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Multiple Choice Questions: Everything You Need To Know

Aysha Muhammed

10 March 2022

10 min read

From the unnerving ones in a quiz that throw you a curveball, to a more nuanced attendance such as in a survey, one has multiple ways with multiple-choice questions.

But it is not without reason that MCQ enjoys the popularity it does – they are easy to create, administer, and analyze.

This blog post will serve as a comprehensive guide for everything multiple-choice questions. We’ll:

What are multiple choice questions?

Simply put, multiple choice questions are those questions that are posed alongside a selection of possible answers. Typically, three to five options are given alongside for the respondents to choose from.

The nature of the answer options, i.e., whether answers should remain single select or multi-select, largely depends on the discretion of the survey maker. The respondent then goes on to select one (or more) options from the multiple choices.

Due to its simplicity, versatility, and ease of use for both the survey maker and survey taker, multiple-choice questions enjoy wide applicability and acceptance. This popular survey question type allows for a more intuitive and structured survey response leading to easy-to-analyze data.

Here’s a glimpse into SurveySparrow’s multiple-choice questionnaire template

Types of Multiple Choice Questions

Now that we’ve covered the base, one might wonder what are the different types of multiple choice questions? Well, to tell you about it, there are broadly two types-single select and multiple select. In this blog, we’ve made sure to go over each of them in detail.

Single select multiple choice questions

In these types of questions, the respondents can pick only one option among the predetermined options. These questions are very much effective in finding out a user’s primary preference. Single select multiple choice questions are closed-ended questions that help the respondents to choose from options that they themselves might not have initially thought of.

single-select-multiple-chocie-question

To give you a better understanding, here are some examples of single select multiple choice questions with their answers

1. Do you feel comfortable asking for help when you’re stuck?

  • Yes, I feel much very comfortable asking for help. That’s how you learn!
  • No, I’m scared people might judge me

2. Do you trust your manager to listen and understand what you have to say?

  • I fully and wholeheartedly do!
  • No, I’m afraid we don’t have that kind of dynamics yet

3. Are you familiar with the company goals?

  • Yes. Very much so! It’s my bible
  • No. But I’d love to
  • Not yet. But I’m working towards it.

4. How often do you purchase from us?

  • Every chance I get.
  • Uhm, I’d say weekly.
  • Once every month, maybe?
  • Once every few other months

5. How satisfied are you with our product or services?

  • Very satisfied
  • Somewhat satisfied
  • Yet to form an opinion
  • Not satisfied
  • Completely dissatisfied

Multi-select multiple choice questions

In this type of multiple choice question, the respondents can choose more than one option. There are roughly two categories of multi-select multiple choice questions.

The first and foremost is permuting multiple choice questions where the selections are permuted each time they appear. On the other hand, the selection order is static in the non-permuting multiple choice questions. The survey creator uses checkboxes for these questions, and the respondent chooses the most appropriate answers from the selection.

Multi-select question Here are a few examples of this question type-

1. How did you find out about our product?

  • A friend recommended it to me!
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • Youtube
  • Google Ads
  • Other (please specify)

2. Which 3 features of our product are most valuable to you?

  • Ease of use
  • Functionality
  • Build durability
  • Portability
  • Design and aesthetics

3. What are the 3 features that we currently miss?
4. What problems would you like to solve with our product?

Dropdown menu multiple choice questions

Another type of MCQ, dropdown allows respondents to choose an answer from a list of choices presented in the dropdown menu. Depending on the use case, the survey maker can configure the option to let the respondent choose one or multiple options.

This type of question is typically used when respondents are required to select from a pool of options and is one of the most commonly used question types in market research surveys. It is easy to use, easy to answer, invariably reduces the length of the survey, and makes it concise.

Need more ideas? We hear you. Here are a few more examples of drop-down MCQs with their answers.

