Recommended scales for survey questions


Unipolar scales: Extremely, Very, Moderately, Slightly, Not at all

Bipolar scales: Very X, Moderately X, Neither X nor Y, Moderately Y, Very Y

** Add a non-response option (e.g., not applicable, unable to judge) as appropriate.

** Remove the neutral option as appropriate.

** Go from most positive to least positive (left to right) in labels, alternate codes, and numeric values (descending (5-1) order).

** Substitute “Not very” for “Slightly” in unipolar scales when appropriate.


Agreement: Strongly agree, Moderately agree, Neither agree nor disagree, Moderately disagree, Strongly disagree (another version removes the “moderately” qualifier and/or uses “neutral”)

Comparison: Much X, Slightly X, About the same, Slightly (opposite of X), Much (opposite of X)

Ease: Very easy, Moderately easy, Neither easy nor difficult, Moderately difficult, Very difficult

Expectations: Exceeds expectations, Fully meets expectations, Does not fully meet expectations, Does not meet expectations at all

Extent (5 pt): A great deal (Completely, if appropriate), Considerably, Moderately, Slightly, Not at all

Extent (4 pt): Significantly, Moderately, Slightly, Not at all

Frequency (no set time): Always, Often, Occasionally, Rarely, Never

Frequency (general): Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Once a semester, Once a year, Never

Frequency (based on time frame): More than 5 times, 4 - 5 times, 2 - 3 times, 1 time, Less than 1 time, Never

Frequency (extended): More than once a week, Once a week, Once a month, Once a semester, Once a year, Less than once a year, Never

Helpfulness: Extremely helpful, Very helpful, Moderately helpful, Slightly helpful, Not at all helpful

Importance: Extremely important, Very important, Moderately important, Slightly important, Not at all important

Interest: Extremely interested, Very interested, Moderately interested, Slightly interested, Not at all interested

Likelihood: Very likely, Moderately likely, Neither likely nor unlikely, Moderately unlikely, Very unlikely

Numeric Scales: Less than #, About the same, More than #

Probability: Definitely would, Probably would, Probably wouldn’t, Definitely wouldn’t

Proficiency: Beginner, Developing, Competent, Advanced, Expert (typical for Rubrics)

Quality: Excellent, Good, Average, Below average, Poor

Satisfaction: Very satisfied, Moderately satisfied, Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, Moderately dissatisfied, Very dissatisfied (another version removes the “moderately” qualifier and/or uses “neutral”)

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