Understanding Question Types

SmartSurvey offers 17 different question types, each featuring different variations and customisation options. Some of these question types may appear to be similar to one another, but each offers different functionality, so it's worth investigating all of them before you start building your survey.

The table below briefly describes these question types. Click the link on any question type for more information and to see examples how they are used.

Question Type Description
Multiple Choice
- One Answer
Provide a list of possible answers to a question. Only one answer can be selected. This question type can be used for single choice answers, rating and likert scales. You can display answer choices in a vertical or horizontal configuration, or as a drop-down menu.
Multiple Choice
- Multiple Answers
Provide a list of possible answers to a question. Multiple answers can be selected from a list. Answer choices are displayed as Checkboxes and they can be organised into 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns or otherwise in a single row.
Comment or Essay Box Allow respondents to enter free text comments. Ideal for feedback and other long-form comments. This question type allows you to limit the number of characters and words that can be entered using validation.
Ranking Add a list of choices for your respondents to then rank in order of their preference, using drag and drop or by selecting the ranking number from a drop-down box next to each option.
Matrix of Choices
- One Answer Per Row
Generate a table of radio buttons in rows and columns, allowing respondents to make a single choice per row. This question can be used as a rating scale but for numerous options.
Matrix of Choices
- Multiple Answers Per Row
Generate a table of radio buttons in rows and columns, allowing respondents to make multiple selections per row.
Matrix of Text Boxes Generate a table with customisable column and row headings. For each row and column there is a text box within which respondents can type free text answers. This is sometimes refered to as a Matrix spreadsheet.
Matrix of Drop
- Down Menus
Generate a table with customisable column and row headings. For each row and column there is a drop-down menu from which respondents can make their answer choice.
Single Textbox Add a single line text entry field. Designed for brief answers, for example: Please enter your name.
Multiple Textboxes Add several text boxes within one question. Designed for several pieces of related information (such as contact information).
Descriptive Text Place informative text or media into the survey without asking a question. Use this to add introduction text, instructions, embeding videos or images and so on. Although this is considered a question type, it isn't, therefore respondents cannot reply or input anything.
Date/ Time Box Generate a date or time entry field. Designed to collect dates or times in a standardised format. 
Net Promoter® Score Generate a ranking scale from 0 to 10. This question type is based on the Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company customer loyalty metric, which is  typically used to measure commercial factors such as the company's performance, or the quality of the products or services they offer.
Continuous Sum Generate a series of textboxes that accept numbers only. As the respondent enters numbers into the fields, the total sum of each entry is automatically calculated and displayed below.
Slider Scale Generate a slider that can be dragged left or right to select a numeric value. This question type can be used to capture a value, percentage, or the degree of agreement to a particular statement.
Semantic Differential Provide two options either end of the scale. The respondent can then select the radio button in the position that most closely represents their feelings towards both options. This question type is typically used to present two opposite views, and measure how strongly the respondent agrees with one or the other, on either end of the scale.
File Upload Generate a simple file upload button which allows the respondent to attach a file in response to the question. This can be used for capturing a multitude of file types, including photos, text documents, such as CVs and even scanned files such contracts or signatures.

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