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12 Types of Survey Questions to Collect All Kinds of Data

Pragadeesh

7 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 type of question if you’re clear about your survey’s goal.

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.

Conducting a successful survey is all about having clear goals and objectives.

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

Ready? Let’s get started

1. Multiple Choice Questions

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

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.

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.

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.

multiple choice question with the other option

2. Opinion Scale Questions

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

One example of an opinion scale question is an NPS question. 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.

nps rating question example

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 question!

This kind of question is a reliable way to measure respondents’ attitudes, perceptions, and opinions about a certain topic.

likert scale question example

4. Rank Order Questions

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

rank order question example

It’s quite different from a rating question in that 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.

Use rank order questions sparingly, as they take more time to answer.

5. Dichomotous 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.

dichotomous question example 1

It’s typically used to easily filter out (or screen out) the respondents who don’t fit the research criteria. Or you can use these questions to segment your respondents into different groups.

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

dichotomous question example 2

6. Rating Questions

Rating questions allow your survey respondents to quickly rate something on a scale of 1 to 5.

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.

Our survey tool lets you add all kinds of icons and emojis to your rating questions. Create rating questions with stars, thumbs, high voltage emojis, crowns, and smileys.

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.

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 on your target audience.

Demographic questions are asked to collect demographic information such as gender, age, income, location, etc.

demographic question example

Firmographic questions, on the other hand, are used 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 questions that provide respondents with different predefined answer options, an open-ended question provides respondents with a text field so they could give an answer in their own words.

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 and respondents will have to click on the dropdown button to reveal the list of answers.

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 need a matrix question. A matrix question is basically a series of Likert scale 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.

12. Picture Choice Questions

Picture choice (or image choice) questions are similar to multiple-choice questions but allow you to use pictures as answer options.

picture choice question example

It’s typically 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:

20 Best NPS Survey Questions and Templates (2021 Guide)

21 Effective Customer Satisfaction Questions to Ask Your Customers

5 Types of Questions to Include in 360 Degree Feedback Surveys

12 Product Survey Questions for Insightful Product Feedback

6 Employee Pulse Survey Questions You Should Be Asking

12 Amazing Customer Support Survey Questions for 2021

Top Diversity and Inclusion Survey Questions to Ask

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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