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12 Reading Interest Survey Questions To Ask Students + Sample Questionnaire

Kate Williams

Last Updated:  

6 June 2024

8 min read

Looking to learn about your students’ reading preferences? Reading interest surveys can help! Scroll down a bit to find the 12 best reading interest survey questions that will get you the insights you seek.

So what was it? What was the book that made you fall in love with reading? Was it Jane Austen’s? Or Harry Potter? Or Dan Brown’s excellent thrillers?

Not these? Well, we have to admit we’re not solid with our guessing game. But there’s one thing we’re damn good at, according to our clients. Surveys. That’s our thing.

And if you’re an educator looking to build reading habits among students, you’ve come to the right place as we’ll discuss:

Ready with your coffee?

What Is A Reading Interest Survey?

Daniel is a first-grader who said this in his introduction at school –

“Hey, I’m Daniel. My mum calls me Dan. I love to play with my dog, Bozo. I love to draw, and I don’t enjoy reading.”

So Daniel, a.k.a Dan, doesn’t like to read. But his teacher knows reading is essential. And so, she’ll arrange a reading interest survey for Daniel to know why he does not like reading, and what to do about it.

In simple words, reading interest surveys are surveys that let the teacher know about a student’s reading interest. Sometimes, it’s also called a reading interest inventory.

There are a bunch of different questions in this reader’s survey, and the teacher prepares a reading schedule for individual students based on their responses.

12 Reading Interest Survey Questions + Sample Questionnaire Template

You already know what reading interest surveys are, and why they’re crucial. Now, it’s time to discuss the questions to include in these surveys that bring the intended results. From our experience and research, we’ve selected 12 reading interest survey questions.

Here is a sample Reading Interest Survey created using SurveySparrow.

Reader Interest Survey Template

Let’s go through the questions above to create a fun reading interest survey questionnaire.

PS: You can make your own, share by email, QR code or SMS and track the results. Try SurveySparrow with a free account. 

1. How do you feel about reading?

No reading interest surveys can do well without this question.

It’s one of the first questions educators ask as part of their free reading interest surveys, and it works all the time! Because young students only know how to portray their thoughts directly with no sugar coating on them. And that is what’s needed with this question.

So, as an educator or student counselor, if you directly want to get to the point, asking this question would do that.

2. What kind of book would you like to read for fun?

Asking this in your reading interest surveys would bring to light the type of book a student prefers reading.

Now, instead of giving fictional/non-fictional as your options for an elementary student, try giving options like a book with many pictures, a book with lots of words, or a book with crossword puzzles. They’ll be way more interested in choosing from these options.

Reader interest survey questions - 2

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

This question would highlight the interest areas of the student, based on which the reading material or books can be selected for them.

4. What’s the best way to study for a test?

Reading the notes or study material on platforms like StuDocu is considered the most efficient way to prepare for a test, and usually, students score high test grades by studying in this way. But if the student chooses other options, you would clearly understand the work required to bring out the reader in them.

With this question, you would be able to separate the occasional readers from the ones that dislike reading.

5. What distracts you the most when you’re reading?

Is it food cravings? Other students? Noises?

Understanding what distracts your students while reading helps in removing those distractions from their environment, which allows them to continue reading and eventually build the reader’s habit.

6. How much time in a day would you prefer reading?

This question should be put in the reading interest surveys of older students – because students who’re not in elementary school would give a more thoughtful and honest answer to this. And based on their answers, you could frame a reading schedule that works and can be followed by them.

We’ve seen our clients building impressive reading schedules based on the answers to this question, and we’re pretty sure you’ll do the same.

7. Apart from school assignments, do you like the reading process?

Including this in the reading interest surveys would give you an idea about how inclined the students are towards reading.

And based on that, their reading programs can be structured.

8. What type of books are you most comfortable reading?

This is where the options of fictional/historical/novel, etc, would come in. As a teacher, this question will let you understand your student’s preferred choice for reading and the type they find interesting.

Mind you, the type of books they’re reading would somewhat affect their personalities as well. So, before helping them with their reading habits, you also need to explain the pros and cons of the different reading material & genres. The answers to this reading interest survey would let you do that.

9. What’s the best book you’ve read so far and why do you think that?

You’ll get to observe the student’s level of understanding with this survey question.

This question works brilliantly after a reading assignment involving different types of books, as you get to see how well the students are reciprocating to each book’s message.

And based on the reasons they give for their ‘best book’ pick, you’ll be able to suggest books with a similar message to take their reading habit onto the next level.

10. How would you choose a book to read?

Would it be from a website or blog recommendation, or parents, friends, or while going through the bookstore?

The way your students choose their books says a lot about their personality and who do they trust the most. This helps you prepare a reading schedule that works all the time.

11. If you won a game or a challenge, what would you choose as the prize?

If you give the option of a ‘pack of books’ here, this question would separate the readers from the rest.

So, you can shift your focus to the ones that love reading by asking this question.

