12 Tips to write good survey questions

Table of Contents

When writing survey questions, some common mistakes are easy to make even on the simplest of questions. These following tips can help to avoid possible drawbacks.

Include simple questions

Questions must be easy to understand, therefore, you need to use a simple language. The most important thing is to write questions that your readers can understand easily and to do so you have to use everyday language as you do when you talk to your friends or colleagues.

Use words with clear meanings

Don’t leave space to misinterpretation and avoid ambiguous sentences. To avoid misunderstandings, use words and expressions easily comprehensible by everybody.

Don’t use jargon

Jargon can make respondents feel unintelligent. Instead , use clear, straightforward language that is easily undestandable and doesn’t require to consult a dictionary.

Do not offer too many options

It you provide too many alternatives, you could complicate things. Therefore, it is advisable to limit the number option for each question.

Be specific

Some concepts may have different meanings to different people. Try to be as specific as possible when you ask questions and choice the option that gives you a more precise and objective answer.

Ask one thing per question

Each of your survey questions should ask just one thing. If there is not a clear way for users to answer the question you might have to reformulate it, split it into two separate questions.

In multiple choice questions, do not overlap answers

When you ask a multiple choice question that can only have one answer, provide a list that covers all the options without overlapping. For example, if you asked the respondent to tell the time spent on a specific activity, your choices should not be “10-20, 20-30, 30-40, over 40.”

Ensure your survey works on multiple devices

If respondents will be using a variety of devices to take your survey, choose an app that’s responsive and could be used on desktop and mobile versions.

Keep your survey questions neutral

Putting an opinion in your question prompt (or asking a “leading question”) can influence respondents to answer in a way that does not reflect how they really feel.

Keep it short

Most users spend about five minutes filling out a 10-question survey. That means your 50-question form takes about half an hour to complete. Unless you’re offering an incentive in return, that’s a long taks to request to your busy customers.

Test your survey

As a survey creator, there is no worse feeling than finding mistakes in your survey once you have already sent it. To prevent this situation from happening you might share your surveys with colleagues, friends, and others, in advance.

Ask feedback from you audience


This is another way to test your survey so you can see what your audience think about it and you can check which information they are most interested in receiving.
Once you have completed the questions, you should match them against this list and see how you did. Many times, small changes can make a big difference. If a question need to be rewritten, it’s worthy making an effort to get it right. Ready to write your survey questions? Using DataScope, you can build your own digital surveys.  Sign up for free.

DataScope is a platform which allows various industries to streamline, organize and evaluate the work of their field staffs thanks to online forms which provide real time indicators 100% adaptable to any field.

Take control of your Work Orders

With the # 1 platform to digitize tasks

You Might Also Like

Visit us and join the Digital Revolution with DataScope

Learn how to stop using paper today!

About the author

Picture of Sandra Melo
Sandra Melo

Share on

Did you like this article?

Subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you content like this directly to your inbox, once a month with all the news.