Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule

Whether you want to launch any new product or service or want to diversify or seek to develop some knowledge, you need thorough research with supportive data or information points.

Without which one can’t extract the substantive outcome that can help them in their decision process. Research techniques are used by almost all industries where some stands complex and some are easy.

Many research techniques do provide the correct data basis mathematical equations but don’t fit into the criteria of need as they are highly inclined towards statistics from start.

Here come Questionnaire and Schedule, research tools, which help the person to design the research or limit research to their interest area. But people often make mistake while using them as they both seem similar to them.

Questionnaire vs Schedule

The main difference between Questionnaire and Schedule is that a questionnaire is a structured form of research tool where a predefined list of questions with outcomes or answer choices from which the respondents can choose from may or may not be included. The schedule is a set of structured questions on a specific topic that were asked directly by the investigator or interviewer personally.

Questionnaire vs Schedule

In a questionnaire, respondents use their knowledge and experience to answer the questions. It is used to collect the information on specific subject majorly from a set of or group of people who belongs to the same category i.e. age, sex, etc.

In case of a schedule, if the respondent faces any difficulty in understanding the question, then the investigator or interviewer can help them further to understand it.


Comparison Table Between Questionnaire and Schedule (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonQuestionnaireSchedule
DefinitionA questionnaire is a structured form of data collection method where a list of pre-defined questions are designed, mostly, with their best possible answers or choices, from which the respondents need to choose, basis their experience and scope of knowledge. Many times choices are not included and the respondent needs to answer on his/her own. The schedule is a well-thought-of structured set of questions that were asked by the interviewer personally to the respondent or respondent need to write answers to them in the presence of interviewer or investigator.
Available OptionsAlternate answer choices can be made available to choose from.No alternate answer options are given to choose from, either respondent need to write or respond to the interviewer.
Technique TypeQuantitativeQualitative
GroupingGrouping is made basis different categories i.e. age, sex, location, etc.The grouping may or may not exist.
CoverQuestionnaire can easily cover large audiences.Schedule is done generally where a small set or groups of people are involved.
Extension of HelpNo help is extended, the respondent has to select from the given choices, no matter whether he/she understood the question or not.Full help is extended to the respondent to understand the question so that they can express their actual views or provide correct answer.


What is Questionnaire?

The questionnaire is one of the easy and best research or data collection tools to efficiently collect data in minimum possible time. It is one of the cost-effective tools as well.

In the Questionnaire, a structured set of questions is included on a specific topic or area of interest.

Here a respondent can be given the alternatives to choose from or may be asked to give answers basis their knowledge capability.

Questionnaires are designed keeping in mind a specific category of the audience basis demographic structure i.e. age, sex, locations, language, etc.

It is a kind of push technique where an audience is presented with a concept or idea and asked to answer without knowing whether they can comprehend the same or not.

This method can only give positive results with accuracy if respondents are co-operative. Although it is difficult because the span of sample distribution is very high but results are not biased.

A questionnaire is sent by mail or post where some kind of benefit is also offered in terms of discount or gift coupon if they are reverted by the respondent.

The conversion percentage is very less here.

It is very essential that a Questionnaire is designed with easy language and should be well-structured so that the target audience can fill it without much effort because the researcher would not be physically present to clear their doubts.

Examples include customer satisfaction surveys, product reviews, service feedbacks, etc.


What is Schedule?

The schedule is one of the effective tools for data collection in any kind of research or market study where success rate and accuracy are utmostly achieved.

In this, a set of questions is asked from the respondent with full assistance i.e. if the respondent is unable to understand the question then the interviewer or investigator will help them to understand the same.

In Schedule no option of alternate choices is made available, here a respondent needs to answer the question with his/her ability or knowledge and interviewer write them.

The type of audience or respondents involved is purely based on the subject matter of the research.

Schedules are conducted to attain objectivity and facilitate detailed analysis with quality data points or information. It is a qualitative data collection method.

In Schedule, the order of questions, structure of the question set or parts and language plays a significant role and is in the proper order that can’t be jumbled.

It is an expensive method to collect data because the interviewer or investigators are hired, trained, and sent to the respondents’ places.

The schedule is a time-bound activity, thus always get completed on time.

No matter whether respondents are literate or not, the interviewer will help them if they face any issues.

The success rate in Schedule is very high and data collected will be of paramount precision because data is collected personally by an interviewer.

Examples include: population census records, voting surveys, etc.


Main Differences Between Questionnaire and Schedule

Although both are implausible methods of data collection with a great degree of authenticity and there is a significant difference between Questionnaire and Schedule, which are:

  1. The Questionnaire involves the set of questions with an option of alternatives or choices as an answer to choose from, whereas choices are not given in Schedules.
  2. In the questionnaire, respondents fill it by themselves, whereas respondents are assisted by the interviewer or investigator in Schedule.
  3. The physical presence of the investigator or invigilator is not required in the Questionnaire, whereas the physical presence of the interviewer is a must in Schedule.
  4. The questionnaire is a cost-effective or low-cost data collection method, whereas Schedule is expensive.
  5. The span of the audience or respondents on the Questionnaire is high, whereas Schedule involves a small set of audiences.
  6. The response rate in the Questionnaire is very less as people may or may not respond to the questionnaire mail, whereas the response rate in Schedule is very high because the interviewer is directly involved is that.
Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule



The emotions of people are basic building blocks when they create what data collection method you chose to support your research or campaign directly depends on the subject type and the objective you want to achieve.

Both provide good results but the extent of authenticity and involvement varies.

But all in all Questionnaire and Schedule are effective and efficient data collection methods.

Key Differences Between Questionnaire and Schedule (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule



  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/493979
  2. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1936-01988-001
  3. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/29188808.pdf
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