Rating (Likert Scale) Question Type

A Rating question is a single-select scale question, often referred to as a Likert Scale.

When To Use It

Use Rating questions to collect respondents' opinions using answer choices that range from one extreme to another, such as very unhappy to very happy. These choices are shown horizontally, with labels above or below each choice. Typically, the reporting value is numeric for analysis purposes.


On the Layout tab of your Rating question there are several available customizations.

Orientation of Labels & Options

First, you can choose from the Vertical, Horizontal or Stacked orientations.

Stacked (Default)

Stacked Layout (Default)

Horizontal (Far Left and Far Right Labels are not compatible with this orientation)

Horizontal Layout

Vertical (Far Left and Far Right Labels are not compatible with this orientation)

Vertical Layout

Scale Options

Flip Scales Randomly (left to right) - When using the Stacked orientation this option will be available to eliminate bias introduced from scale order.

Position Labels on the Bottom - When using the Stacked orientation you can choose this option instead of displaying labels at the top.

Show N/A Answer Options Outside of Labels* - When using the Stacked orientation this will display the N/A options to the right of the Far Right Label (or to the left of the Far Left Label in right-to-left languages). 

Show NA Option Outside of Labels

*This is a new option as of 03/22/2017. Questions created after this date will have this selected by default. If you wish to display your NA option in this format in questions created before this date simply check this option. 

Show NA Outside of Labels Setting

Far Left and Far Right Labels - When Using the Stacked orientation you will have the option to enter a Far Left Label and a Far Right Label.

Place labels on the right side of the input - When using the Vertical or Horizontal orientations you can choose to place labels to the left or the right of the input. 

Using Left and Right Labels with the NA Option

For any newly (created after 03/20/2017) created Rating questions, please note that if you have opted to include a Not Applicable answer within your question, this option will appear outside of the labels (if you are using the Stacked orientation and have provided labels):

Rating Question NA Option

If you have an existing Rating question with an NA option and want to position this option outside of the labels, you can do so by editing this question and selecting the Show N/A Option Outside of Label setting on the Layout tab.

Creating a True Likert Scale Question

Our Rating question is not actually a true Likert scale question. A "Likert Scale” is actually the sum of responses to several Likert items (learn more). If you are looking to create a true Likert scale we recommend using a Radio Button Grid question type. With this question type, you can enable row and column averages to report on all rows of the table together.

Survey Taking

On a desktop and most laptops the Rating (Likert Scale) question type looks like so.

Rating Question Survey Taking on Desktop

When optimized for mobile devices the Rating (Likert Scale) question type looks very similar but with larger targets as mobile respondents will be using their finger to select answers.

By default, survey questions show one at a time on mobile devices to prevent the need for scrolling on smaller screens. For single-select questions, like the Rating (Likert Scale) question, the screen will automatically advance after an option is selected. You can turn off this one-at-a-time interaction if you wish.

Rating Question Survey Taking on Mobile


Rating questions report as a Pie Chart with a table that includes a count and percent for each answer option.

Rating Question Reporting Element

Report Compatibility

The below grid shows whether Rating (Likert Scale) questions are compatible with each of our report types. If you plan to do some specific analysis within SurveyGizmo this report compatibility chart should help you choose the right question types.

Report Type
Legacy Summary



In the CSV/Excel Export, the data is displayed in a single column, showing the reporting values for the answer options.

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