What Are The Ways To Pre Test And Pilot Questionnaire Of Your Survey

Time is very valuable and you will want the surveys to be fruitful as possible. It’s crucial to check the questionnaires before collecting data. If you are rushing into the surveys, it can lead to unforeseen problems. Pre-testing helps to avoid all these problems for raising the quality of data. Doing a test is better than not having any testing at all. You should pre-test the forms with at least 5 people.

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Ways to pretest the surveys before sending it

  • Finding a 10 people target group

After making the survey questionnaire, find a sample of about 5 to 10 people for the pretest purpose. You should have the budget to do the pretest to get effective results. Try to survey using the opinions of different people.

For instance, if the target group is the 15 to 25 age group, you should include younger people in the group. By doing a pre-test with a small number of people, you can identify all kinds of major issues. Adding more numbers can create additional problems only.

  • Ask the people to complete the survey while reading it out loud

Once you have found the people, ask them to complete the survey one at a time. Further, the respondents must complete surveys like the actual project. Likewise, the surveys are mostly online, so they have to complete them online only.

If the survey is a verbal one, there will be a trained interviewer asking the questions. When answering the questions, ask them to think out loud about the answers. Each time they read the questions, the answers will come to their mind.

  • Observe the way the survey is completed

Observe the way the respondents complete the surveys. They can make mistakes at first indicating the survey is not clear enough. You can make improvements based on the mistakes made.

How to do piloting?

  • Selecting the pilot sample

It’s best to do a pilot test before choosing the actual data. The size of the pilot depends on how big the data size is. For an end-line survey, there can be 30 to 50 people in a group.

  • Completing the steps from start to finish

Start with training the collectors on how to do it. Enter the completed surveys into the database to know how to plan them. Test the analysis properly.

If any improvements are needed, you can do it using practical problems. All of the mistakes can be fixed before the actual survey.


Doing a pre-test and piloting is necessary to check all kinds of potential problems. This will help to save headaches in the future. Pretesting helps to avoid any mistakes in the future. But the process is time-consuming and costly. You have to be prepared before starting with pretesting and piloting.