1. What gender do you identify as?

  • Male
  • Female
  • Transgender
  • Prefer not to say

2. What is your highest level of education?

  • High school or equivalent
  • Technical or occupational certificate
  • Associate degree
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Master’s degree
  • Doctorate degree

3. What is your preferred payment method?

  • Debit card
  • Credit card
  • Stripe
  • Braintree

4. What industry are you in?

  • Accounting
  • Administrative
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Financial Services
  • Hospitality
  • Information technology
  • Management
  • Nursing
  • Sales
  • Other( please specify)

5. What is your approximate annual household income?

  • $10 000 to $24 999
  • $25 000 to 49 999
  • $50 000 to 74 999
  • $75 000 to 99 999
  • $100 000 to 149 999
  • $150 000 and greater

Star rating multiple choice questions

A star rating question is a type of multiple choice question that allows the user to rank attributes on a point-scale represented by the stars. It is essentially a five-point matrix question that allows for visual scaling; with the only difference being in the place of radio buttons or checkboxes, stars are utilized.

A star rating multiple choice question offers an exciting way to collect feedback because of its interactivity. These multiple choice questions are particularly effective on mobile due to the graphic user interface, and simple tap-to-enter, or drag-and-drop functionality. Plus, the assigned weighed scale for each star can be easily converted to numerical data, making it effortless to generate reports.

Star rating multiple choice question

Here are some other examples for this question type-

1. How likely are you to return to our website?
2. How well does our product meet your needs?
3. How would you rate the value for the money of the product?

Text slider multiple choice questions

A good alternative to the open-ended questions, a text slider multiple choice question allows the respondents to answer on a text scale by dragging a slider. They drag the slider bar to select their desirable options, making it yet another convenient graphical rating question type.

This question type saves the respondent a lot of time as they don’t have to manually enter any text or number to answer the question asked. Another feature that makes this question type stand out is the respondent can also opt for a neutral option.

Here are some popularly asked text slider questions –

1. How satisfied are you with your in-store experience today?
2. How likely are you to recommend our product or service to others?
3. Did you feel that our team answered your inquiry promptly?
4. Do you agree or disagree that your issue was effectively resolved?
5. How likely are you to purchase again from us?

Numeric Slider Multiple Choice Question

Similar to the text slider multiple choice question, in this question type, the respondent can answer the question by selecting values by dragging the slide through the range. This rating scale has proved particularly useful for allowing the survey makers to produce a more extensive range of questions involving numerical data.

slider question

Here are other similar examples of numeric slider multiple choice questions with their answers.

1. How many hours would you like to work ideally? (5-12)
2. Number of songs that you’d ideally like in a movie? (0-10)
3. Your preferred AC temperature at the workplace? (15-30)
4. What’s your average bike speed while you drive in the city? (20-100)
5. How many times are you likely to order food online in a week? (0-25)
6. Rate your satisfaction with our team in resolving your issue. (0-10)

Did you know SurveySparrow offers a multitude of other handy variations of multiple slider questions? Engage your respondents better with our Thermometer slider, Gauge meter, smileys, and traffic lights.

Thumbs up/down multiple choice question

Set apart by their power of simplicity, this classic question type finds marks high attendance in most surveys. Primarily used to elicit respondents’ opinions, the thumbs up/down question helps them to make a quick choice between what they like and dislike.

For this multiple-choice question, an image is used to show thumbs up (for sharing positive feedback) and thumbs down (for sharing negative feedback). Yes, it’s as simple as that. From the standpoint of the survey creator, it would be advisable to insert a text box for obtaining the respondents’ opinions and comments.

thumbs up and down

Here are a few examples –

1. Did you like your stay with us?

2. Are you enjoying our products so far?

3. Can we connect you with a customer success manager via chat?

4. Were you able to find the information you were looking for on our website?

5. How much effort did you personally have to put forth into handling your request?

Matrix table multiple choice question

Matrix table questions are used when you need to combine multiple queries with the same answers. To put it simply, it is most useful when you need to ask multiple questions that should be rated on the same scale. Quite earnestly, a matrix question is nothing but multiple questions presented on a grid.

