Level 2

Mathematics and Statistics clarifications

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AS91263 Design a questionnaire

Updated December 2014. This document has been updated to address issues that have arisen from moderation.


Students can be provided with a purpose for the questionnaire. The context must be familiar to students and background detail available about the purpose and the users of the survey’s results.

Desk review and pilot survey

The design process includes carrying out a desk review and conducting pilot surveys.

The desk review involves looking for things that are likely to cause problems. It can be done by the designer of the questionnaire, another student, or both the designer of the questionnaire and another student. A desk review needs to be carried out after changes to questions, so the design process is likely to involve more than one review.

The pilot survey is a trial run of the questionnaire with a small sample from the target population. It includes collecting and processing the data, and is used to identify problems and improve the efficiency of the questionnaire.

Required quality of student response

Students need to provide evidence of each component of the questionnaire design process detailed in Explanatory Note 3 of the standard. There needs to be written documentation of the entire design process.

Merit is with justification. This includes providing explanations for any decisions made in the design process, for example explanations for the choice and type of questions, explanations for any changes to questions following the desk review and pilot survey.

Excellence is with statistical insight and involves integrating statistical and contextual knowledge. Students should reflect on all aspects of the questionnaire design process. They should have carried out research into the purpose of the questionnaire and as a result of reflecting on their questionnaire may consider refining the purpose to meet specific information needs of the survey and the groups who will use the data.

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