There are quite a number of question types and they can be used for maximum effectiveness by improving communication to get the information you need. Question types are used to collect scientifically accurate information through the various types of survey questions.

Survey questions are a brilliant medium to get open, honest feedback that you probably wouldn't otherwise get. To complete a survey, you need two components; the set of questions and the process of collecting, aggregating, and analyzing the responses from those questions.

Examination questions are used by teachers to get information from students to test their understanding of a particular subject matter. Giving students and educators the opportunity to share their opinions through your survey questions type will help keep your school on the road to success.

Survey questions type often vary but they are majorly centered on assessing the performance of an entity by asking respondents to provide feedback. 

What is a question? 

A question is a sentence expressed so as to extract information. It can be viewed from several viewpoints. In a survey, a question is a sentence worded or expressed so as to obtain information. It can also be expressed as a matter requiring resolution or discussion. 

what-is-a-question

A survey questionnaire consists of a set of questions used in a survey. With a set of questions, data is gathered, analyzed and used to interpret the different views of a group of people from a particular population. Survey questions usually come in multiple-choice format. This allows your respondents to select one or more options from a list of answers that you define.

Here are the 21 types of questions for Surveys and Education

The Dichotomous Question (Yes/No or True/False Question) 

The Dichotomous Question is a question that can have two possible answers. Simply put, it is a question to which there can only be one of two answers. Dichotomous questions are usually used in a survey that asks for a Yes/No, True/False or Agree/Disagree answers. 

It limits respondents with two answer choices from which they must choose one. They are used for a clear distinction of qualities, experiences or respondent's opinions.

Pros of Dichotomous Questions

  1. Dichotomous questions are easy and short.
  2. With Dichotomous questions, you can simplify the survey experience.
  3. Dichotomous questions have the advantage to ease responses and ease the analysis of the data.

Cons of Dichotomous Questions

  1. Respondents with no opinion or no knowledge can answer anyway. 
  2. The information provided is not qualitative.

Examples

  1. Are you taller than 6 feet?
  2. Do you like the songs on the album?

Multiple Choice Questions (Radio Choice)

A multiple-choice question is defined as a question made up of two parts. One part is the actual question or problem. The second part is a set of possible answers that contain a key that is the best answer to the question. Included in the number are distractors that are plausible but incorrect answers to the question. 

Multiple choice questions are fundamental survey questions that provide respondents with multiple answer options. Multiple choice test questions can be an effective and efficient way to assess learning outcomes. Multiple choice test items have several potential advantages including the fact that they are less susceptible to guessing than true/false questions, making them a more reliable means of assessment.

Pros of Multiple Choice Questions

  1. You can ask more questions
  2. It takes less time to complete a multiple-choice question compared to an open question.
  3. Respondents don't have to formulate an answer but can focus on the content.
  4. They have fast processing times.
  5. There's no room for subjectivity.

Cons of Multiple Choice Questions

  1. They are time-consuming to create
  2. They require time to draw up effective stem questions and corresponding choices.
  3. They don't produce any qualitative data, solely quantitative.

Examples

  1. What is the capital of Germany?
  • Dusseldorf
  • Brussels
  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • Munich

multiple-choice-question-type

2. Which of the following is the most viable method for travelling from London to Paris?

  • Ferry
  • Car
  • Bicycle
  • Rail

Multi-Select Choice Questions

Multi-select questions are defined as questions that require your respondent to identify one or more correct answers in a list of possible answers. It is quite simply a question with one or more correct answers.

A bit dissimilar to multiple-choice questions, multi-select questions allow you to choose a grading format and allow users to select more than one answer.  Multiple-select questions use checkboxes to list the available choices. The respondent is expected to select one or more checkboxes.

Pros of Multi-Select Choice Questions

  1. They are versatile and intuitive.
  2. They yield clean data that’s easy for you to analyze.
  3. The question type is very straightforward.

