Marking questions madatory

We are unable to mark questions mandatory. In google forms as well as when using surveycto we were able to mark questions mandatory and the respondents were not able to submit the form or neither able to move to the next question without answering a mandatory question. Is this possible with survey solutions?

Our survey is CAWI and it would be filled by our respondents (who may not be well-versed in finding their way through the web surveys).

Thank you for your time and help

1 Like

Dear @sergiy . Is there any solution for this? This is a big project in India and we will be forced to change to Survey CTO given this limitation. We would like a feature that does not allow to the web respondents to continue unless a question is responded.
Thank you for your response.
Agustin Petroni


One of the most common errors committed by “amateur” online survey questionnaire designers is the improper use of “required” questions, where the survey respondent is not allowed to continue in the survey unless the question is answered.
Jeffrey S. Gutenberg, Seongbae Lim
Online Survey Respondents’ Reactions to Required Questions

Hello @agustinpetroni ,

this topic is specifically described in the Survey Solutions documentation site: Mandatory (required) questions

What information are you requiring in the questionnaire you are using for the survey. (If your questionnaire is in English, the easiest it to highlight the questions in the PDF).

Describe specifically why you are requiring this question(s) to be answered.
(if the answer here is “because this information is important to me” then drop the responses without it in your final DB and you have the desired result).

Describe what should the respondents do when they can’t provide this information?

  • when they don’t know the answer …
  • when they know the answer, but their option is not offered …
  • when they are hesitant to supply the answer for reasons of safety, privacy, etc. …
  • …other reasons…

Is the ‘requirement pattern’ same for all respondents? Does it depend on their answers?

Is the project requiring the question being answered? or being answered correctly? (without any validation errors in Survey Solutions’ sense).

What will you do specifically to combat the “if it is required, put 1 as the answerstrategy that the respondents will apply? How will you clean up the data?

What is your project’s timeline? Specifically, by which date do you need to make choices on the system being used? finalize questionnaire development? go to the training? Start fieldwork?

What about other data collection packages?

Survey Monkey

but what if people skip some of my questions? Ah-hah! I’ll just require that respondents answer all my questions—problem solved. Well, not so fast. According to researchers there are some definite downsides to requiring questions. …
Should I make survey questions required? | SurveyMonkey


…it can be tempting to say, I know, I’ll just make it a mandatory requirement for respondents to answer all my questions. Wrong! …

Alchemer Survey (SurveyGizmo)

As a general rule, we’re not fans of required questions in surveys. We believe that you should only be asking questions for which you really need the data. By requiring some questions and leaving others unrequired you’re effectively telling a respondent “This question is not important.” To which the respondent will probably wonder “Why include it in the survey?”
Requiring Questions | Alchemer Help

Hi sergiy!

Thank you for your reply.

Our survey is CAWI and it would be filled by respondents. Our questionnaire is in Malayalam(a local language in India). Some of those questions are mandatory because they are identification questions - our respondents are nursery school teachers, so their school number, village name, district name etc. The requirement pattern is the same for all respondents. We ask a consent question before proceeding. If their consent is no, the form ends. The project timeline is roughly one more year.

Thanks a lot for replying.

Hello @evelintreesa and @agustinpetroni ,

What information are you requiring in the questionnaire you are using for the survey?

school number, village name, district name etc

why you are requiring this question(s) to be answered?

mandatory because they are identification questions

what should the respondents do when they can’t provide this information?


Is the ‘requirement pattern’ same for all respondents?


Just answered or answered correctly?


What will you do specifically to combat the strategy to circumvent the requirement?


What is your project’s timeline?

one more year

I assume (although you don’t write this specifically) that the identification information is needed to do a follow up face-to-face visit and it is absolutely not possible without e.g. stating the village name. In which case I see no difference between the person not being able to self-register for a visit and you discarding (for the reason of incompleteness) the incomplete submitted record. The result is the same: the face-to-face visit will not happen. (In many cases one can infer identification from incomplete information, such as village name may be [though not necessarily is] sufficient to determine the district).

Remember that in a CAWI survey the interview is already in your database of all interviews as soon as the respondent enters the first answer (or writes the first comment). Completing an interview is just a symbolic gesture, that indicates that the respondent feels she has nothing else to add, but does not determine whether the interview is sent to you or not. It is already in your hands!

Given that you already have a consent question, I’d add a condition to that question that the consent question applies only when all of your identification questions are answered:

IsAnswered(school_number) && 
IsAsnwered(village) && 

and add a conditional message “Please fill out the identification information or you will not be registered” in the opposite situation:

  IsAnswered(school_number) && 
  IsAsnwered(village) && 

Hint: you’d find a calculated variable or a macro is handy here.

After exporting the interviews at the end of your survey, filter in only those that have status Completed and having consent given (consent==1 or whatever is appropriate) as you are supposedly doing now. Due to the above-mentioned enabling condition it will be guaranteed that the interviews passing the filter will be having answers in the identification fields you require.

Given that you are saying the duration of the project is “one more year” begs a question: how were you dealing with this in the past [year, two years]?

Best, Sergiy

Thank you @sergiy for replying and helping us through. We will discuss these. Thank you so much for your time.