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12 Types of Survey Questions to Collect All Kinds of Data

Pragadeesh

21 June 2021

8 min read

Looking to learn the different types of survey questions?

Which type of survey question will help you get the desired information? A multiple-choice question, a rating question, or an open-ended question? How you ask your respondents for certain information plays a huge role in the success of your survey.

It gets a lot easier to pick a certain survey question type if you’re clear about your survey’s goal. Hence, conducting a successful survey is all about having clear goals and objectives.

What are you trying to accomplish with your survey? What are the things you’re looking to learn from your respondents? Once you’ve defined your survey’s goal, you will be able to pick the right type of survey question.

In this article, we’ll dig deeper into all types of survey questions and some good survey question examples you can use to get the right kind of information from your target audience.

12 Types of Survey Questions

  1. Multiple Choice Questions
  2. Opinion Scale Questions
  3. Likert Scale Questions
  4. Rank Order Questions
  5. Dichomotous Questions
  6. Rating Questions
  7. Slider Questions
  8. Demographic and Firmographic Questions
  9. Open-ended Questions
  10. Dropdown Questions
  11. Matrix Questions
  12. Picture Choice Questions

Ready? Let’s get started

1. Multiple Choice Questions

This is the most popular type of survey question to ask your audience. You provide respondents with a list of answer options and they get to choose one or more options from this list.

Types of survey questions: multiple choice question example

Typically, you’d want your respondents to pick only one option. This kind of multiple-choice question is called a single-answer multiple-choice question.

However, in some cases, you might want them to give you multiple answers. This kind of question is called a multi-answer multiple choice question.

Since you already provide them with all the options, this type of survey question is easier to answer. Also, the data you collect with this kind of question is easier to analyze.

multiple choice question with the other option
Here’s a survey question example with the ‘other’ option.

There might be cases when all your predefined answers might not apply to your respondents. In that case, you can add an “other” answer option at the end of your list to be on the safer side.

This “other” option, when clicked, opens up a text field that the respondent can use to give you an answer in their own words.

2. Opinion Scale Questions

An opinion scale survey question provides respondents with a scale of numbers as answer options. These options range from 1 to 10, 0 to 100, 1 to 5, etc.

One example of an opinion scale question is an NPS question. NPS is an essential survey question that lets you check your customers’ pulse and sentiments about your products/service. An NPS question helps you measure your customers’ willingness to recommend your product or service to their friends or colleagues.

You simply ask: “how likely are you to recommend us to your friends or colleagues” and provide them with a numerical rating scale that ranges from 0 to 10. Here’s an NPS survey question example.

nps rating question example

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One thing to keep in mind is that it ain’t enough to just display a set of numbers. You also need to explain the value of the numbers that you ask them to choose.

For instance, if you ask them “how much do you like noodles” and you use a numerical scale of 1 to 10, you need to explain to them, preferably with short labels, that 10 means they absolutely love them while 1 means they absolutely hate them.

3. Likert Scale Questions

It’s likely you’ve seen a Likert scale question before. Remember those “do you agree or disagree” questions you answered the last time you took a survey?

You probably “strongly agreed/disagreed” or “neither agreed nor disagreed” with a survey question? That’s a Likert scale survey question!

This kind of question is a reliable survey question to ask your respondents to measure their attitudes, perceptions, and opinions about a certain topic. Here’s a Likert scale survey question example:

Types of survey questions: likert scale question example

4. Rank Order Questions

A rank order question provides your respondents with a list of answer options. This survey question type allows them to compare the options and rank them in order of priority, importance, or value.

rank order question example

This survey question type is quite different from a rating question;  it asks you to rank one option against another option. With this question, you’ll be able to understand the relative importance of each option.

Only, use this survey question sparingly, as they take more time to answer.

5. Dichomotous Questions (Yes/No Questions)

A dichotomous question (or a yes or no question) requires only two possible answers from your survey respondents: yes/no, agree/disagree, or true/false.

types of survey questions: dichotomous question example 1

This survey question type is typically used to easily filter out (or screen out) the respondents who don’t fit the research criteria. Also, you can use these questions to segment your respondents into different groups.