Cons of Multi-Select Choice Questions

  1. The data you get back is limited to the choices you provide.
  2. Respondents' indecision might affect the integrity of your results.

Examples

  1. From the list below, check off the list of items that are not FRUITS
  • Potato
  • Apple
  • Pear
  • Orange
  • Carrot

multi-select-choice-question-type

  1. Which of the following people were Presidents of the United States
  • Joseph Stalin
  • George Bush
  • Winston Churchill
  • Abraham Lincoln 
  • George Washington

Single Select Question

Single select questions are defined as questions where a user is asked to pick only one answer, from a predetermined set of responses of at least two or more options. It is the standard question type for online surveys.

The most common question type of questions, they are effective in determining a user's primary preference, among a set of choices. Single-select questions belong to the multiple-choice question types. Single select lets you create questions with several pre-configured answers for participants. 

Pros of Single Select Question

  • The questions are not too complicated and the learners can select the predetermined answer at the click of a button. 
  • Single-select questions make it easier to analyze the data as the responses are structured.
  • It can deliver quality insights. 
  • It is quick and easy to set up these questions for a large number of participants, both on electronic devices as well as the print medium. 

Cons of Single Select Questions

  • Questions may be left unanswered
  • It is difficult to convey feelings in the responses
  • Some questions are difficult to analyze 

Examples

  1. What is the highest form of education David has received?
  • None
  • Primary school
  • Secondary school
  • University
  • Other

single-select-choice-question-type-example

  1. What type of credit card do you have?
  • Visa
  • Mastercard
  • American Express
  • Discover 
  • Other

Star Rating Question

A star rating question is a type of rating question that allows users to rank attributes on a point scale represented with stars. The Star Rating question lets respondents evaluate a statement on a visual scale of stars, hearts, thumbs, or smilies. It is a 5-point matrix question, but instead of radio buttons or checkboxes, stars are used to represent it.

Star Rating gives researchers the opportunity to produce question and answer styles that incorporate a greater breadth of answers, as well as enable animation. It allows respondents to rank a variable using stars rather than numerical values.

Pros of Star Rating Questions

  • It gives researchers the opportunity to produce question and answer styles that include a greater breadth of answers.
  • It enables animation and interactivity.

Cons of Star Rating Questions

  • There might be a drawback of misperceived information.
  • Responses may be skewed

Examples

  1. Please rate the quality of service you received during your last visit.
  2. Please rate the quality of the pizza delivered.

star-rating-question-type-example

Heart Rating Questions

The heart rating scale is defined as a closed-ended survey question used to represent respondent feedback in a comparative form for specific particular products or services. The heart rating question lets respondents evaluate a statement on a visual scale of hearts. A weight is assigned to each heart icon on the scale. 

The heart rating is an emotional and personal one. It lets respondents evaluate a statement on a visual scale of hearts. It is important to note that how you design your survey will affect the answers you get.

Pros of Heart Rating Questions

  • It will encourage a lot of responses
  • It presents a fun way of collecting surveys.

Cons of Heart Rating Questions

  • It is emotional and personal and may not be ideal for many situations
  • It might come off as childish to your respondents

Examples

  1. How satisfied are you with the pizza?
  2. Please rate your flying experience with us out of five hearts.

heart-rating-question-type-examples

Image Choice Questions 

The Image Choice question type is similar to Multiple Choice, except that you can upload images as answer options instead of only words. Image Choice is a simple, closed-ended question type that lets respondents select one or more image answers from a defined list of image choices.

It means that your question will capture the attention of your respondents faster and help them take in the content more easily. You can use this question type to ask questions that are difficult to translate into text or to get feedback on graphical elements.

Pros of Image Choice Questions

  1. It helps you capture the attention of respondents
  2. It encourages more respondents to complete

Cons of Image Choice Questions

  1. It is difficult to evaluate the data collected
  2. It takes less time to complete an image-choice

Rank Order Scale Questions

The rank order scaling question type provides respondents with a unique opportunity to rank a set of items against each other. It gives the respondent a set of items and asks them to put the items in some form of order. Scale/rank question type can be used to ask respondents whether they agree or disagree with a number of statements, to rate items on a scale, or to rank items in order of importance or preference.

