There are over 100 ways to ask a question in Qualtrics. Do you know them all?
This page goes over the 17 major types of questions, each of which can be altered in different way to provide the experience you want.
This is the most frequently used question type. The Multiple Choice question prompts the respondent to “choose one” or “choose multiple” from the list of choices.
Variations of the Multiple Choice Question:
Single Answer: Uses radio buttons. The standard single-select option.
Multiple Answer: Uses checkboxes. Respondents can select more than one choice.
Dropdown List: Places choices in a dropdown list. This option is only single answer.
Select Box: Places answer choices in a selection box.. This option is single answer.
Multi-select Box: Places choices in a box. This option is multiple answer.
Only visible when Single Answer or Multiple Answer is selected.
Vertical: Aligns choices vertically.
Horizontal: Aligns choices horizontally.
Column: Aligns choices in columns and allows you to specify how many columns you want to use.
The Matrix Table allows you to ask many multiple choice questions that use the same answer choice scale.
Variations of the Matrix Table Question:
Likert: Allows you to place a scale of choices across the top.
Bipolar: Also known as Semantic Differential. Allows you to place two opposite choices on either side of a scale. Respondents can then choose something in between.
Rank Order: Combines the Matrix and the Rank Order question types to allow respondents to type in a ranking for each scale point as it applies to each statement.
Constant Sum: Combines the Matrix and Constant Sum question types to allow respondents to type in a value for each scale point. The sum can be totalled at the end of each Statement row (default), or at the bottom of each Scale Point column.
Text Entry: Combines the Matrix and Text Entry question types, allowing respondents to type in comments and other information for each specific scale point. The length of the text fields can be set to short, medium, or long.
Profile: Similar to the Likert. This puts labels above each row of scale points, allowing you to have different labels for each row of scale points.
Only available if Likert or Profile types are selected.
Single Answer: One scale point can be selected per row.
Multiple Answer: Multiple scale points can be selected per row.
Dropdown List: Places scale points into a dropdown list. This is only single answer.
Transpose Table: If selected, switches the position of the scale points and row statements. The button behavior is reversed as well. Single Answer will only allow one selection per column, as opposed to one selection per row.
Position Text Above: Places text above the row of buttons, rather than to the side, allowing more room for the scale points. Available for all Matrix Types, except Profile.
Repeat Headers: Repeats scale points in the middle of the question, at the bottom of the question, or in both positions.
Add White Space: Will place additional white space between sets of rows.
Text Entry questions allow respondents to type in verbatim responses, such as comments and contact information.
Variations of Text Entry Question:
Single Line: The height of a single line. It is designed for smaller amounts of text.
Multi-Line: The height of multiple lines of text. It is designed for more text.
Essay Text Box: The height of multiple lines of text (more than the Multi-Line option). It is designed for the maximum amount of text. Useful when prompting respondents to give a lengthy response.
Form: Allows you to create a form with multiple text entry fields. It is typically used when requesting contact information. Can be altered for short, medium, long, and essay size text fields. Allows content validation (numbers only, text only, email address, etc.) to be applied to individual rows.
Password: Similar to the Single Line Text Entry option, but the entered text appears as an entered password, with dots appearing instead of characters.
You can choose validation options, such as minimum/maximum character lengths (amount of text characters that can be input in the text field), as well as content validation (valid email address, date, phone, zip code, US State, number, or text).
Though there are different text field sizes for different scenarios, the Qualtrics tool will not restrict the amount of text the respondent can enter. Tools like Excel and SPSS have character limits regarding the amount of text they can display in their cells, though the latest versions can typically accept large amounts of text.
If you want to resize text entry boxes to a different length, pull the bottom-right corner of the text box to expand or shrink it.
The Text/Graphic question isn’t really a question. It allows you to place explanatory text or a consent form at the beginning of your survey. It is also used when inserting graphics/images, files, and videos.
