each one works slightly differently depending on the type of question component you are using. 

Using curly brackets to call up variables

If you're using Fill in the Gaps or Textbox question components, use curly brackets with the name of the variable you would like to use in between to call up your variable. Hit Preview Question to see how it will look.

calling up variables

When building a Fill in the Gaps question, you can use the same method to call up a variable in the parameters of the question.

calling up variable in FITG

You should use curly brackets for:

Using \var to call up variables

When building a question, you can also type \var with LaTeX to call up a variable. You will need to use this method if you'd like to build an equation.

In the textbox, click the LaTeX symbol or press ctrl + ` on your keyboard to bring up the LaTeX box. Next, type \var in the box and hit enter on your keyboard. You can then type in the name of the variable you wish to use, eg 'a'. Hit enter again to move on with your equation.

gif showing using the \var tag

Both the curly brackets and the \var method will work for building Multi-Choice questions. 

options shown when inputting multi-choice options

Once you've saved your component, hit Preview to see how it'll look. You can then save your lesson and move on as normal.

Calling up variables in Working Formula components

Use the same \var method when calling up variables when creating Working Formula questions.

an animated gif demonstrating the example described above

Note: Ensure that you are using a backslash (\) rather than a forward slash (/) when using the \var method.

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