Questionnaire - Term Overview

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A questionnaire is a set of questions that is made to obtain information with a specific objective. There are numerous styles and formats of questionnaires, according to the specific purpose of each one.

In the field of education, questionnaires are usually the mechanism chosen by teachers to evaluate their students. A questionnaire can appear in writing, instructing the student to answer each of the questions on a sheet. According to their answers, the teacher will be able to judge whether the student learned, or not, what was dictated in class.

Examination questionnaires can also be completed orally. In this case, the student must answer the questioning of the teacher, who will be in charge of asking questions related to the subject of study.

Depending on the subject, the way in which the student answers and the teacher corrects a questionnaire can vary considerably. For example, if the questions deal with mathematics or some other exact science, very precise results will be expected, since a small error can lead to large differences; However, if the questionnaire is about the history of a country or about psychology, the teacher is likely to respect the student's opinion to a certain extent, as long as it doesn't include false information and provides the requested data as a minimum.

On the other hand, the written and oral questionnaires used to assess foreign language students are very different. In the first place, unlike those mentioned in the previous paragraph, these are made for students with limited vocabulary and with much fewer linguistic tools, unless, of course, they are very advanced exams. Therefore, when correcting a questionnaire of this type, great depth isn't expected but, for example, a good level of spelling and grammar.

The survey, on the other hand, also developed through questionnaires. If a company that produces sweets wants to know the preferences of consumers before launching a new product, it can survey buyers through questionnaires that ask what their preferred flavors are, what type of packaging attracts them the most, how much money are they willing to pay for treats etc.

Many magazines and websites publish questionnaires of various types to guide their readers on topics related to love, health, money and friendship, among many others. For example, it's common to find some that offer answers about "why a love relationship doesn't work" or "how to improve work performance." It's important to note that these aren't very reliable sources, specially when dealing with health issues, but can act as guides to later make important decisions, such as visiting a doctor.

The census organizing a State are other methods including questionnaires. Thanks to a census, the authorities of a country can obtain very important data to develop statistics that, in turn, serve for the elaboration of state policies. Census questionnaires usually ask the population about the family nucleus, the characteristics of the dwelling, the domestic economy and other questions.

The psychology uses the questionnaire to study and analyze many different topics, including personality, emotional stability, intelligence, social skills, mental agility and depressive tendencies is. Some questionnaires contain several versions of the same questions located at a certain distance from each other, so that the person evaluated doesn't notice the repetition, which can lead to answering different things in each case, and a lack of sincerity is detected.

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