There are two components to a matrix table question- statements (rows of the matrix table. These are the statements you would like a respondent to rate) and scale points (columns of the matrix table. These are the ratings you want respondents to choose for each statement)

There are quite a few variations on the matrix table question. Each variation has unique options and a unique format.

matrix question

Related: Want to know how to use matrix questions in your online surveys? Here’s a blog post to guide you through it. 🙂

Rank order multiple choice question

This multiple choice question lets the respondents order answer options as per their preference. This survey question type allows them to rearrange and rank multiple-choice options in a specific order, thereby evaluating multiple row items based on a specific format.

Because of this, rank order MCQ remains one of the most popular question types there is. They offer detailed insights and are typically used when the researcher wants to know the order of preference of options listed based on attributes such as their features, needs, likes, dislikes, etc.

Respondents can easily drag and drop the answer choices to re-order them as they choose.

rank order multiple choice question

Image/picture based multiple choice question

Another visual variety of multiple choice questions, a picture choice question, allows for visualization of the answer options. The respondents can then review and select the option of their choice. This survey question type is a boon in making your surveys or forms look dynamic and overall more engaging.

There are two types of image questions:

  1. Single-select image question: This is a multiple choice question in which respondents have to select a single image from the choices offered.
  2. Multi-select image question: In this multiple choice question, the respondents select multiple images from the choices offered.

picture based multiple choice question

Further examples of this question type –

1. Do you prefer to shop on your phone or laptop?
2. Which of the following flavors is your favorite?
3. Which of our products are you most excited about?
4. What is your mode of transportation for getting to the office?

Advantages of using multiple choice questions

Needless to say, multiple choice questions are primary to surveys. They are versatile, intuitive, and produce structured data that’s easy to analyze. In many ways, MCQs are considered to be the gold standard by most people, thanks to their advantages over other question types. Here’s a rundown of some of its benefits:

  • Optimal for mobile devices: Considering that most people end up taking surveys on their mobiles or tablets, mobile devices aren’t the best interfaces for surveys that use lots of text boxes or require a lot of scrolling. That’s when the role of multiple choice options comes into play. They are a lot easier to navigate, facilitating fast, efficient analysis and reporting.
  • Simple and accessible: We can all agree that selecting an option is a lot easier than typing in a response. You’ll typically enjoy more response rates and completion rates with multiple choice questions on your survey.
  • Provide concrete definitions: When crafting survey questions in which you more or less know the range of responses you will get, it’s best to go with a multiple-choice question. The respondents will have an easy time answering questions as they already have the response options available in front of them. This also zeroes down the tedious process of weeding out irrelevant answers.

How to use multiple choice questions in your survey

Step 1: Log into your SurveySparrow account. If you don’t have an account yet, don’t worry. You can sign up and set one in under one minute. Yeah, it’s as simple as that.

Step 2: Tap on the +New survey at the top right corner

Step 3: Start a classic survey. Give your survey a name.

Step 4: To get started with creating your survey, go to build and add your first question.

Step 5: Select the question type of your choice. And voila! You’re all set.

FAQ

1. What are the parts of a multiple-choice question?

A multiple-choice question is essentially made of the stem(the question asked), the correct answer, and distractors(the incorrect answers)

2. When should I use multiple choice questions in my survey?

Multiple-choice questions are a great choice when you are, in some measure, aware of the scope of your respondents’ answers.

3. What are some of the tips for writing multiple-choice questions?

Firstly, while writing MCQs, it is important to provide clear, concise, and distinctive answer options. Secondly, whenever possible, remember to include the “other” option so that respondents can chime in their own thoughts and suggestions.

Wrapping up

Now that you know what multiple choice questions are, their different types, and how to use them in your survey, it’s time to get the ball rolling.

SurveySparrow could be your perfect partner in creating, distributing, and analyzing your surveys. With over 15+ question types including the ones mentioned above, it helps you create conversational and engaging surveys that gather actionable insights.

That’s it, folks.  happy surveying!

Aysha Muhammed

Part-time hermit and a full-time writer trying to survive the SaaS space, one blog at a time.Bylines in digital but always on deadline.

aysha

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