How to choose a rating scale
Emilie Roze avatar
Written by Emilie Roze
Updated over a week ago

The rating scale is what allows the participant to assign a score to a closed question. Whether they have a numerical display (e.g. ⓵⓶⓷⓸⓹) or a graphical one (e.g. ☆☆☆☆☆), they allow you to measure your teams' opinions and perceptions.

Choosing the right scale for your question can be trickier than it seems. To help you navigate this, we've compiled the most effective and widely used scales here. 🤓

In this article:

💡 Pro tip : Make sure you use the same scale for all the questions in your survey!

  • During your analysis, the results are only truly comparable if the scale is identical.

  • During the survey, it will be easier for employees to answer successive questions if they have the same scoring system.

Supermood's chosen scales

From 1 to 5, the most recommended


This is the most commonly used scale for internal studies and the one we recommend for your regular surveys:

  • It has good statistical qualities
    It is very easy to prioritize and rank the topics to be addressed.

  • It allows the participant to place their opinion more easily
    With 5 possibilities, this scale has enough nuance to allow everyone to find their bearings, and is restricted enough to avoid ambiguities.

  • It has a fallback value (⓷)
    Having a fallback value is essential for employees who don't have a strong opinion or don't want to take a stand. This ensures that you get more reliable results and, more importantly, a better impact on the participation rate. Indeed, if participants feel pressured to have a strong opinion, they may back off and stop responding to surveys.

From 0 to 10, the eNPS model

  • The 0-10 scale offers a wide range of possible answers and is widely recognized as a powerful tool (for measuring satisfaction as well as pain, for example). However, it echoes the school grading system, which leaves room for intuitive behavior when choosing an answer.

  • It also allows you to group respondents into categories (ambassadors, passives, non-ambassadors and detractors) - very useful for measuring employee engagement with eNPS.

Other commonly used scale models

For more options and flexibility, Supermood gives you the ability to choose other scale models.

ℹ️ For readability and consistency in comparative reading of your different survey results, all closed-ended question scores will be converted to a scale of 1-5 in global custom reports.

The "forced choice"

These scales have an even number of options. The most commonly used is the scale from 1 to 4.

It can be used whenever you want a clear-cut position from your coworkers.

Be aware that by forcing the participant to take a particular stand, you run the risk of making them refuse to answer and thus losing their opinion.

The scale from 1 to 7

Presenting a fairly large number of nuanced options, the scale from 1 to 7 is frequently used for scientific and sociological studies.

It has very good statistical properties and a good granularity of answers.

However, the participants are less accustomed to using it and may be unsettled.

If you would like advice on the most suitable format for your survey, feel free to contact your account manager!

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