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Rating Scale

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Use our in-depth online survey guide to create an actionable feedback collection survey process.


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What is a Rating Scale?

A rating scale is one of the most commonly used questionnaire types for online as well as offline surveys. It consists of close-ended questions along with a set of categories as options for respondents. A rating scale helps gain information on the qualitative and quantitative attributes.

The most common example of rating scales is the Likert scale and 1-10 rating scale. For instance, when you visit an online shopping site and it asks you to rate your shopping experience. Such type of question and choice of option is called rating scale.

The rating scale is a popular choice for conducting market research. It can serve the purpose of gathering more relative information about a product or certain aspects of the product. The scale is commonly used to gain feedback or to evaluate. A rating scale can be used to gain insight on the performance of a product, employee satisfaction or skill, customer service performance, etc.

Rating Scale 09

Categories of Rating Scale

A rating scale is divided into two categories: Ordinal scale and Interval scale. Some data are measured at ordinal level and some at interval level.

Ordinal Scale: An ordinal Scale gathers data by putting them in a rank but without a degree of difference.

Interval Scale:  An interval scale measures data with equal distance between two adjacent attributes.

Create your own scale with Voxco Online.

Types of Rating Scale

Rating scales can fall under the following types of scales.

  • Numeric rating scale or NRS:

    • Numeric rating scale uses numbers to identify the items in a scale. However, not all the numbers need to have an attribute attached to it.
    • For example, you can ask your target audience to rate your product from 1 to 5 on the rating scale. You can put 1 as totally dissatisfied and 5 as totally satisfied.
  • Verbal rating scale or VRS:

    • Verbal rating scales are used for pain assessment. Also known as verbal pain scores and verbal descriptor scale compiles a number of statements that describe the intensity of pain and duration.
    • For instance, when you go to a dentist and you are asked to rate the intensity of your tooth pain. At that time, you receive a scale with items like, “none”, “mild”, “moderate”, “severe”, and “very severe”.
  • Visual analog scale or VAS:

    • The idea behind VAS is to let the audience select any value from the scale, in between two endpoints. In the scale, only the endpoints have attributes allotted to numbers and the rest of the scale is empty. Often just called a slider scale this allows the audience to rate whatever they want without being restricted to particular characteristics or rank.
    • For example, a scale rating from extremely easy to extremely difficult, with no other value allotted in the scale.

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  • Likert scale:

    • A Likert scale is useful tool for effective market research to receive feedback on a wide range of psychometric attributes. The agree-disagree scale is particularly useful when your intention is to gather information on frequency, experience, quality, likelihood, etc.
    • For example, to evaluate employee satisfaction with company policies, a Likert scale is a good tool to use.
  • Graphic rating scale:

    • Instead of numbers imagine using pictures, such as stars or smiley faces to ask your customers and audience to rate. The stars and smiley faces can generate the same value as a number.
  • Descriptive rating scale:

    • In certain surveys or research numeric scale may not be of much help. A descriptive rating scale, explains each option for the respondent. It contains a thorough explanation for the purpose of gathering information with deep insights.

Advantages of Rating Scale

  • A rating scale is a simple and easy tool for both the researcher and the audience,
  • In terms of marketing surveys, a rating scale is a valuable tool for data analysis. It can gain product review for evaluation and a further improvement in marketing strategy.

Disadvantages of Rating scale

  • It does not help collect the reason behind a customer review. A rating scale gets access to the overall experience but not the reason behind the perception of the audience.
  • In the case of VRS, the rating scale may oftentimes overestimate the patient’s pain experience. In addition to that, patients with limited vocabulary may not understand the statements in a verbal descriptor scale.

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When to use Rating Scale

A rating scale can be used to gather information on a particular topic. It can be used to gather

  • Customer review about an app they are using
  • Customer satisfaction with the delivery service of a courier company
  • Likelihood of recommending a café to a friend
  • Rate a list of brands from least to most favorite

A rating scale can gather information about a service or product from the target audience for the purpose of comparison and analysis.

  • For instance, if you are planning to start a business, a rating scale will provide you awareness of the current market demand. With the information gained, you can strategize your scheme.

There are various types of rating scales available in Voxco’s market research software, each of which serves a different purpose. Hence, before selecting a rating scale it is important to figure the purpose of the survey and also the kind of information you wish to gain.

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Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

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Great Research
Fast Insights
Best-in-class ROI

Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

Join 500 + global clients across 40+ countries