12. Which statement best describes your reading style?

The last question that you should definitely include in reading interest surveys is this. This question would show how much the students know about their reading habits & style.

Based on this, improvements and changes can be made in their reading schedule, if needed. That’s the goal, right? Gradual improvements in your student’s reading habits over time.

Reader interest survey questions-1

To create reader interest surveys using SurveySparrow, you can sign up here for FREE!

Why are reading interest surveys important?

Reading is awesome. We adults certainly feel that way after spending countless hours reading our favorite books, be it fiction, non-fiction, or autobiographies.

Here, at SurveySparrow, we also have a ‘Share Some Book’ club where all of us exchange books with each other and keep the reading process going. it’s an absolutely fun and enriching process.

But most students don’t think the same about reading, especially the school-going young ones. In fact, some would do anything else apart from reading another page! But all hope is not lost, as not understanding the importance of reading is pretty common among students, which is exactly where reading interest survey questions come in.

It turns out that nearly half of all respondents found noises and other people to be the biggest distractions to reading!

4 Ways To Conduct Reading Interest Surveys

Educators have four different options for conducting reading surveys:

  • Paper surveys
  • Oral surveys
  • Online surveys
  • Google forms

Let’s dig deep to know more about these.

#1. Paper Surveys

Conducting paper versions of the reading interest surveys allows for student differentiation easily. It gives the option for younger students and hesitant writers to even draw their answers instead of writing them down.

Paper surveys work well for students from elementary school, as they’re more accustomed to questions being read aloud by the teachers before they can read them themselves and answer.

So, it allows the teacher to give some extra help to the students. It also gives them the option to explain the questions using examples when the students are not sure about what to write.

#2. Oral Surveys

This survey type is used only when the students are extremely reluctant to read, and they’re not even willing to read the questions in the survey.

In that case, the teacher says the question out loud with the options, and the students write their answers down on a piece of paper against the question number.

#3. Online Surveys

With technology, and especially after the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire world has shifted online. Schools are no different, which is why online surveys have been widely used in the past year to conduct reading interest surveys.

From what we’ve observed, this transition was an exciting improvement in the way reading interest survey questions are conducted. It took some time, especially for the young students, to get used to this type of survey. But now things are moving swiftly here, and there’s a chance online surveys might replace paper surveys once and for all!

#4. Google Forms

Google Forms gave a very easy and reliable option for teachers to conduct reading interest surveys lately.

While online surveys are more appealing for students and young kids, Google Forms appeal to the teachers because of their simplicity and reliability.

The results from the survey are automatically compiled for teachers – so it’s simple. And the teacher doesn’t have to worry about the survey links not working or surveys crashing mid-stage – so it’s reliable! Why won’t a teacher love Google Forms then?

8 Tips To Cultivate A Reading Habit In Students for Life

Over the years, we’ve helped educational institutions and teachers develop the needed habits in their students. And most of them started by working on students’ reading habits, as it paved the way for other positive habits.

Whenever we used to survey or talk to them directly, they were up with stories on how they handled the most difficult of situations and brought the best result out of it to develop the reading habit. Their stories became the tips we want to share with you here.

These tips have come from different institutions and educators, but they all got the intended success from it. We’re hoping that you, too, get similar results. Off we go!

  1. Encourage curiosity because then, students would want to understand why reading is an important habit to have even when they dislike it.
  2. Don’t leave questions unanswered if you’re a teacher trying to instil reading habits among young kids. That’ll bring their motivation to learn down.
  3. Give quick challenges. Students, especially the young ones, learn quickly that way as challenges bring excitement for them.
  4. Promote healthy competition. It’ll always push the group in the right direction.
  5. Create and teach students in groups based on similar survey results. You’ll use your energy better, as it’s easy to track the progress of an entire group than of individuals.
  6. Before giving the students a reading assignment, tell them the summary of the books to read, and keep the ending a mystery!
  7. Ask students to find 5 (or any number) interesting aspects in a book. It could be the book cover, one of its characters, the ending, etc. This would act as a motivation to read the book properly.
  8. Before assigning a book to read, explain the topic and genre, and give them links to a few articles relating to the topic.

Time For Some Action Now!

Ok, so you’ve read this far, which means, you know these four things:

  • How crucial reading interest survey questions are for the right development of students.
  • What are some time-tested questions to include in these surveys.
  • The different ways to conduct such surveys.
  • And finally, some tips to cultivate reading habits in students.

What remains now? The start! You have the right information with you, and the only thing that remains is for you to conduct reading interest surveys using the information you’ve got here. We’re sure you are excited to do that, and we’re just as excited to see you succeed and get the right results.

So, waiting to hear all about your success story. Good luck!

Kate Williams

Product Marketing Manager at SurveySparrow

Excels in empowering visionary companies through storytelling and strategic go-to-market planning. With extensive experience in product marketing and customer experience management, she is an accomplished author, podcast host, and mentor, sharing her expertise across diverse platforms and audiences.

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