Rank order scaling based multiple-choice questions allow a certain set of brands or products to be ranked based on a specific attribute or characteristic. A rank order scale's weighted percentages are calculated based on the exponential scores according to the given ranking.

Pros of Rank Order Scale Questions

  • Easy to administer and to score. 
  • Technically, it is a standard device for recording qualitative and quantitative judgments about observed performance.
  • They measure specified outcomes or objectives.

Cons

  • It cannot tell you why something is important or unimportant to respondents. 
  • They may not give fully accurate results.
  • Respondents cannot give the same rating to two items, even if they are of equal importance to them.

Examples

  1. Please rank the following in order of importance, where 1 is most important and 4 is least important to you
  • Ease of parking
  • Speed of service
  • Friendliness of staff
  • Cleanliness
  1. Please rank the following actors
  • Will Smith
  • Johnny Depp
  • Brad Pitt
  • Leonardo Di Caprio
  • George Clooney

Text Slider Question

A text slider scale question displays a horizontal slider under the question text. The respondent can slide the slider from left to right to set the numeric value of their answer. The text slider question type is a more interactive alternative to the Matrix Table question.

Slider Scale question displays a horizontal slider under the question text. The respondent can slide the slider from left to right. Typically, a Slider Scale would be used to capture a percentage or another number that would fall within a fixed range. Some preparatory questions to categorize the responder into knowledge levels is recommended.

Pros of Text Slider Question

  • It is easy to understand the scale and rate correctly.
  • Its popularity makes it very familiar with responders.

Cons of Text Slider Question

  • There is no one correct answer.
  • It is difficult to identify the knowledge level of the responder.

Examples

  1. Please rate our company's performance in 2018?
  2. How would you say this product has satisfied your needs?

Likert Scale Question

A Likert Scale is a type of rating scale used to measure attitudes or opinions. With this scale, respondents are asked to rate items on a level of agreement. It is a psychometric scale where questions based on this scale are normally used in a survey. It is often used interchangeably with the rating scale, although there are other types of rating scales.

A Likert question uses a point scale, sometimes referred to as a satisfaction scale, which ranges from one extreme to another. Traditionally, the Likert survey question includes a moderate or neutral option in its scale. It also usually contains a series of statements, inviting the user to respond to each based on how strongly they feel on a sliding scale.

Pros of Likert Scale Questions

  • They are the most universal method for survey collection
  • They are also easily understood. 
  • The responses are easily quantifiable and subjective to the computation of some mathematical analysis.
  • It does not force the participant to take a stand on a particular topic but allows them to respond in a degree of agreement.

Cons of Likert Scale Questions

  • It is uni-dimensional and only gives 5-7 options of choice.
  • The space between each choice cannot possibly be equidistant.
  • It fails to measure the true attitudes of respondents.
  • It is not unlikely that peoples’ answers will be influenced by previous questions

Examples

  1. How satisfied are you with our services
  • Very Unsatisfied
  • Unsatisfied
  • Neutral
  • Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied
  1. How satisfied were you with your in-store experience?\
  • Unsatisfied
  • Slightly Unsatisfied
  • Moderately Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied
  • Extremely Satisfied

likert-scale-question-type-example

Date/Calendar Questions

Calendar test questions are based on patterns and formulae that can be derived or traced on a calendar. The respondent is given a date and a day and asked to determine the day that will fall on the same date by the next year and many more.

Date/Calendar Questions are those that are used for test-related problems.  Although the frequency of this question is less in exams, they are of equal importance. To solve questions from this topic, you first need to understand the concept of odd days.

