6 Different types of survey questions you should use

By Letizia Zappa

An important step when creating a survey is deciding the type of questions you want to include. It takes participants time and effort to fill in a survey, so it is your job to make sure your survey is easy to fill in. How can you achieve that? By choosing the right types of survey questions.

Survey question types

It is good practice to focus on the answers you would like to collect from your survey. When you are sure of the type of information you are looking for, then it is going to be easier for you to choose the types of survey questions.

Here we will look at the different types of survey questions to help you create the perfect combination for you.

1. Closed-ended questions

These questions can be answered with one word, like “yes” or “no” or can include a list of answer options that survey participants can choose from. The answers to this type of question are easy to analyse, as respondents can be segmented into the different answers they have given.

Closed ended survey question


2. Open-ended questions

Open-ended questions give respondents the option to answer with their own words.

For this reason, this type of question is great if you want to gather insights from your respondents and want to get more meaningful answers. That said, it can be tough to analyse the results of such questions – even if participants are giving similar answers, it takes time to segment users into groups.

Open-ended survey question


3. Multiple choice survey questions

This type of survey question is the most popular one. With multiple-choice questions, you are giving respondents different options they can choose from. This type of question is easy to understand, requires little efforts from respondents and will give you easy-to-analyse answers.

It is good practice to include “Other” as an answer option. This way, if respondents do not find a suitable answer option for them, they can always choose “other” instead of randomly choosing an answer and affecting the accuracy of your results.


Multiple choice survey question


4. Rating survey questions

Rating questions comes with a scale of answer options where participants can select the number/word that represents their opinion. With rating questions, it is recommended to give the survey participants some context and explain to them the meaning of the different ratings on the scale. For example, let’ say you are asking respondents “How much do you like travelling”: in this case, you would specify that 0 means “I don’t like travelling at all” while 10 means ” I absolutely love travelling”.  If you do not explain this, the participants may find that the numbers on your scale do not make much sense.

The NPS (Net Promoter Score) question is a great example of rating question, where users are asked how likely they are to recommend a company to their friends and colleagues on a scale from 0 to 10, where 0 is “not likely” and 10 is “very likely”:

Rating scale survey question

5. Likert scale survey questions

When you wish to measure perceptions and opinions, you may choose the Likert scale.

A Likert scale is a question which is a five or seven-point scale. The options on the scale range from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree” and this allows you to gain an understanding of your respondents’ opinion. The scale was invented in 1932 by Rensis Liker, an organizational psychologist and it is nowadays widely used in many different fields.

Likert scale survey question

6. Drop-down survey questions

This type of question is popular, as it is a simple way to show a long list of answer options without discouraging the respondents. Also, these questions are useful because they give participants a better understanding of the question you are asking.

Drop down survey question

How to create different types of survey questions

There are several tools allowing you to create surveys, among others, UserReport can help you create surveys with different types of questions very easily. First of all signup and get access to your free account. You will immediately be able to choose packages of questions. From multiple choice to drop-down questions you will find the type of questions that fit your needs and you’ll be able to add them to your survey with just one click. 

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