This question type doesn’t have answer choices for a respondent to select, so it is for explanatory or instructional purposes. You can, however, set Display Logic conditions that are based upon whether or not a Text/Graphic question was displayed.
The Text/Graphic question type is not displayed in reports, but it does have a column when data is downloaded from the Download Data page. The system will mark a “1” for respondents if they saw the Text/Graphic question. This is useful if you are using logic or randomization and you want to know which respondents saw it.
The Constant Sum question allows respondents to enter in numeric responses, such as what percentage of time or income they use for particular activities or products. You can specify that the numbers entered must total a certain value. Toggle on/off the ability to have the values summed while values are entered.
Constant Sum Variations:
Choices: Allows respondent to type in a value. A Total box can be displayed, and the choices can be displayed vertically or horizontally.
Bars: Displays graphical bars the respondent may slide left to right. From the question menu bar, you can adjust the number of grid lines in the question, the min/max value, how many scale points are displayed, and whether a value is displayed. You can also set a custom start position. This is commonly used as a more interactive way to gather respondent data.
Sliders: Like the Bars, this displays graphical sliders the respondent slides left to right. It is commonly used as a more interesting way to gather respondent data. You can adjust the number of grid lines, the min/max value, how many scale points are displayed, whether a value is displayed, and a custom start position.
The Slider allows respondents to drag sliders, bars, or stars to express numeric amounts. This question is attention grabbing and interactive and can be a good alternative to the Matrix Table.
The Graphic Slider allows respondents to express themselves using gauges, thermometers, stoplights, grades, blocks, smiley faces, and more.
With Rank Order, respondents express their preference for items by ranking or ordering them. Please note that this does not provide the degree to which they differ.
Rank Order Variations:
Drag and Drop: Respondents drag and drop choices into position. It is useful for interaction and keeping participants attentive.
Radio Buttons: Allows respondents to rank the statements by clicking on radio buttons. It looks similar to Matrix Likert.
Text Box: Allows respondents to rank statements by typing in a number.
Pick, Group, & Rank
Drag and Drop: Respondents drag and drop the choices into groups and rank them. You can specify these groups in the survey builder.
Predefined: The survey builder defines groups and instead of dragging and dropping, the respondent has to select the answer choice and click an arrow to move the answer choice into a group.
Recipient Defined: The respondent can specify the names of the groups and amount of groups in the question.
Side by Side
Side by Side allows you to place multiple Matrix Likert questions next to each other in separate columns. The row statements are the same across all columns, but the scale is different for each column. Each range of scales used is displayed in the results as a separate question.
To build a side by side:
Add a question and select Side by Side under Change Question Type.
In the question menu bar, select how many columns you would like in your question. If you would like to add two unique likert scales, then set select to have two columns in your question.
Set the kind of Likert Scale you would like in the column by clicking on Column Options at the top of the column and selecting Drop-Down List, Single Answer or Multiple Answer Likert Scale. You can also choose to use short, medium or long open-ended text boxes instead of radio buttons.
Select how many answer choices are in the column by clicking on Column Options and clicking Add Column Answer or Remove Column Answer.
Side by Side Variations:
Scaled Response (Likert)
Drop Down List
Short (text box length)
Medium (text box length)
Long (text box length)
To access the options for each Side by Side variation, click on the Column options drop-down for each column you have inserted.
The Drill Down question type allows respondents to choose an answer option by narrowing down from a general category to a specific category. In order to achieve this objective, you need to provide ALL possible combinations within different categories.
To build a drill down:
Form a list of answer choices in Excel or another spreadsheet program. An example file is available to you by selecting Click here to add answers (after you’ve inserted the Drill Down question type) and clicking the Example Document button on the right side of the dialog window that appears.
Create your answer choice from a narrow category to a wider category. Take a look at the following example:
In this example, musical instruments are used as answer choice options according to their 1) Name and 2) Type. Column 2 has all the instrument names which respondents are expected to select from. It was created before Column 1 (Instrument Types) for the purpose of easier sorting. Column 1 contains all the instrument types to which Column 2 items correspond.
