What are Binary Questions?

A Binary Question is answered by picking one of two choices that are usually opposites. Examples include Yes / No or True / False questions. Given that these questions have such distinct answers, they’re great to use when you want a concrete answer on which side of a topic your respondents will fit into. 

Binary questions are also a good way to introduce clients into the assessment-taking process. Since these questions are so clear-cut, they can make choosing an answer – and completing an assessment – a quicker and more streamlined process.

(It is worth noting, though, that these are not questions to use as much when you’re trying to gather more nuanced information! In that instance, they could introduce bias into your assessment, so be sure your questions are truly as “one or the other” as you think!)


How to use Binary Questions

How to use Binary Questions

Binary questions can be scored and assigned to types, for Type and Multi-type assessments. This allows you to have flexibility in your scoring, giving respondents grades or scores across several subject areas. There are more examples of this on our Sample Assessments page.

Binary questions are also one of the four question formats that are called “trigger questions” when using conditional logic (or skip logic). You can use a binary question to direct respondents to their next question based on their answers, allowing you to ask different questions based on answers to a previous question.

So, how do you use these binary questions in real life? Let’s say you’re a coach who helps clients decide whether they’re better suited for a 9-5 job or life as an entrepreneur. This could be a great time to use binary questions, as you want your respondents to choose clearly between two different subjects. For example, “I work better when I don’t know the outcome,” or “Throughout my life I’ve had the urge to create and build something bigger than myself” could be great examples of True / False questions in this scenario. 

Don’t be afraid to mix question formats in your assessments as well! You don’t need to create an assessment made entirely of binary questions if another format would work better in some situations. You can leave room for other question formats depending on what information you are looking to gather, and how nuanced and detailed of answers you’d like to collect.

An assessment is yours to mold and build as you see fit – after all, you’re the one who knows your clients – or potential clients – the most! Are you ready to try out some binary questions in assessments? Click here and start building your assessment today! 


Cindy Sideris
Cindy Sideris

Cindy Sideris is a NY-based writer passionate about engagement marketing and an expert on online assessment strategy.