Whether it is choosing your next holiday destination or an ice cream flavor, making a choice is sometimes the most difficult thing in life.
However, if there is anything that can make such decisions easier, it is a list of options. Well, multiple-choice questions are about that!
A well-framed multiple-choice question survey follows a structured format, presenting respondents with clear and concise answer choices. This format ensures consistency in the response collection process, making it easier to analyze and interpret the data.
However, there is a challenge! How do you make your MCQ questions more interactive and grab the attention of your target audience?
Well, to help you rise above this challenge, we have created a list of different types of multiple-choice questions along with their examples. Whether you are an examiner or a research analyst, this blog will prepare you to ask the right MCQs at the right time and engage your audience.
What Are Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?
Multiple-choice questions are one of the most popular question types that present a question or statement with a list of possible answers. In most cases, the individual is allowed to select a single option. However, they can even choose multiple options if such instructions are given.
MCQs are very helpful in collecting information and feedback from a target audience.
For example, many businesses share the popular MCQ question:
Which of the following aspects of our product/service did you find most impressive?
A) Speed and Efficiency
B) User-Friendly Interface
C) Quality and Reliability
D) Customer Support
E) Pricing and Value for Money.
Multiple choice questions are close-ended questions as the respondent has a limited number of options to choose from. In addition to this, MCQs have a variety of applications — they can be used in surveys, questionnaires, polls, forms, academic tests, quizzes, and much more.
A multiple-choice question and answer consist of several important parts:
Stem: The stem refers to the main question or statement. The stem should be clear, straightforward, and written in simple language.
Distractors: Distractors are incorrect options that are used to distract and challenge the respondent. You must carefully pick the distractors not to seem too obvious.
Answer: This is the correct answer to the stem or question. There may be more than one correct answer in some cases, and the respondent is allowed to make multiple selections.
12 Types of Multiple-Choice Questions
If you thought that a multiple-choice question only includes a typical question with four options, you might be wrong. You will be surprised to know that at least 12 different types of MCQs can be used for different purposes. Let’s explore them right away.
1. Yes or No
This is a widely used multiple-choice question that offers two obvious options – “Yes” or “No”. It can be used to ask a direct question such as ‘Would you recommend our business to your friends or family members?’ or ‘Does our product serve your purpose?’.
One demerit of this question is that although you can capture feedback, you will not know the reason behind why someone gave a “no” or a “yes” as an answer. Therefore, to make sense of your data, you also need to add an open-ended question.
Read More: How to Set up Branching in a Survey
2. True or False
The “True” or “False” questions are some of the most commonly used multiple-choice questions. It includes the stem (question or statement) and two answer options – True and False. These questions are used to test critical thinking and evaluate the respondent’s knowledge by challenging them to choose the correct option.
So if you wish to engage your audience in a challenging game or teach them something new, this is the way to go.
3. Odd One Out
The “odd one out” question provides several options to respondents and asks them to choose an option that does not match the others or seems the most “odd.”
Such questions are used to test the ability of people to form relationships between ideas. The odd one out question is quite popular among school students. Let’s look at the example below to gain more clarity.
4. Image-Based Multiple Choice Question
As the name suggests, this type of MCQ presents two or more images as response options. To answer this question, the respondent can select a single image or multiple images if it is specified. Image-based questionnaires are visually appealing, highly interactive, and can be used to engage your target audience.
These questions are used where visual representation is needed. For example, Google offers a service called ReCAPTCHA that uses smart image-based questions to identify humans and prevent bots from causing security threats.
5. Best Answer
This type of question can be quite challenging for people to answer. But why? Well, in most cases, the options include more than one answer that might seem correct at first glance. However, the correct answer is the one that is the truest.
The “best answer” question can be used to understand what people think or perceive about different situations. Let’s understand this better with this multiple choice question example:
6. Single Select Multiple Choice Questions
This is a common type of multiple-choice question where the respondent is allowed to select a single option from a list of options. The dropdown menu is a great example of a single select question.
