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Question Types

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About Question Types

Qualtrics provides over 100 different ways to ask a question. There are 23 question types and a variety of settings that can be used to access each of these possibilities. This page provides a brief description of each question type, with links to pages where you can learn more about each.

You can specify the type of question you want  by clicking the dropdown arrow to the right of the Create a New Question button.

Dropdown arrow next to Create a New Question reveals a full list of question types

Qtip: You can also change an existing question’s type – but you should only do this if you have not collected data yet.

Static Content

These questions do not require any action from the respondent. Information in these questions is merely displayed to respondents.

Descriptive Text icon looks like a capital A
Descriptive Text: Descriptive Text questions can be used to add an introduction or instructions to your survey, or wherever you need to display content to the respondent, without asking for feedback.
Graphic Icon looks like a tiny landscape painting
Graphic: Graphic questions can be used to display an image to your respondents without asking for feedback.

Standard Questions

These question types are some of the most commonly used. They are a simple and effective means of gathering information.

Multiple Choice Icon looks like a bulleted list
Multiple Choice: Multiple Choice questions form the basis of most research. They can be displayed as a traditional list of choices or as a dropdown menu, select box, etc.
Text Entry Icon looks like an A in a text box
Text Entry: Text Entry is used to gather open-ended feedback from respondents. These responses can be lengthy essays, standard form information such as name and email address, or anything in between.
Rank Order Icon looks like the numbers 1, 2, 3 vertically
Rank Order: Rank Order is used to determine each respondent’s order of preference for a list of items.
Matrix Table Icon looks like four dots separated on a grid
Matrix Table: Matrix Table is used to collect multiple pieces of information in one question. This type provides an effective way to condense your survey or to group similar items into one question.
Slider Icon looks like a slider
Slider: Sliders let respondents indicate their level of preference with a draggable bar rather than a traditional button or checkbox.
Side by Side Icon looks like four dots divided in the middle by a line
Side by Side: Side by Side questions let you ask multiple questions in one condensed table and provides an effective way of shortening your survey while gathering the same amount of data.

Specialty Questions

These questions are used in more specific situations and gather more targeted data.

Constant Sum Icon looks like a bar graph
Constant Sum: Constant Sum collects numeric data and displays a sum to the respondent. This type is often used for allocation assessments, such as defining how you spend your time in different activities.
Hot Spot Icon looks like overlapping boxes
Hot Spot: Hot Spot allows respondents to interact with regions of an image. This type is often used in usability testing and concept testing.
Graphic Slider Icon looks like a slider with an image over it
Graphic Slider: This variation of the Slider question has respondents use various graphic options, such as changing a frown to a smile or choosing a grade, to indicate their level of preference.
Drill Down Icon looks like an upside down triangle composed of dots
Drill Down: Drill Down helps respondents choose from a long list by starting with a broad category and then honing in on the choices that are relevant to the respondent.
Pick Group and Rank Icon looks like an empty box, then two boxes with 1, 2, 3 arranged vertically
Pick Group and Rank: Pick Group and Rank is used for sorting activities. Respondents place items into groups and have the option to rank the items within the group.
Heat Map Icon looks like a flame
Heat Map: Heat Map lets respondents click a specific point on an image. In your data, you can see a heat map that shows which parts of the image were most often clicked. This type is often used for web development (e.g., eye flow analysis) and advertisement testing.
NPS Icon looks like the word NPS outlined by an oval
Net Promoter® Score: NPS® tracks customer loyalty with one simple, standardized question: “On a scale from 0-10, how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or colleague?”
Highlight Icon looks like the tip of a highlighter
Highlight: The Highlight question type allows you to present survey participants with an interactive text sample. Participants can select words from the text and evaluate using criteria you choose. For example, whether they like or dislike the selected text.
Signature Icon looks like the tip of a fountain pen
Signature: The Signature question type presents survey participants with an entry box where they can draw their signature. On a desktop, they can use their mouse, and on a mobile device they can use their finger.
Qtip: The Highlight and Signature question types are add-on features, not included in the standard Qualtrics license. Please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive for more information.

Advanced

These questions go above and beyond standard survey insights; they allow you to obtain detailed information about your respondent and their interaction with your survey, often without requiring any action from the respondent.

Example: You can use the Timing question to keep track of how long participants view one page of your survey. This can be done automatically without requiring any added action from the respondent.
Timing Icon looks like a clock
Timing: This hidden question is used to time—as well as limit—how long participants spend on a page of the survey.
File Icon looks like a page with a folded corner
File Upload: File Upload is used to collect information beyond the survey questions, such as user-uploaded photos or documents. The File Upload question type is an add-on feature not included in the standard Qualtrics license. Please contact your Qualtrics Account Executive for more information.
Screen Capture Icon looks like a page with a folded corner
Screen Capture: Screen Capture allows respondents to attach a screenshot of the site they are viewing when taking a survey through a Website / App Feedback (Site Intercept) project. This question type is only available to users that have purchased access to Website / App Feedback projects.
Captcha Verification Icon looks like a fingerprint
Captcha Verification: Captcha Verification is used to ensure that your respondents aren’t robots. This question has participants respond to a challenge to verify they are real humans.
Meta Info Icon looks like 0s and 1s
Meta Info: Meta Info reports the public information about the respondent’s computer, such as their browser and operating system. The question requires no respondent action and is completely hidden.

Replace From Library

Clicking on the Question Library icon will take you to the Qualtrics question library. This allows you to pull questions from other surveys you’ve built or from the Qualtrics Library of template questions.

For more information on what templates we have available, visit Pre-Made Qualtrics Library Questions.

New question menu also has a Question Library option

Changing the Question Type

Warning: Be mindful of changing question types after you have begun collecting data! This could invalidate your survey’s results.
  1. Click on a question.
  2. Click the Change Question Type menu.
    On the question editing pane, clicking the green Change Question Type dropdown to open a menu of question types
  3. Hover over any question type to bring up an example.
    Hovering over a question type in the menu reveals a preview of what this question type looks like
  4. Choose a question type from the list.
    Qtip: Or, to see more variations, click the dropdown arrow next to any question type. See a question’s specific support page to learn more about the variations available.
    Dropdown arrow next to a question type revealing variations of that same general question type