While you could use a simple multiple-choice survey question to get a yes or no from your audience, a dichotomous question provides answer options that come with appropriate icons. These icons serve as a visual cue and help your respondents quickly provide accurate answers. Here’s a Yes/No survey question example with icons.

dichotomous question example 2

6. Rating Questions

Rating scale survey questions allow your survey respondents to quickly rate something on a scale of 1 to 5. This is often used as a quick survey question to ask your respondent how they feel about a particular thing.

types of survey questions: rating question example 1

They help you measure your respondents’ opinions and attitudes toward a certain topic.

Quickly find out what they really think about your product, marketing, support, or any other aspect of your business.

SurveySparrow’s survey tool lets you add all kinds of icons and emojis to your rating questions. In other words, you can create rating questions with stars, thumbs, high voltage emojis, crowns, and smileys. Here are some good survey questions examples of rating scales.

rating question example 2

rating question example 3

rating question example 5

rating question example 6

7. Slider Questions

With a slider question, you ask your survey respondents to evaluate something on a numerical scale. But they pick a number by dragging a slider control.

types of survey questions: slider question example

In some cases, a slider question is fun to answer and makes more sense than other similar kinds of questions.

8. Demographic and Firmographic Questions

You can ask these kinds of questions to gather insights into your target audience.

Demographic questions are asked to collect demographic information such as gender, age, income, location, etc. Here’s a quick demographic survey question example:

types of survey questions: demographic question example

Firmographic questions, on the other hand, include those set of survey questions to ask your audience to gather firmographic information related to a business, such as company size, annual revenue, etc.

When you better understand who they are and where they come from, you can segment them, easily analyze data that’s relevant to a particular group, and get better results from your surveys.

9. Open-ended Questions

Unlike other types of survey questions, open-ended survey questions provide respondents with different predefined answer options. This survey question type provides respondents with a text field so they could give an answer in their own words.

types of survey questions: open ended question example

It’s commonly used to gather in-depth, qualitative data on a certain topic. Although you will get a ton of insights this way, you will have a hard time analyzing the data you acquire with this kind of question.

10. Dropdown Questions

If you’ve got a multiple choice question that has a long list of answer options, you can use a dropdown question instead if you wish to not overwhelm your respondents.

All your answer options will be hidden in a dropdown menu. Respondents will have to click on the dropdown button to reveal the list of answers.

types of survey questions: dropdown question example

That said, there are some cases where displaying all the answers upfront helps provide the information your respondents need to quickly give you an answer.

11. Matrix Questions

Got a bunch of questions that seem to give the same answer options? You just need a matrix question. This survey question type is basically a series of Likert scale questions.

types of survey questions: matrix question example

While a matrix question can help you simplify and shorten your surveys, it’s quite difficult to take, especially on a mobile device, and most people find it confusing and hard to answer. That’s when checking out matrix question types can help.

12. Picture Choice Questions

Image choice or picture choice questions are similar to multiple-choice survey questions but allow you to use pictures as answer options.

types of survey questions: picture choice question example
Picture Choice Survey Question Example

Typically, picture survey questions are used to get feedback on visuals such as logos or product concepts. You can also use them to make things more engaging and give your audience a break from reading.

Final Thoughts

The types of survey questions you choose will depend on the goals you want to attain with your survey.

There might be a type of survey question that’s better than the one you’ve chosen for the data you need, so think hard before choosing a survey question type.

Looking for some survey question examples? Here are articles from us that can help you with that:

Got any questions on picking the right types of survey questions? Any interesting tips or techniques you use to find the right types of survey questions? Let us know about them in the comment section below.

Looking to create surveys that people love to answer? Feel free to check out SurveySparrow

Pragadeesh

I'm a developer turned marketer, working as a Product Marketer at SurveySparrow — A survey tool that lets anyone create beautiful, conversational surveys people love to answer.

pragadeesh

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