How to Write Good Questions for a Questionnaire

Why is it so important to write good questions for a questionnaire? The quality of your results will depend on the quality of your questions. A poorly constructed question can cause bias in the responses; it will lead to misunderstanding or misinterpretation.

In this article, we’ll talk about different types of questions and how to properly phrase questions and hints for questionnaires, polls, quizzes, and tests. Read about how to create a questionnaire here.

Types of questions in PeakPoll survey builder

PeakPoll survey builder includes 21 types of questions to be used for various research objectives.

Single choice

With Single choice questions, respondents are asked to choose just one answer option from a pre-defined list. There is also a modified form of this question type, Single choice drop-down list. It might be helpful when respondents are presented with a long list of options to choose from. For instance, when they choose their town or city from a list of all cities and towns in their country. The interface of this question type allows the respondent to start typing their answer and select it from a list of options containing the entered symbols.

Multiple choice

With a Multiple choice question, a respondent can select several hints as their answer. Just like with the previous question type, you can enable selection of several options from a drop-down menu in the survey builder. For example, if you want the respondents to choose their 3 favorite cities in their country.


Matrix allows you to combine several questions into one in a table form. This way, a respondent can rate several objects or statements listed in the table rows using a universal scale with each scale item in a separate column. 3D Matrix allows respondents to assess several objects at once against several criteria in the same scale.


Scale questions ask the respondent to convert their subjective impression of an object into scale points. The classic example is rating customer experience on a scale from 1 to 10. You can also invite respondents to rank objects from most desirable to least desirable using the Ranking question type. Or respondents can allocate a limited number of points between suggested objects on the Distributional scale.

Likert scale

One of the variations of scale questions is the Likert scale. With this scale, you ask respondents to rate how much they agree (or disagree) with a given statement on a scale from 1 to 5. To create a Likert scale in the PeakPoll survey builder, use the Scale question type for one statement, or Matrix for several statements.

Semantic differential

Another popular scale variation is the Semantic differential. It is used for rating objects on bipolar scales, where the two polar end points are represented by words and phrases with the opposite meaning. The most commonly used differential scale has 7 points — from -3 to +3, including 0. As a result, you get a generalized descriptive image of the object.

Free answer

As the name suggests, Free answer question type gives respondents the option to write their own answer in a free form. You can use it to ask for a comment or when you’re struggling to come up with an exhaustive list of hints. There is also the Group of free answers option for the cases when you want respondents to describe several similar objects or one object against several criteria.

Paired comparison

We recommend using the Paired comparison question type to determine the best option out of several ones. The respondents will be asked to consecutively choose the preferred option in a number of pairs. For instance, if you need to decide the best object out of 5, the respondents will be given 10 pairs and will be asked to pick the winner in each.

First click test

With this question type, respondents are asked to “click” on a certain element of the user interface on a screen depending on the task. Test results are presented as a heat map, where different colors of the areas represent the number of clicks. First click test allows you to measure how frequently and how fast the respondents chose each scenario of action. Using these two metrics, you can see if the interface is intuitive enough for users to figure out a particular task.

6 tips on how to write good survey questions

The key to receiving high-quality data is a correctly worded question. Here are 7 rules to get your survey questions right.


Make sure that your question is clear and easy to understand.

✘ Which color out of the ones presented in the color spectrum below do you like the most?

✔ Which color do you like?


Make sure that the respondents understand what exactly you are asking them.

✘ Do you like our new apple juice?

✔ Do you like the texture of our new apple juice?


Make sure that you’re not asking two questions in one.

✘ Have your employees experienced work-related stress or burnout?

✔ Have your employees experienced work-related stress?

Comprehensive hint list

Make sure that you provide an exhaustive list of answer options. If you are unsure, it’s best to add an Other field where respondents can enter their own answer.

✘ What do you like the most about your laptop?

● Size

● Color

● Performance

● Reliability

✔ What do you like the most about your laptop?

● Size

● Color

● Performance

● Reliability

● Other

Neutral question phrasing

Make sure that your wording is not biased.

✘ On a scale from 1 to 10, how much do you like the design of our website?

✔ Please rate the design of our website on a scale from 1 to 10.

Well-balanced answer options

Make sure that the hints are symmetrical: for each two negative options give two positive options.

✘ How satisfied are you with the service quality?

● Unsatisfied

● Do not know / No answer

● Rather satisfied

● Completely satisfied

✔ How satisfied are you with the service quality?

● Completely unsatisfied

● Rather unsatisfied

● Do not know / No answer

● Rather satisfied

● Completely satisfied

Make a questionnaire or a survey online using the PeakPoll Online Survey Maker.