# Should we require a tag that which specifies difficulty of a question?

It's usually hard for me to find questions to answer here because 99% of them are above my level (calculus 1). Should we make a set of tags specifying difficulty to go along with the question? For example: Level 1/easy: Questions from calculus 2 and below. Level 2/medium: Undergrad questions. Level 3/hard: graduate questions. What do you think about this?

• I remember that, at least at some point in time, StackExchange decided to discourage meta tags on main sites. See here. I don't know if this policy is still valid. Tags like homework or reference-request seem to be exceptions anyway. – Rasmus Jul 14 '13 at 20:29
• Sophistication level tags? – Martin Sleziak Jul 14 '13 at 20:31
• (1) What is "Calculus 2"? This is not a U.S.-only site. (2) Some calculus questions are actually harder than some graduate level questions. (3) Difficulty is subjective anyway. – 40 votes Jul 14 '13 at 20:39
• I think it's a bad idea. Say I have a question from my graduate complex analysis class which, from the standpoint of anybody who knows complex analysis, would be considered trivial. Is this a level 1? level 3? (level 3-1? How far down the rabbit hole would we go with this?) Seems like an awful lot of effort to put forth when one could just as easily sort by complex-analysis and decide which questions are above his level and which ones aren't. – Alexander Gruber Jul 14 '13 at 21:31
• By the way, it's natural that you can't answer many questions at this point- you're just starting out. There's plenty of rep to earn in pre-calc and calculus, though, if that's what you're after. (More than the harder disciplines, in fact.) – Alexander Gruber Jul 14 '13 at 21:35
• @AlexanderGruber I was referring about labeling the question about where it comes from, not about the content. For example, you might have a level 3 algebra/precalculus question. So you would labed it algebra-recalculus, level 3 – Ovi Jul 14 '13 at 21:53
• @40votes That was just an example, but I said Calculus 2 because I think that's usually the highest-level math taught in high-school in most countries, not just U.S. So my categories are essentially high-school difficulty, undergrad, grad. And as I said above, I was more referring more to the difficulty of the question, rather than the actual content. For example, you could have a level 3 algebra-precalculus problem, or a level 1 complex analysis. And difficulty is subjective, but this system is not meant to definately categorize questions, but just to give an idea to potential answerers. – Ovi Jul 14 '13 at 21:57
• The number $99\%$ is an overestimate by quite a bit. – André Nicolas Jul 17 '13 at 6:28

Personally, I think the current tagging system is fine for you to filter the type of questions you want - you should just be able to favorite the tags relevant to the topics in your Calc I module and then you can browse questions sorted by those tags.

I think the general idea of having an additional system as you have suggested wouldn't work well for several reasons:

• Sorting questions out by high-school/undergraduate/graduate problems isn't well defined because the types of courses offered at these instiutions differ from country to country, and particually at University, some institutions may offer courses at an undergraduate level whereas others leave it until postgraduate studies to do so;

• Sorting questions out by their difficulty is (for the most part) a subjective activity - what defines a question to be hard? For a hypothetical example, the OP of a question may think that a question is hard and challenging whereas the answerer may think it is a trivial application of some lemma or theorem they have already learnt (or possibly the reverse could apply also);

• Using tags to try and categorise the OP's ability/knowledge would possibly give new users to the site less of an incentive to actually describe themselves what they know so any potential users attempting to answer the question will be able to give a much more useful response to the OP

I think there are a few other points against, but they follow the general jist of such a tagging system not being well defined.

• I think your answer makes sense, the tagging system would be a little too ambiguous – Ovi Jul 14 '13 at 21:59