DataCamp Exercise

It is time for DATA CAMP exercises!

Take your first steps with R. To test your knowledge up to know you can test yourself in the following exercises.

  • R makes use of the # sign to add comments, so that you and others can understand what the R code is about. Comments are not run as R code, so they will not influence your result. You will find the task written as comment.
  • Write directly in the script.R window on the left. The comments are telling you what to do.
  • When you are ready press Submit and every line of code is interpreted and executed by R and you get a message whether or not your code was correct.
  • The output of your R code is shown in the Console panel on the right.
  • Press Hint for tips.
  • Press Solution for a new tab showing the solution.
  • Be patient: this may take some time to load.
DataCamp Light | Standalone example

Simple calculation to start:

# no pec # Calculate 3 + 4 3 + 4 # Calculate 6 + 12 # Calculate 3 + 4 3 + 4 # Calculate 6 + 12 6 + 12 test_output_contains("18", incorrect_msg = "Make sure to add `6 + 12` on a new line. Do not start the line with a `#`, otherwise your R code is not executed!") success_msg("Awesome! See how the console shows the result of the R code you submitted? Now that you're familiar with the interface, let's get down to R business!")

Just add a line of R code that calculates the sum of 6 and 12, just like the example in the sample code!

Arithmetic calculations

In its most basic form, R can be used as a simple calculator with the following arithmetic operators:

  • Addition: +
  • Subtraction: -
  • Multiplication: *
  • Division: /
  • Exponentiation: ^
  • Modulo: %%

The last two might need some explaining:

The ^ operator raises the number to its left to the power of the number to its right: for example 3^2 is 9.

The modulo %% returns the remainder of the division of the number to the left by the number on its right, for example 5 %% 3 is 2.


  • Type 5^2 in the editor to calculate 2 to the power 5.
  • Type 28 %% 6 to calculate 28 modulo 6.
  • Submit the answer and have a look at the R output in the console.
# no pec # An addition example 5 + 5 # A subtraction example 5 - 5 # A multiplication example 3 * 5 # A division example 10 / 2 # Exponentiation (5²) # Modulo (28 modulo 6) # An addition 5 + 5 # A subtraction 5 - 5 # A multiplication 3 * 5 # A division 10 / 2 # Exponentiation (5²) 5 ^ 2 # Modulo (28 modulo 6) 28 %% 6 msg = "Do not remove the other arithmetic examples!" test_output_contains("5^2", incorrect_msg = "The exponentiation example is not correct. Write `5 ^ 2` on a new line.") test_output_contains("28 %% 6", incorrect_msg = "There seems to be an issue with the modulo example. Write `28 %% 6` on a new line.") success_msg("Great! Head over to the next exercise.")

Another example of the modulo operator: 9 %% 2 equals 1.

Assign variables part 1

A basic concept in (statistical) programming is called a variable.

A variable allows you to store a value (e.g. 4) or an object (e.g. a function description) in R. You can then later use this variable's name to easily access the value or the object that is stored within this variable. You can assign a value 4 to a variable with the command my_var <- 4.


  • Complete the code in the editor such that it assigns the value 42 to the variable x.
  • Print x.
  • Submit the answer.
# no pec # Assign the value 42 to x # Print out the value of the variable x # Assign the value 42 to x x <- 42 # Print out the value of the variable x x test_object("x", undefined_msg = "Make sure to define a variable `x`.", incorrect_msg = "Make sure that you assign the correct value to `x`.") success_msg("Good job! Have you noticed that R does not print the value of a variable to the console when you did the assignment? `x <- 42` did not generate any output, because R assumes that you will be needing this variable in the future. Otherwise you wouldn't have stored the value in a variable in the first place, right? Proceed to the next exercise!")

Look at how the value 4 was assigned to my_variable in the exercise's assignment. Do the exact same thing in the editor, but now assign 42 to the variable x.

Assign variables part 2

Suppose you have a fruit basket with five apples and you want to store the number of apples in a variable with the name my_apples.


  • Type the following code in the editor: my_apples <- 5. This will assign the value 5 to my_apples.
  • Print my_apples.
  • Submit the answer.
# no pec # Assign the value 5 to the variable my_apples # Print out the value of the variable my_apples # Assign the value 5 to the variable my_apples my_apples <- 5 # Print out the value of the variable my_apples my_apples test_object("my_apples", undefined_msg = "Please make sure to define a variable `my_apples`.", incorrect_msg = "Make sure that you assign the correct value to `my_apples`.") test_output_contains("my_apples", incorrect_msg = "Have you explicitly told R to print out the `my_apples` variable to the console?") success_msg("Great! Continue to the next exercise!")

Remember that if you want to assign a number or an object to a variable in R, you can make use of the assignment operator <-. Alternatively, you can use =, but <- is widely preferred in the R community.

Assign variables part 3

Every tasty fruit basket needs oranges, so you decide to add six oranges. Your reflex is to immediately create the variable my_oranges and assign the value 6 to it. Next, you want to calculate how many pieces of fruit you have in total. Since you have given meaningful names to these values, you can now code this in a clear way: my_apples + my_oranges.


  • Assign to my_oranges the value 6.
  • Add the variables my_apples and my_oranges and have R simply print the result.
  • Assign the result of adding my_apples and my_oranges to a new variable my_fruit.
# no pec # Assign a value to the variables my_apples and my_oranges my_apples <- 5 # Add these two variables together # Create the variable my_fruit # Assign a value to the variables my_apples and my_oranges my_apples <- 5 my_oranges <- 6 # Add these two variables together my_apples + my_oranges # Create the variable my_fruit my_fruit <- my_apples + my_oranges test_object("my_apples", incorrect_msg = "Keep the line that assigns 5 to `my_apples`.") test_object("my_oranges", incorrect_msg = "Keep the line that assigns 6 to `my_oranges`.") test_output_contains("my_apples + my_oranges", incorrect_msg = "Make sure to print out the result of adding `my_apples` and `my_oranges`. The code example in the description already gives away the answer to this instruction!") msg <- "Have you used `my_fruit <- my_apples + my_oranges` to create the `my_fruit` variable?" test_object("my_fruit", undefined_msg = msg, incorrect_msg = msg) success_msg("Nice one! The great advantage of doing calculations with variables is reusability. If you just change `my_apples` to equal 12 instead of 5 and rerun the script, `my_fruit` will automatically update as well. Continue to the next exercise.")

my_fruit is just the sum of my_apples and my_oranges. You can use the + operator to sum the two and <- to assign that value to the variable my_fruit.