What Are Different Survey Question Types?

December 01, 2023
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Sometimes, how you ask a question can be as important as what you ask. It can increase the likelihood of certain responses, guide a narrative, and influence the overall outcome. This is why it’s important to understand the different survey question types when conducting research or study. 

After reading this post, you’ll understand the most common, effective survey question types and how many you should include in your survey. Ready? Let’s begin!

Different types of survey questions you can use

Multiple-choice questions

This is one of the most widely used question formats where you present several answer options and require the respondent to pick one. Multiple-choice questions are a quick way to get the exact information you want. They can be used in pretty much all types of surveys. 

Their structured format simplifies grading and offers a quick way to gauge a respondent's understanding of the topic in focus. This makes it a perfect choice for use in assessments and quizzes. 

There are two kinds of multiple-choice questions in Google Forms: regular multiple-choice and multiple-choice grid. The latter lets respondents select answers in a grid format, which has various use cases.

Multiple-choice survey question examples

Here are some examples of multiple choice: 

How often do you make online purchases?

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly
  • Rarely or never

Which of the following dessert items do you prefer most?

  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Chocolate cake
  • Cherry pie
  • Sour candy

Which of the following is a programming language?

  • Anaconda
  • Python
  • Viper
  • Cobra

Written response questions

Written response questions, or open-ended questions, invite respondents to provide detailed, free-text answers rather than selecting from predefined options. They are great for getting in-depth insights, ideas, and opinions. 

Whether used in surveys, assessments, or interviews, they encourage respondents to express themselves fully, offering a nuanced understanding of their perspectives. In contrast to multiple-choice questions that provide quantitative data, written responses offer qualitative data. Learn the difference between qualitative and quantitative data.

Open-ended survey question examples

Here are some open-ended survey question examples across various topics:

  • What are the biggest challenges you face in your current job or role?
  • Can you share any suggestions for improving our customer service?
  • What do you value most in a company when making purchasing decisions?

Analyzing these responses can be time-consuming, but the depth of understanding they provide is often worth the effort. Getting insights from written responses involves meticulous organization of responses. Tools like Form Publisher that allow you to save your form responses however and wherever you like can come in handy. 

Linear scale questions

With linear scale questions, you can ask your respondents to respond on a continuous scale, rating or ranking items along a fixed continuum. This allows you to see preferences, opinions, or experiences to some degree. 

Rather than give insights into “what” or “which,” linear scale questions allow you to gauge “how much” for a particular topic or question. This makes them an excellent tool for data related to aspects such as feelings, level of satisfaction, etc. 

Linear scale survey question examples

Here are some examples of linear scale questions to help you understand them better:

  • On a scale from 1 to 10, how satisfied are you with our service, with 1 being extremely dissatisfied and 10 being extremely satisfied?
  • How often do you use our product on a scale from 1 (rarely) to 5 (daily)?
  • Please rate your level of agreement with the statement: "I feel valued as a customer," on a scale from 1 (disagree) to 3 (agree).

Checkbox questions

Checkbox questions are a more advanced form of the multiple-choice question format. The difference between these and multiple choice is that respondents can select multiple options from the list provided rather than just one. This is great for questions that require multiple selections.

In Google Forms, there are also checkbox grids that do the same but in a format with rows and columns.

Checkbox survey question examples

Here are some examples of good checkbox questions:

What days are you available to meet with your instructor?

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday

What time(s) of day would you normally eat fruits?

  • Morning
  • Afternoon
  • Evening

How many questions in a survey is best?

There’s no set rule for how many questions you should include. The amount of questions in your survey will depend on a couple of factors:

  • Survey or research goals
  • The complexity of the topics covered
  • The patience level of the respondents

In general, a survey should be concise to maintain respondent engagement and ensure data quality. For quick feedback or customer satisfaction, 5 to 10 questions may suffice. In more extensive research, 20 to 30 questions are acceptable. 

For a more detailed survey where you may need to ask more questions, it’s important to check whether or not your respondents are invested in completing your survey. In any case, you must avoid survey fatigue. Overloading with too many questions can lead to dropouts or inaccurate responses (what’s called response and non-response bias).

To create a survey of an optimal length that effectively captures the necessary data, you must:

  • Plan questions carefully
  • Diligently check questions for relevance 
  • Pilot test your survey before formally starting

Share all types of survey data with Form Publisher

No matter the type of questions you use in your survey, if you’re using Google Forms to create your survey, you can’t go wrong with Form Publisher.

Form Publisher is a Google Forms add-on that enhances the capabilities of Google Forms and levels up your data collection process with automated response documents. You can even choose who gets shared the documents upon completion and store them away for later analysis.

Interested? Explore all that you can do with Form Publisher!

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