Close-ended questions are question formats that provoke a simple response from a respondent. They are designed such there isn’t much thought into the single word answer. A close ended question example is, “are you hungry?”.

Individuals generally enjoy talking about themselves. If you give then an opportunity, you'll be surprised how much information they'll disclose to you. Close-ended questions seek the exact opposite. Rather than seek to hear all they have to say, these questions  target specifics.

Close-ended questions are better suited to quantitative research, where the respondents answer your questions in a manner such that they're less likely to disengage 

What is a close ended question

A closed-ended question, by definition, is a question that could be answered with a one-word answer or a simple "yes" or "no."

In research, a closed-ended question refers to any question for which participants are provided with options from which to choose a response. In a search for statistically significant stats? closed-ended questions are your best bet.

Close-ended questions allow a limited number of responses and are ideal for surveys because you get higher response rates when users don't have to type so much. 

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Types & Examples of Close Ended Questions 

Dichotomous or True/False Questions 

The true and false questions basically consist of a question and TWO answer options. Many a time, the answer options used are 'True and False'. You can, nevertheless, use other options, such as 'Yes' and 'No', 'I Agree' and 'I Disagree'.

  • Examples of a true/false close ended question includes;

For each of the following statements, indicate True or False

  1. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.
  2. Regression coefficients have a sum of 0.
  3. Printers can be connected directly to a computer network

close-ended-question-example

Multiple Choice Questions

A multiple-choice question is one in which provides respondents with multiple answer options. In examinations, a multiple-choice question contains a set of alternatives or possible answers that contain one that is the best answer to the question and a number of distractors that are plausible but incorrect answers to the question.

Multichoice can be divided into two; one preferred answer per question (Radio Choice)  and the ability to choose more than one option (CheckBoxes). 

  • Close Ended Question Example on Radio Choice

What is the name of the incumbent president of the United States? 

close-ended-questions-example

  • Close Ended Question Example on Radio Choice

   Which of these cities is situated in the United States? 

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Rating Scale Choice Questions

A rating scale is a subset of the multiple-choice question which is widely used to gather opinions that provide relative information about a specific topic. Most researchers use a rating scale when they mean to associate a qualitative measure with the various aspects of a product or feature.

Examples of Rating Scale Close Ended Questions

  1. How difficult (1) or easy (5) was it to log in to the app? (1=Very difficult, 5=Very easy)
  2. How disinterested (1) or interested (5) are you in purchasing Nike boots? (1=Not at all interested, 5=Extremely interested)
  3. Please rate your agreement with the following statement: “I understand who this product is for.” (1=Strongly disagree, 5=Strongly agree)

close-question-examples-rating

Rank Order Choice Questions

Rank order questions are basically multiple-choice questions represented in a single column format. They are close ended questions that allow respondents to evaluate multiple row items in relation to one column item or a question in a ranking survey and then rank the row items.

  • Examples of Rank Order Closed Questions
  1. Please rank these toppings on a scale of 1 to 5. With 1 being your favorite.
  • Olives 
  • Sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Anchovies
  • Pepperoni

close-ended-questions-examples

  1. Please rank the following in order of importance from 1 to 4, where 1 is most important to you and 4 is least important to you.
  • Cleanliness
  • Ease of packing
  • Friendliness of staff
  • Speed of service
  1. Please rank (1 to 4) the following in order of interest.
  • Skiing
  • Biking
  • Snowboarding
  • Hiking

Create Close Ended Questionnaire with Formplus

Use of Close Ended Questions

  • Surveys/Questionnaires 

Close-ended questions are used on Surveys and questionnaires to collect quantitative information from respondents on a particular phenomenon. In surveys, a closed-ended question is made up of pre-populated answer choices for the respondent to choose from.

  • Education 

Close-ended questions are used for administering examinations to students to test their understanding of a given course or subject. In examinations, close ended questions could come in a multitude of forms, including multiple-choice, drop down, checkboxes, and ranking questions.

  • Interviews

Close-ended questions are often asked to collect fast facts about your interviewee. They usually take less time to answer. Close-ended questions work best when the number of interviewees is large. Closed-ended questions, in this case, are those which can be answered by a simple "yes" or "No". Even though ideally for interviews, open ended questions are better.

  • Research

Close-ended questions are ideal for research. For a researcher looking for an easier and quicker way for respondents to answer, it's ideal to employ close ended questions. The answers from different respondents are easier to compare, code and statistically analyze. The response choices can also clarify question meaning for respondents.

When to Choose Close Ended Questions Over Open-Ended Questions

Close-ended questions generally look for specific facts and only require a one-word answer which may be a yes or a no. If you’re looking to find out specific information, a close ended question is your best show. If you patronize open ended questions, you might have a problem with information overload.

Close-ended questions also help you make a decision quickly saving you a lot of time. The reason is that the information you’ve collected is quantitative in nature and as such, can be quickly analyzed. When there is a large amount of information to collect, close ended questions work better. They save time and ultimately cost.

