Making Survey Questions Required
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You can make survey questions required or mandatory using our Require to Answer feature. You can do this when you design your survey, and is configured individually on each question.
Even if your survey has already launched, you can change the settings on questions to make them required.
How It Works:
This feature prevents respondents from advancing to the next page if a question is skipped.
- When respondents click the Next or Done buttons to move to the next survey page, the system checks for required questions at that time.
- If the respondent missed any mandatory questions, the system sends them back to the skipped question. An error message will appear, so you'll want to ensure your instructions are clear and straightforward both on the question and in the message.
- By default, this feature marks the question with an asterisk. You can turn off the asterisk in the Survey Options. The question does remain mandatory, but the asterisk will be removed.
- In order for the page to be submitted (and for answers to subsequently be sent to SurveyMonkey), they'll need to answer the questions that are required on that page.
NOTE: There is not a way to automatically add/remove this on all questions at once. It must be turned on or off individually.
How to Make Questions Mandatory or Required:
- Click the Design icon for the survey to enter into the Edit Survey mode.
- Create a new question (click Add Question) or edit an existing one (click Edit Question next to it).
- Scroll down to Require an answer to this question and tick the checkbox to enable it.
- Directly beneath, you'll see a box to edit the error message— we recommend adding a concise, clear message to respondents.
- Click Save Question or Save Changes when you are finished. An asterisk (*) will appear next to the questions that are mandatory.
Asterisks: If you do not want them visible, click Survey Options from the Create Survey page (in the left-hand gray column) to turn them off:
- Scroll down to the Required Question Highlight option.
- Choose the option of Do not highlight required questions.
- Click Save Changes when you are finished.
Set a Limit:
When creating a Multiple Choice, Matrix/Rating, or Open-Ended type question, you can configure the Require feature to where respondents must answer according to a specific limit. The following criteria are available:
- At least
- At most
Enter the amount of choices you want to allow in the question editor. If you apply a limit, edit the error message to relay information to the respondent on what is allowed.
Example: If you want respondents to answer all rows in a Matrix question, choose "All". This means that all rows must be answered.
To learn more, view the following: Establishing a Limit.
A. Customize the Error Message:
Edit the message to reflect why it requires an answer. By default, the error message reads: "This question requires an answer." If there is skip logic, perhaps mention that an answer choice needs to be selected in order to properly move respondents through the survey.
B. Edit the Color of the Error Message:
If you have a dark background color, use a bright or lighter color for the error message. When the color is too dark, it blends in with the question and respondents will not notice it. You can edit the color of the error message under the Theme Editor.
C. Applying Limits or Text Validations:
It is always important to test the survey link as if you were a respondent. You can then see how the required features or text validations work. You can customize your error messages accordingly, so respondents know exactly what is expected.
You can make any question in your survey required so that respondents must answer it before submitting the page. By default, required questions are marked by an asterisk (*), but you can choose to hide the asterisks from the OPTIONS section of the sidebar in the Design Survey section of your survey.
If respondents don't answer a required question, they will not be able to advance to the next page until they answer the question within the requirements. You can customize the error message that they see if they leave a required question blank, or if their answer doesn't meet the required range or limit.
When you analyze your results, you may notice that some respondents skipped required questions. This could mean that skip logic skipped them past the question, or that the respondent exited early.
Requiring an Answer to a Question
To require an answer to a question:
- Click the Design Survey tab.
- Click a question to edit it.
- Click the Options tab.
- Select Require an Answer to This Question.
- Customize the error message and set a required range or limit (optional).
- Click Save.
Requiring Questions in Bulk
You can require all the questions on a page at once, instead of changing the setting on each question one by one.
To require an answer to all questions on a page:
- In the Design Survey section, click More Actions at the top of the page whose questions you want to require.
- Click Require questions.
There's no way to undo this bulk action, but you can uncheck Require an Answer to This Question under the Options tab for individual questions if needed.
If you need to require a specific range or limit, or customize the error messages, you need to adjust these settings for each individual question.
Requiring a Specific Range or Limit
On question types that allow multiple answer choices, rows, or textboxes, you can set a range or a limit on how many the respondent must answer. The following requirements are available:
- at least
- at most
- a range
Then you can enter the number of answer choices you want to require the respondent to answer.