Types of Questions To Use In Questionnaires/Surveys

There are different types of questions that may be incorporated into surveys or questionnaires. The question formats you adopt will ultimately depend on the objectives of your survey.

This article discusses popular question formats that can be applied to surveys. It is recommended to use a minimum of two different formats and a maximum of four different types. It is also advisable to use at least one question type that allows respondents to provide comments (e.g. the open-ended format).

Binary Choice

This is the type of question in which the respondent can only choose one out of 2 possible responses. An example is as follows:

Do you find the ERP system easy to use? If yes, go to question 3. If no, go to question 4. 


This category of questions helps to identify the weighting of a set of options. An example is as follows:

Rank the service you have received from the customer service team in order of preference. Use 1 for Excellent and 3 for least preferred.

Checklist Response

With this question format, the respondent is provided with a list of options and may select the ones that are applicable. An example is as follows:

 Which ERP module(s) do you work with?

·    Production

·    Sales

·    Stock

·    Nominal Ledger

 *More than one option may be selected*


This category of questions allows the respondent to provide personalised answers to questions. It can be used for gathering subjective responses to questions. An example here would be:

If you could improve any aspect of our service, what would it be?

Number scaled

The responses to number scaled questions are quantifiable and surveys that adopt these kinds of questions are often easy to complete. TIP: Using an even number scale forces respondents to choose a specific response since they will have no room to be neutral. An example is as follows:

For each of the ERP modules listed above, indicate your frequency of use:

·    Use always

·    Use mostly

·    Use sometimes

·    Use never

When designing surveys, it is best to switch from general to specific questions in order to present a logical flow to the sequence of questions. Read Tips For Developing Questionnaires & Surveys for more on how to design questionnaires/surveys.

Picture Attribution: “Service Level” by Jeroen van Oostrom/freedigitalphotos.net