Why Formplus is the best data collection tool for asking close ended Questions

Formplus is a powerful platform to create forms that collect data online and offline(beta). With an easy to use online form builder and a variety of intuitive features that make data collection seamless. Here are a few features that assist you in collecting data for close ended questions.

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Get Started with Formplus

Store files received from your form with Formplus unlimited storage or in your preferred cloud storage option (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Dropbox are currently available). With unlimited file uploads, you can submit files, photos, or videos via your online forms without any restriction to the size or number of files that can be uploaded. 

With Formplus, you can automate monotonous and repetitive tasks by creating digital workflows and adding approvals or review process to your forms so you and other members of your team can automatically review submissions. After reviewing the workflows, the team members can easily approve submissions. This helps you to save time and be more productive. 

  • Radio Choice

Preparing a survey/questionnaire, use the Radio choice to ask your respondents to choose a single option from a shortlist. Radio Choice should always be used when asking close ended questions. 

  • Multiple Select & Checkboxes 

The Checkbox field allows you to add options to your form for your respondents to select from. This field is best used for surveys with questions requiring more than one answer, unlike the Radio field which is useful when you want your respondents to select only one answer. 

  • Rating Scale Feature 

With ratings on Scale, Stars, Hearts, Smileys, and Matrix, you can assign weights to each answer choice. The Matrix rating is the most ideal and is used for a closed-ended question that asks respondents to evaluate one or more row items using the same set of column choices.

  • Logic & Calculation to Measure Quantitativeness

Logic & calculating form feature field allows you to perform simple mathematical operations on your forms such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This feature is especially useful in order forms to display the details of surveys. All you need to do is assign values to the options you have used in your choice-fields before they can be calculated.

  • Export Data as CSV or PDF

With this feature, you can export all submitted responses to your form as a CSV file. You can also download the submitted responses as a Docx file and/or PDF.

With Form analytics, you can gather useful insights from forms. The Analytics dashboard reveals information like the total form views, unique views, abandonment rate, conversion rate, the average time it takes to complete a questionnaire/survey, top devices, and the countries your form views are from. Using Reports, you can get an overview of the data submitted to your form.

  • Intro & Post Submission Message

With this Formplus feature, you can customize the intro and final message that will be displayed to your form users before and after they have filled and successfully submitted your form.

Advantages of Closed-Ended Questions over Open-Ended Questions 

  • Easy and quick to answer

While Close-ended questions are easy and quick to answer because of the introduction of options for the respondent, open ended questions require more thought, introspection and are generally more time-consuming.

  • Response choice can clarify the question text for the respondent

The response choice provides clarity on the expected answer for the question asked as is the case of close ended questions. Open-ended questions may be ambiguous and difficult to understand to the recipient and as such discourage a response or lead to abandonment. 

  • Improves consistency of responses

With open ended questions, you can somewhat marshall the respondents to maintain consistency in their responses by asking follow-up questions for confirmation. The same cannot be achieved with open ended questions which are mostly qualitative in nature and allows the respondents freedom of expression.

  • Easy to compare with other respondents or questionnaires

Open-ended questions are a researchers dream. You can easily make comparisons between sets of respondents. The same cannot be said of open ended questions, because no two respondents can have the exact same opinion on a particular question asked.

  • Less costly to analyze

Open-ended questions save you a fortune when it comes to analyzing the information collected from your respondents. Even though analyzing open ended questions helps you to empathize with your audience and gather essential insights, It takes a lot of time and expenses to execute.

  • Motivates respondents to answer

Closed ended questions are easier to complete than open ended questions. This is because, closed-ended questions layout all of the possible answers, removing respondents’ task of coming up with their own responses.

  • Lets you categorize respondents

In other words, they allow you to conduct demographic studies. Closed ended questions on gender, age, employment status, and any other demographic information they’d like to know could be added to your survey.

Disadvantages of close ended Questions 

  • In some cases, a close ended question may not have the exact answer the respondent wants to give.
  • The respondents might be influenced by the options available.
  • The respondents may select answers most similar to true response, even though it is different.
  • The number of available options may confuse the respondent.
  • Respondents who don't have an opinion may answer anyway.
  • A close ended question doesn't give information about whether or not the respondent actually understood the question asked.

Conclusion

On the whole, it is important to note that Close-ended questions are best used when you want a short, direct answer to a very specific question. In reality, most closed-ended questions can easily be turned into open ended questions with a few minor tweaks here and there.

Closed-ended questions aren't just simple questions that anyone can quickly answer merely because they require a yes or no answer. Close-ended questions may also be complicated sometimes. If you've ever filled out a multiple-choice form, you can relate. But they are indeed a lot easier to analyze than open ended questions.

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  • Formplus Blog
  • on 9 min read

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