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Survey vs Questionnaire: Difference and Examples

Are surveys and questionnaires the same? If you are looking for this answer, keep reading! As we are going to talk in details about survey vs questionnaire in this blog!

A lot of times people use the terms survey and questionnaire interchangeably. However, there is a stark difference between the two. A survey helps evaluate and analyze the opinions of a particular section of the audience through a set of questions. Whereas a questionnaire is a collection of questions that might be created for a purpose other than conducting a survey.

Now that we’ve discussed the basics, let’s dive into the blog and learn about the difference between surveys and questionnaires in detail.

What is a Survey?

A survey is an interactive tool used to conduct research and analyze data about a specific subject. They help collect information for academic and business requirements. Besides, since a survey is a source of crucial information and helps provide great insight, it is important to create a survey meticulously. 

A survey may comprise one or more questionnaires which in turn may comprise open-ended questions or questions with predefined options. You can select the most appropriate choice available while filling in your responses.

To understand this better, let us look at examples of some surveys created by Outgrow

Brand Awareness Survey

The above is a GIF showing snippets of a Brand Awareness Survey created with Outgrow. It includes various questions in order to record the opinions of the users about a particular brand. 

At the end of the questionnaire, there is a lead generation form asking for user details followed by a thank you page.

Diet and Fitness Survey

The above is a GIF showing snippets of a Diet and Fitness Survey. This survey asks some basic questions in order to collect information about the diet and lifestyle of the users. It includes questions about food habits, physical activity, and the overall fitness level of the users. Further, a lead generation form follows the questions. Such a form typically helps collect user information like name and email. Once you fill the lead generation form, you will be greeted with a thank you page. Ta-da! You’re done with the survey!

What is a Questionnaire?

A questionnaire is a set of questions that may be both quantitative and qualitative in nature. This set of questions may be a part of anything, whether it is a survey or any other tool such as a quiz, calculator, etc. 

The purpose of a questionnaire is to gather information from a particular target audience. Further, this information can be then interpreted as a part of a wider survey. 

A questionnaire can be envisioned as a set of questions printed either on a single sheet of paper or a set of questions that can be answered online. 

Let us look at an example to understand the concept of questionnaires better.

Back to School Student Questionnaire

Back to school questionnaire

Source: https://www.examples.com/education/student-questionnaire.html 

The above is an example of a questionnaire for students. It asks some general questions about the personal information about the student, their future goals, some information on a specific class, class schedule, etc.

Now that we have discussed surveys and questionnaires, let us understand the key differences between surveys and questionnaires.

Survey vs Questionnaire

Key Differences


  1. A questionnaire is not a survey itself, but part of a survey. A survey might comprise one or more questionnaires. 
  2. A questionnaire is merely an instrument of data collection.
  3. Gathering information through a questionnaire is a fast process.
  4. Questionnaires are general sets of questions distributed to the respondents. 
  5. Individual questionnaires generally consist of close-ended questions where the answers collected are objective in nature.


  1. A survey refers to the process of collecting and analyzing data for research purposes. A survey goes beyond a questionnaire and includes many more forms of data collection. 
  2. A survey is a process of conducting research on a particular subject.
  3. Conducting a survey is a time-consuming process. 
  4. Surveys are conducted on particular target audiences.
  5. Surveys consist of both open-ended and closed-ended questions, which in turn brings in both subjective and objective types of responses. 


There you go! We hope that you’ve understood the difference between surveys and questionnaires. If you think we missed out on anything, please let us know in the comments section below! 🙂

To create your own survey on Outgrow, start your free trial now!


A survey is a process that helps collect and analyze data from a particular audience, whereas a questionnaire is an instrument that comes in handy to acquire information.

Surveys can be as simple as a poll with one question, whereas forms are broader in scope. A form might be anything including a survey, a quiz, an RSVP sheet, etc.

No, questionnaires are not surveys, but they can act as a part of a survey.

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