After creating your list, upload it to your survey by clicking Click here to add answers at the top of the Drill Down Question.
Qtips for Drill Downs
The file you create for upload must be saved as a .csv file (a text file).
In the Add Answers to Drill Down window, make sure the correct delimiter is selected under Import Options. Commas are most common, but this can vary depending on the region you live in, so select one of the available options or type the symbol into the text field of the delimiter you are using (“;”, “:”, “.”, etc.).
The Heat Map allows you to insert a picture that respondents can then click to indicate the area that sticks out to them or that they like the most. In the results, you will be able to see where all the respondents clicked.
The Hot Spot allows you to insert a picture that respondents can then click to indicate whether they like or dislike predefined regions/areas.
Hot Spot Variations:
On/Off: Respondents can “turn on” or “turn off” certain areas by clicking.
Like/Dislike: Respondents can “like” or “dislike” certain areas by clicking.
Similar to the Side by Side and Matrix questions. Gap Analysis allows respondents to rate satisfaction on a five-point smiley face scale, then specify why they selected the rating (using the Tell Us Why section).
Gap Analysis Variations:
Positive: The Tell Us Why section is linked to the positive smileys in the scale so respondents can tell what was satisfactory.
Negative: The Tell Us Why section is linked to the negative smileys in the scale so respondents can tell what was not satisfactory.
The File Upload allows respondents to browse their machine and upload a file (document, image, etc.) to their survey response. They can upload files up to 16 MB in size. The files can be downloaded from the reports one by one or all together as a .zip file.
NOTE: This is an upgrade that is only available in specific Qualtrics accounts. Please contact your Qualtrics account manager if you would like to use the File Upload question type.
The Timing question times how long a respondent was on a page. The question is not displayed to respondents and does not prompt a response.
Information gathered by Timing Question:
First Click: Number of seconds between page load and respondent’s first click on the page.
Last Click: Number of seconds between page load and respondent’s last click on the page before clicking the Next (>>) button.
Page Submit: Number of seconds between page load and when respondent’s clicked Submit/Next button on page. This is similar to Last Click.
Click Count: Number of times respondent’s clicked while on the page.
The Timing question type must be added to each page you’d like to time. If you want to time a specific question, then place the actual question and the Timing question onto one page.
The timer collects time to the millisecond.
This question is not displayed to respondents, though it is shown under Survey Preview for testing purposes (select “Do Not Show Hidden Questions” to prevent display).
Seconds to disable submit: Choose how long to hide the next button on the page. If left as 0, the next button will not be hidden.
Seconds to auto-advance: Choose how long to wait before automatically changing to the next page in the survey. If left as 0, the survey will not advance automatically.
Meta Info Question
The Meta Info question type collects information on how respondents are accessing your survey. This question type is not seen by the respondent.
Information gathered by the Meta Info Question:
Browser: Browser name (MSIE, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, etc.).
Version: Version of the browser respondents are running (like 8.0, 5.0.3, and so forth).
Operating System: Specifies if running Windows or Mac, or another operating system (Windows NT 6.1, Intel Mac OS X 10_6_6, etc.).
Screen Resolution: Resolution of respondents’ monitors (1920×1080, etc.).
Flash Version: Version of Adobe Flash running on respondents’ machines. If Flash is not installed, a “-1” displays.
Java Support: If Java is installed on respondents’ machines. “1” means Java installed, “0” means it is not.
User Agent: Every browser has a user agent string that tells websites what it is, and typically what engine it is using to display its content, etc. Check out this link to see an in-depth explanation of the user agent string, its history, and what it means. This is the most complex aspect of the Meta Info question type.
The Captcha Verification helps verify if the survey takers are humans and not computers (or “bots”). This is useful as a way of preventing spam. The question presents text in image form to your survey takers, allowing them to continue if they correctly enter text matching the images. If they do not enter matching text, they must continue trying.