Examples

  1. January 2, 2007, was Tuesday. What will be the day on January 2, 2008?
  • Monday            
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday            
  • Thursday
  1. For what year will the calendar be the same as for the year 2009?
  • 2021                          
  • 2022
  • 2023                         
  • 2024

data-calendar-question-type-example

Semantic Differential Scale

Semantic Differential Scale is the most reliable way to get information on people’s emotional attitude towards a topic of interest. It involves asking people to give ratings on a product, company or brand upon a multi-point rating scale. Some preparatory questions to categorize the responder into knowledge levels are recommended.

It is a seven-point rating scale used to derive the respondent's attitude towards the given object or event by asking him to select an appropriate position on a scale between two bipolar adjectives. It is basically a type of a rating scale designed to measure the connotative meaning of objects, events, and concepts.

Pros of Semantic Differential Scale

  • They are ideal for use in customer satisfaction surveys.
  • It is easy to understand the scale and rate correctly
  • It is very popular making it easy to use for respondents

Cons of Semantic Differential Scale

  • Because it makes use of ranges there is no one correct answer.
  • It is also difficult to identify the knowledge level of the responder. 
  • Identifying the correct number of points on the scale can be tricky and highly dependent on the question type. 

Examples

  1. Please share your feedback on our product.
  2. How satisfied are you with our customer service.

Stapel Scale Question

Stapel scale is defined as a rating scale that is close-ended with a single adjective (unipolar), developed to gather respondent insights about a particular subject or event.  The scale is comprised of 10 categories ranging from –5 to +5 without any neutral point (zero). 

The survey question is comprised of an even number of response options without a neutral point. The Stapel scale is like a semantic differential scale with little modifications. The data obtained are the interval and are analyzed in the same manner as the semantic differential data.

Pros of Stapel Scale Questions

  • Designed to measure both the direction and the intensity of attitudes simultaneously.
  • It enables the researcher to avoid the task of creating bipolar adjective pairs.
  • The scale may also permit finer discrimination in measuring attitudes.

Cons of Stapel Scale Questions

  • A drawback is that descriptor adjectives can be phrased in a positive, neutral, or negative vein.
  • The choice of phrasing has been shown to affect the scale results.

Examples

  1. Please rate your supervisor's abilities on the basis of adapting to new technology
  • +5
  • +4
  • +3
  • +2
  • +1
  • -1
  • -2
  • -3
  • -4
  • -5
  1. Please rate your supervisor's abilities on the basis of interpersonal skills
  • +5
  • +4
  • +3
  • +2
  • +1
  • -1
  • -2
  • -3
  • -4
  • -5

Constant Sum Question

Constant Sum questions provide respondents a way to enter numeric data. Each numeric entry is summed and can be displayed to the respondent. It permits the collection of ratio data, meaning that the data is able to express the relative value or importance of the options.

Constant sum questions require a data field to be stored for each response option. For example, You can ask respondents how many hours they dedicate to certain activities on a given day and require that their answers add up to 30. It is a rather traditional question type.

Pros of Constant Sum Question

  • It is a very practical question type to use when asking financial questions.
  • It is the same as the rank order question type.
  • It forces respondents to make mindful choices.

Cons

  • Respondents often feel that all features are very important. 
  • Depending on the number of responses gathered, it can get difficult to extract a clear picture of which feature actually is the most important one.
  • It relies on a mean score which may not be a true reflection.

Examples

  1. How much of 30 hours of working time last week did you spend on 
  • Conferences 
  • Telephone calls
  • Email communication
  1. How much of 72 hours of holiday did you spend on
  • Travelling
  • Exercising
  • Sleeping
  • Eating

Demographic Question

Demographic questions are designed to make an inquest into age, ethnicity, education, household composition, and employment status. In return, they give you a lot of great information about all kinds of populations. There are plenty of other demographics you can add based on your needs such as income, gender, location, etc. 

Characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, education, profession, occupation, income level, and marital status, are all typical examples of demographics that are used in surveys. Whether you’re developing products, providing health services, understanding public opinion, knowing more about the survey respondents will give you valuable insights. 

