Common Rating Scales to Use when Writing Questions

Verint TeamSeptember 13, 2013

One of the most frequent mistakes I see when reviewing questionnaires are poorly written scales. Novice survey authors often create their own scale rather than using the appropriate common scale. It’s hard to write a good scale; instead you are better off rewording your question slightly so that you can use one of the following.


AcceptabilityNot at all acceptable, Slightly acceptable, Moderately acceptable, Very acceptable, Completely acceptable
AgreementCompletely disagree, Disagree, Somewhat disagree, Neither agree nor disagree, Somewhat agree, Agree, Completely agree
AppropriatenessAbsolutely inappropriate, Inappropriate, Slightly inappropriate, Neutral, Slightly appropriate, Appropriate, Absolutely appropriate
AwarenessNot at all aware, Slightly aware, Moderately aware, Very aware, Extremely aware
BeliefsNot at all true of what I believe, Slightly true of what I believe, Moderately true of what I believe, Very true of what I believe, Completely true of what I believe
ConcernNot at all concerned, Slightly concerned, Moderately concerned, Very concerned, Extremely concerned
FamiliarityNot at all familiar, Slightly familiar, Moderately familiar, Very familiar, Extremely familiar
FrequencyNever, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always
ImportanceNot at all important, Slightly important, Moderately important, Very important, Extremely important
InfluenceNot at all influential, Slightly influential, Moderately influential, Very influential, Extremely influential
LikelihoodNot at all likely, Slightly likely, Moderately likely, Very likely, Completely likely
PriorityNot a priority, Low priority, Medium priority, High priority, Essential
ProbabilityNot at all probable, Slightly probable, Moderately probable, Very probable, Completely probable
QualityVery poor, Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent
Reflect MeNot at all true of me, Slightly true of me, Moderately true of me, Very true of me, Completely true of me
Satisfaction (bipolar)Completely dissatisfied, Mostly dissatisfied, Somewhat dissatisfied, Neither satisfied or dissatisfied, Somewhat satisfied, Mostly satisfied, Completely satisfied
Satisfaction (unipolar)Not at all satisfied, Slightly satisfied, Moderately satisfied, Very satisfied, Completely satisfied

This list follows Krosnick’s advice to use 5-point unipolar scales and 7-point bipolar scales.

Let me know any of your favorite scales that I omitted.