Questionnaires and Surveys

When we walk in the high street at the weekend, we come across sweet-talking men and women with boundless enthusiasm and patience get in the way to ask a few questions. They carry out surveys - a questionnaire designed for a purpose.

They have mastered the basic guidelines of carrying out a successful survey - most of the time, we do not feel like disappointing them, by just ignoring them.

Likewise, if we stick to some basic rules, we are in the process of emulating them and developing successful questionnaires.

The guidelines are as follows:

  • Make the respondent feel at ease
  • Make the responding more interesting - judge the mood of the respondent, before throwing the questions at an individual
  • Never ask embarrassingly personal questions - relevance of a tooth-whitener to a person with yellow teeth in public can hardly be a good idea
  • If questions of personal nature are a must, keep them until the end of the survey - asking a shabbily-clad youth whether he is on benefits as the first question is a disaster
  • Don't make the respondent confused - asking a teenager about his age group is not a smart question
  • Don't make the respondent irritated - forcing an individual in a hurry to answer a question is not well-thought
  • Avoid bias - don't you think grilled chips are better than fried chips is obviously biased
  • Ask general questions, if any, first and then the more specific ones
  • Questions must be as simple as possible with short span
  • Choice of answers must be small - a large choice will tire the respondent

A Simple Survey

1) What is your age group?
12 - 14
14 - 16
16 - 18
18 - 20
2) How much time do you spend on homework, after school, during weekdays ?
1 hour
2 hours
3 hours
4 hours
3) How do you rate the importance of maths for a better career ?
Not much
4) Who is your favourite idol at present ?
A footballer
A television personality
A rock star
A baseball player
5) What is your favourite game of sports ?
6) How much time do you spend watching your favourite game on TV, in a week, approximately ?
3 hours
5 hours
8 hours
More than 10 hours
7) How do you communicate with your friends during the week ?
Mobile phone
Home telephone
8 ) What is the best form of sharing information about your studies ?
Home phone
9) Which part of the world do you like to live in as a teenager ?
Middle east
10 ) When you get into trouble, which one do you tend to turn to ?
Brother or sister
Best friend