Examples

  1. What is your age?
  • Under 18
  • 18-24 Years Old
  • 25-34 Years Old
  • 35-44 Years Old
  • 45-54 Years Old
  • Over 55
  1. What is your gender?
  • Male
  • Female
  • Others(please specify)
  • Prefer not to say.

Matrix Table Question

Matrix questions are blocks of questions with the question/statement on the side and the answer/scale on the top. They are the preferred choice for researchers that need to get multiple questions with the same scale to fit on a single page and a common component of almost any survey software.

A matrix is a grid used to store or display data in a structured format. It is often used synonymously with a table, which contains horizontal rows and vertical columns.

Pros of Matrix Table Question

  • It reduces the amount of space you use in the survey when asking similar questions.
  • Matrices ensure the respondent won't be reading the same question over and over again to answer. 
  • Matrices also help with data analysis, question-wording, and other areas.

Cons of Matrix Table Question

  • Matrix tables are usually too long.
  • The person answering the question may accidentally answer on the wrong line or skip a question entirely.
  • Research has shown that clicking through multiple pages can cause a survey dropout. An issue with Matrix tables.
  • Matrix tables may suffer browser issues because of their length. 

Matrix Rating Questions

A Matrix rating question is a closed-ended question that asks respondents to evaluate one or more row items using the same set of column choices. A matrix question is presented on a grid and is one of the most popular question types in online and traditional pen-and-paper surveys.

It is from the Matrix question that you can extract a Likert scale where you can assign weights to each answer choice. Rating Scales automatically calculate a weighted average for each answer choice in the Analyze Results section.

Pros of Matrix Rating Questions

  • Avoid the monotony of similar survey questions.
  • Helpful with analysis.
  • Consumes the least amount of space in a survey.
  • Encourages a quick response.
  • It is extremely convenient for researchers to include in their surveys.

Cons of Matrix Rating Questions

  • Due to the ease of creation, survey writers tend to overuse matrix questions.
  • They often make it difficult for their respondents by offering too many response options and too many attributes or rows.

Examples

  1. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the customer support?
  • Unsatisfied
  • Slightly Unsatisfied
  • Moderately Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied
  • Extremely Satisfied
  1. How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the organization of the store? 
  • Unsatisfied
  • Slightly Unsatisfied
  • Moderately Satisfied
  • Very Satisfied
  • Extremely Satisfied

Net Promoter Score (NPS) Question

The Net Promoter Score is an index ranging from -100 to 100 that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company's products or services to others. It is used as a representative for measuring the customer's overall satisfaction with a company's product or service and the customer's commitment to the brand.

Net Promoter Score (NPS) is described by most as perhaps after all the Holy Grail of customer satisfaction measurement. It involved the use of one single question with a link to business Key Performance Indexes.

Pros of Net Promoter Score Question

  • In this single measure, you were able to cover the complete customer experience, both physical and emotional.
  • The cost of fieldwork would be greatly reduced as you only needed to analyze a single question
  • It has a positive impact on the respondent’s time being surveyed.

Cons of Net Promoter Score Question

  • The crucial lack of ability to identify and act upon driving factors behind customers’ responses to the question.
  • It is difficult to understand what drives customers’ views on the recommendation

Examples

  1. How likely are you to recommend us on a scale from 0 to 10?
  2. Please tell us why you gave that score.

Open-Ended Questions 

An open-ended question is a question that requires a full answer, using the respondents’ own knowledge or feelings. It is designed to encourage a full, meaningful answer using the subject's own knowledge and/or feelings. It provides qualitative information. Open-ended questions are objective, do not lead the person being asked, and result in an answer that requires an explanation.

Open-ended questions have sentences, lists, and stories as answers; yielding deeper, new insights. Open-ended questions can offer incredible insights—if you know how to ask them and interpret the data. They also allow respondents to include more information, such as feelings, attitudes, and understanding of the subject.

