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Phase 2 of your PAT requires you to create and execute a survey; you will create a questionnaire using Microsoft Word. Remember at all times that the questions on this questionnaire are totally separate from your Phase 1 Research Questions. Creating a questionnaire is covered in the Study Opportunities textbooks (Grade 12, p.249; Grade 11, p.308) in the information management module. The theory aspect can be assessed in a theory assessment — popular questions include asking questions about open and closed questions.

In this post:

  1. Requirements
  2. Heading & Introduction
  3. Biographical questions
  4. Topic questions
  5. Closed questions
  6. Open question
  7. Data Goals
  8. Providing Instructions

1. Requirements

It is vitally important to note that the requirements around the data collected for the Grade 12 PAT changed in 2021. The requirements became more specific, especially regarding the “extra data from a source other than your questionnaire” requirement of previous years. You are now expected to collect data from a separate source and compare the information derived from your questionnaire to this extra data source — this will require a bit of extra planning to ensure that you can find data “external” data to match with your questionnaire data.

Go the extra mile & create a Google Form Questionnaire!

Create a questionnaire as a one-page Word document. Remember to use the correct Word skills to create an attractive, professional document. Use skills such as columns to maximise the use of the space available on the page, remembering to add enough white space to maintain readability!

Tip: Your name, surname & the name of your school must appear in the footer to make it easier to keep track of the hard copies!

Your goal is to collect data that you will be able to analyze as required — most importantly: you need numeric data!

2. Heading & Introduction

Your questionnaire needs an appropriate heading and a short explanatory introduction. You should include information explaining what the data is for and how it will be stored and used (in accordance with POPIA).

POPIA Disclaimer: You understand and agree that all information provided, whether personal or otherwise, may be used and processed by the owner of this questionnaire. Your data will be anonymised and will only be used for the purposed of my research project.”

3. Biographical Questions

Create a sub-heading: “Biographical Questions”. This set of questions gathers information about the respondent. You can collect Surnames and Names, but be sure to make it clear that this information is optional as many respondents will prefer to remain anonymous. Include a minimum of 4 questions such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Employment status
  • Area of residence
Biographical questions section of the PAT questionnaire
Biographical questions section of the PAT questionnaire

4. Topic questions

The Grade 10 Learner Guide includes a set of questions for the questionnaire which can be used as-is.

Create a second sub-heading: “Topic questions”. Under the heading start an automatically numbered list:

  • You need a minimum of 5 questions:
    • 4 closed questions,
      • of which only one is a Yes/No option,
      • two of which must have at least 3, but preferably more options, and
      • one of which must allow the respondent to select multiple options
    • 1 open question
  • You MUST include instructions (or an example) for every question:
    • “Tick as many boxes as are appropriate”
    • “Circle only one option”
    • “Rate 1 to 10, 1 being least interested and 10 being extremely interested”

Use symbols etc. for check-boxes. Your check-boxes should be to the left of their labels (remember to add a space between symbol and its label) like so:

▢ Yes
▢ No

As people become more literate digitally, you could used circles instead of boxes to indicate radio button options, most users will automatically understand to only select one option:

◯ Yes
◯ No

Avoid using tables to lay your form out — tables are for tabulated data, not layouts!

This makes it far easier to align the option. If you have many options, try laying them out using columns:

▢ Vanilla
▢ Strawberry
▢ Tin Roof

▢ Chocolate Mint Chip
▢ Chocolate
▢ Cappuccino

▢ Rocky Road
▢ Mocha-Choc

Use Tab Stops with Leader lines to provide a place for the respondent to write in response to open questions.

5. Closed Questions

A closed question is a question which:

  • Is almost always asked and answered by selecting a prescribed answer from some type of finite list (which has a limited number of possible responses):
    • Checkboxes
    • Radio buttons
    • Drop-down lists
    • Range selection
  • Can be answered directly with a fact

These are easier for respondents to answer and easier for you to capture and analyze — this results in more accurate data.

You may only have 1 simple “Yes/No” question.

5.1 Question phrasing

Do you go to an ice cream parlour?

◯ Yes ◯ No

Could be…

How many times on average do you go to an ice cream parlour in a year?

Indicate you choice with an “X”

Do you have an Internet connection at home?

◯ Yes ◯ No

Could be become:

What type of Internet connection do you have at home ( select more than one where appopriate)?


▢ Cellular network

▢ Fiber Optic


▢ No connection

Grade 12s: you must have at least 1 question where the respondent is required to chose 2 or more of the options!

6. Open Question

An open question usually requires an opinion from a respondent. Your questionnaire must provide lines to indicate where the respondent should write their answer. You must add an instruction such as: “Describe in a short sentence.”.

You may only include 1 open question.

7. Data Goals

You will find the Excel and Access sections of the PAT easier to complete if you pay close attention to the type of data you are collecting using your questionnaire.

This can be achieved by ensuring that most of your questions result in numerical data that can be analysed (closed questions make this easier).

Open questions are difficult (but NOT impossible) to analyse.

8. Providing Instructions

Each question must have a clear instruction, for example:

  • Tick one option only
  • Select one or more options by entering an “X” in the box
  • Your age in numbers
  • Rate your knowledge on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “poor” and 10 being “excellent”.

Once your questionnaire is completed, copies must be printed and the questionnaire must be administered to respondents:

  • Grade 12: 25 respondents
  • Grade 11: 20 respondents
  • Grade 10: 10 respondents

Once the respondents have completed your questionnaire your next step is to capture the data in Excel.

If you opt to use a digital form, like Google Forms, you must be careful to still fulfil all the requirements of the PAT.

Next step: Google Form questionnaire »
Next step: Excel data capture »

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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