Single-select questions work best when presenting a long list of options. Whether someone is on their smartphone or laptop, the respondents can easily scroll through the options and select the right answer.
7. Multiple Select Questions
Unlike single-select questions, the respondent can select more than one option in multiple select questions. While taking orders, such questionnaires are often used by restaurants as the customers can easily customize their meals.
In some cases, these questions also offer the “Select All” or “All of the Above” option so that respondents can easily select this option without having to pick and choose specific options. Multiple select questions offer more freedom and flexibility to respondents compared to other types of MCQ questions.
8. Star Rating Multiple Choice Question
Star rating is another popular multiple-choice question type that allows respondents to answer on a rating scale. Respondents are usually offered a 1-5 or 1-7 rating scale, where 5 or 7 stars denote the highest satisfaction. Such questions are quite interactive, easy to answer and work great on mobile devices.
These types of questions are usually used by businesses to get customer reviews on their products or services. For example, you must have received a survey asking you to rate your cab ride experience once you reached your destination. Instead of stars, you can even use other types of rating scales such as “Thumbs up” or “Smileys”
9. Matrix Table Multiple Choice Question
A matrix table question allows you to ask multiple questions or multiple parts of a single question. For example, you can take feedback about the various elements of your website – design, user interface, image quality, browsing experience, product descriptions, payment options, etc.
The multiple questions or elements are accompanied by a three-point or five-point Likert scale. However, if not executed right, matrix table questions can confuse your respondents. Here is a sample multiple-choice question with answer options:
10. Slider Multiple Choice Question
This is another type of multiple-choice question in which the respondent can use a slider to answer the given question. The slider can be adjusted to a numeric value that best describes their answer.
For example, you can share the classic NPS question: “How likely are you to recommend our brand to your friends or colleagues?” The customers can adjust the slider and rate their answers on a scale of 1-10. For a better understanding, you can look at this multiple-choice example below:
11. Ranking Multiple Choice Question
A ranking multiple choice question allows respondents to rank the answer options based on their importance or priority. The respondent can first compare all the options against each other and then rank them accordingly.
To make this question work, you will have to present a numerical drop-down box for each answer option. This will help the respondent allocate the correct numerical value to each option. Such questions can be helpful when you wish to know a person’s opinion or perception about particular topics.
12. Drag & Drop Question
In these types of multiple-choice questions, the respondent can drag and drop the answer options to arrange them in the most suitable order. This is quite similar to a ranking question; however, the respondent can simply drag and drop options to achieve the best order instead of assigning a numerical value.
The drag-and-drop questions are quite interactive in nature and can lead to a fun survey experience for your customers. Educators can also use them to teach young kids. Let’s take a look at this example below:
What Are Survey Questions? What Are Its Types?
Survey questions are a way of gathering information and opinions from people. Imagine you have some curious questions you want to ask your friends about their favorite foods, movies, or hobbies. Well, surveys are like that, but on a larger scale! They help researchers, businesses, and organizations understand what people think, feel, or do on specific topics.
Types of Survey Questions
There are different types of survey questions, each serving a unique purpose. Let’s take a look at the main ones:
- Multiple Choice Questions: These are questions where you provide a list of possible answers, and respondents pick the one that fits them best.
For example, “Which color do you like the most? A) Red, B) Blue, C) Green, D) Yellow.”
- Yes/No Questions: As the name suggests, these questions only require a “yes” or “no” response. For instance, “Have you ever traveled abroad? Yes/No”
- Likert Scale Questions: These questions measure attitudes or opinions on a scale, usually from “Strongly Disagree” to “Strongly Agree.”
For example, “How much do you agree with the statement: ‘Exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle’?”
- Open-ended Questions: In these questions, respondents can freely express their thoughts in their own words.
For example, “What improvements would you like to see in our school?”
- Ranking Questions: Ranking questions ask respondents to prioritize or rank items in order of preference.
For instance, “Please rank these pizza toppings from 1 to 5, with 1 being your favorite and 5 being the least favorite: Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Pineapple, Olives, and Onions.”