Pros of Open Ended Questions

  • It permits an unlimited range of answers.
  • Reveals how the respondents think about the question.
  • Responses can be used to expand on and clarify closed responses.

Cons of Open Ended Questions

  • It takes more time and effort to respond to the questions.
  • Literal responses can be difficult for respondents not familiar with expressing own views and opinions.
  • Answers may differ in the level of details or scope.
  • Limited control over the length of response.
  • The analysis relies on coding and that may be difficult, costly, and time-consuming.

Examples

open-ended-question-types-example

  1. If you were in this position what would you do?
  2. What do you feel about the current minimum wage?

Close Ended Questions 

Closed-ended questions are those which can be answered by a simple "yes" or "no,". Those require no extra thought than a simple one-word answer. It refers to any question for which a researcher provides research participants with options from which to choose a response. The information it collects is quantitative in nature.

Close-ended questions are better suited to quantitative research, where some statistical significance is needed in your results. Close-ended questions and their question types are also critical for collecting surveys. Close-ended questions are best used when you want a short, direct answer to a very specific question. They come in a multitude of forms, including multiple-choice, drop-down, checkboxes, and ranking questions.

Pros

  • Easy and quick to answer
  • Response choice can clarify the question text for the respondent
  • Improves consistency of responses
  • Easy to compare with other respondents or questionnaires
  • Easier, quicker, and less costly to analyze

Cons

  • It may not have the exact answer the respondent wants to give
  • It can put ideas into respondents’ minds
  • Respondents may select answers most similar to true response, even though it is different
  • Many options may confuse the respondent
  • Respondents with no opinion may answer anyway
  • Does not give information about whether or not the respondent actually understood the question being asked

Examples

close-ended-question-type-examples

  1. Do you think the product will be useful? Yes/No
  2. Do you have symptoms of TB?

Close-Open Ended Questions 

Close-open ended questions are close-ended questions with a twist. In addition to the options of a simple “yes” or “no”, there is also the option to select a “maybe” or “others”. Those require a bit more thought from a respondent. It refers to any question for which a researcher provides research participants with options from which to choose a response or include a new response.

Pros of Close-Open Ended Questions

  • Easy and quick to answer
  • Response choice can clarify the question text for the respondent
  • Improves consistency of responses
  • Gives the respondents an extra option choice

Cons of Close-Open Ended Questions

  • Respondents with no opinion may answer anyway
  • Does not give information about whether or not the respondent actually understood the question being asked

Examples

close-open-ended-question-types-example

  1. Do you think the product will be useful? Yes/No/ If No, why?
  2. Do you have any venereal disease? Yes/No?Maybe

Why Use Formplus as an online test and survey builder tool

Whether you’re looking for a professional survey tool or a more lighthearted quiz maker, Formplus will help drive your best long-term results. With fun interactive elements and personalization features, it aims to be the best option for customer engagement. For example, the tool offers the ability for respondents to download a personalized PDF at the end of the survey, based on their answers to the questions.

Formplus provides numerous templates to choose from which can be customized to your individual needs. The platform is easy to use with its drag-and-drop editing tools. It’s also versatile, offering customer surveys, quizzes, lead generation tools, and more. You can also customize the design and layout of your quizzes and surveys. Advanced features like logic direct users into pathways based on their answers, making this one of the more advanced tools available.

Conclusion 

On the whole, while there are various types of surveys, such as multiple-choice, Likert scales, open-ended, and so on, these are actually the types of responses. There subsist two survey question types: factual or objective questions and attitude or subjective questions.

Regardless of the type of survey, the single common denominator that determines how effectively you are able to collect accurate and complete survey responses is your survey questions and their types.

Ultimately, it is the simplicity and direct approach of your survey that will be considered the most influential aspects in getting you the best survey responses through good survey questions.



  • Formplus Blog
  • on 21 min read

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