Using Ordinal Questions in Surveys for Academic Assignments

Collecting actionable data based on the behaviours of the research participants is a challenging thing to do. The measures of attitude, opinions, and behaviours are highly subjective, and this subjectivity adds complexity. Luckily, with ordinal questions, this measure is no more a difficult task. As a researcher, you can use ordinal scale questions in surveys to collect opinion-based responses for your academic assignments. However, do you know what these questions are? How can you use them in surveys? Most probably, you do not know the answers to these questions because if you knew, you would not be here reading this article. Well, do not worry. You have come to the right piece of writing. In today’s article, we will explore ordinal questions used in surveys in detail. There will be examples of such questions and a guide on creating such questions for your survey. So, let’s start with the definition first.

What is the Definition of Ordinal Questions?

An ordinal or ordered question allows the researcher to evaluate and analyse the attitude of research participants towards a topic or subject by using ordered responses. Yes, the answers are also given, and they follow an order. For example, the responses to the questions can include; “very satisfied”, “satisfied”, “neutral”, etc. The most significant thing in ordinal questions is the order of the responses and their measurement. You cannot quantify the value of satisfied because the relation between satisfied and very satisfied relative.

What are Some Examples of Ordinal Questions?

This popular form of survey questions offers the research respondents ordered answers. The survey participants for academic assignments can choose any answer from the range of responses given as the options. The options range from one extreme to the other. For a practical view, look at the examples given below: How satisfied are you with our work?
  • Very Unsatisfied – 1
  • Unsatisfied – 2
  • Neutral – 3
  • Satisfied – 4
  • Very Satisfied – 5
How challenging is your current job?
  • Very Challenging
  • Challenging
  • Moderately Challenging
  • Slightly Challenging
  • Not Challenging at all
These are the two examples of ordinal questions that you can use in surveys. Now, here you can observe two things. One is the order of the responses, and the other is the severity. The options range from one extreme to the other. I hope you now have a better understanding of such questions.

How do You Create Ordinal Questions For Your Survey?

After reading the information above, you now have got a good idea of these questions, and the examples given above must have strengthened your base. Let’s know how you can create such questions in surveys for your academic assignments. In simple words, let’s explain how you can formulate these questions. Hence, a brief description of all steps is as follows:

Identify the Purpose of Your Survey

First of all, you need to identify the purpose of the survey study which you intend to conduct. It means you must have an idea of the focus of your questions. As the researcher, you need to determine which perspective, attitude, or behaviour of the research respondents you are going to measure. For example, your purpose is to know about the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses. Along with this, you should also decide whether you need unipolar questions or bipolar ordinal questions.


Conclusively, ordinal questions are the question used to have an idea of the respondent’s perspective or attitude towards a subject. To create these questions, pay close attention to all three points discussed above and set the variables correctly.    

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