- Demographic Questions: These questions gather information about the respondents, like age, gender, education, or income. They help researchers analyze results based on different groups.
- Grid-of-Choice Questions: This survey format groups related questions together and uses a similar response scale. For example, asking about preference levels for different food items.
Learn how to create your own grid-of-choice questions here: How to Create a Grid of Choices
Advantages of Multiple Choice Questions
Well, it will not be wrong to say that a multiple-choice questionnaire means multiple benefits. Let’s explore some of the top advantages of MCQs.
Imagine you ordered food online and received it well on time. Now, the app asks you to rate the delivery partner on a scale of 1-5. By spending just a couple of seconds, you can rate the delivery partner and appreciate them for a job well done. Yes, MCQs are really that convenient!
Whether you are taking an application form or sharing feedback with your favorite brand, you can fill MCQs anytime and from anywhere. As long as there are fewer questions to answer, it will not take a toll on your brain or body.
2. Avoid Subjective Opinions
There are situations when you don’t need the subjective opinions of your respondents. For example, if you wish to know the most popular election candidate, you can simply present the names of the people who are contesting. Taking subjective opinions about the importance of elections or democracy will not serve any purpose here.
With multiple-choice questions, you can get objective data that is both observable as well as measurable. This helps you achieve your research goals faster.
3. Takes Less Time to Complete
Multiple-choice questionnaires take less time to complete in comparison to open-ended questions. For instance, if students are asked to write an essay in a test instead of answering MCQs, they will take more time.
Similarly, a business can share short MCQ surveys with customers and allow them to complete them at their convenience. When customers know that such questions will take less time to complete, the business can enjoy higher survey response rates.
4. Makes Data Analysis Simpler
With multiple-choice questions, you can easily automate your data analysis process. For example, in the case of student tests, automated grading can help teachers evaluate tests and grade students on a larger scale. Even if a thousand students are given the same test, grading can be easily done.
Moreover, when people are made to type their answers, there can be grammatical or typographical errors. However, you can reduce human errors and make data analysis easier when you provide selected response options.
Disadvantages of Multiple Choice Questions
There are pros and cons to everything, and MCQs are no exception. Here are some common disadvantages of multiple-choice questions:
1. People Can Get Lucky
People who have no idea about a question might get lucky while answering an MCQ. During a test, a student can randomly choose an option (out of four), and there is a 25% chance that it is the correct answer.
Even if someone decides to select the option “A” for every question, the person will get some correct answers for sure, even if they would normally get 0% in other types of questions.
2. Can Take Time to Develop
There are certain types of multiple-choice questions where you need to choose every response option carefully. Giving more thought to something only means spending more time and effort.
For example, for a maths test, you need to strategically choose potential answers to avoid making the correct answer seem too obvious. Framing such questions can take more time than writing open-ended or fill-in-the-blank questions.
3. MCQs Lack Qualitative Data
With multiple-choice questions, you can understand that a customer had an unsatisfactory experience with your brand. However, you cannot understand the “why” behind it. In order to see the complete picture, you need to use the right mix of both open and closed-ended questions.
MCQs may not help you capture qualitative data in the form of subjective opinions, perceptions, stories, experiences, and more.
Create the Best Multiple-Choice Questions
Due to their versatile nature, multiple-choice questions have gained popularity in education, market research, customer feedback, product development, and many others.
To create the best multiple-choice questionnaire, you need to provide accurate and relevant answer options, keep the language simple, and add the “others” option whenever possible. With well-framed MCQs, you can collect comprehensive data and research your target audience faster.
With ProProfs Survey Maker, you can go for multiple-choice or 20 other question-types such as rating scale, NPS scale, text box, etc. You can also choose from our library of 1000,000+ ready-to-use questions or simply create one from scratch. Customize the various elements of your question, add branching to answers, and share your questionnaire via email, social media, or embed on your website. Yes, collecting the right information is really that simple now!
Do you want a free Survey Software?
We have the #1 Online Survey Maker Software to get actionable user insights.