Star Rating Question

Star rating definition

A star rating is a rating question that lets people rate a product or service with a number of stars. The number of stars can vary from 5 to 10 stars. A star rating question is a type of rating question that allows users to rank attributes on a scale represented with stars, instead of radio buttons or checkboxes. A star rating can be used when asking for general opinions and emoji or smiley rating icons are more suitable when asking about emotions or sentiments.

Research has shown that the maximal information from one-dimensional subjective ratings is obtained with 5 to 7 equally distanced ranked choices or in this case stars.

For your convenience, we've listed the main pros and cons of this type of rating question below.


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Star rating examples

Ask people who visit your hotel how they liked their hotel room, breakfast, or their stay in general with a simple star rating question.

After a training event, ask employees to rate the rating question example

Try out Rating questions in Survey Anyplace! Other forms of rating questions are radio buttons.

Advantages of a star rating

  • Rating scales add a measure of data precision
  • They create standardization, allowing you to compare different people, topic, or products easily
  • They work as a general system; therefore, appraisals and assessments can be created for almost anything
  • They provide an opportunity for things to be graded fairly
  • Equality can be reached in a more successful manner than other systems that are more subjective

Disadvantages of a star rating

  • The downside to rating scales is the drawback of misunderstood information.
  • There is also a considerable threat of skewed data; the vast majority of users will provide a positive rating; they're using it over competitive alternatives and want to justify their decision. There will only be a few who have conducted an unbiased assessment of the available alternatives
  • People interpret the rating differently. As with any grading, some are more inclined to be generous compared to others.


You might think that the star rating answer options are so simple, that you can ask your respondents a more complicated question. Don’t fall into this trap. All the usual golden rules for writing survey questions apply:

  • Keep the question short and simple!
  • Avoid double-barrelled questions. Only ask respondents to rate one thing, for example, “How would you rate the delivery time” and not, “How would you rate the delivery time and quality of item received”. You’ll run into problems when you come to analyze the data as you won’t be able to tell what exactly your respondents were rating.
  • Even in a star rating question, you must make sure that it is not a leading question. For example, don’t ask “How would you rate the renowned footballer …”. By using the word “renowned” you are causing the respondents to be biased and give them a higher rating. Make sure to avoid using wording that suggests a particular answer is desirable.

Vincent is the author of this solution article.

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