Carey W.

asked • 03/20/14

what is the formula for calculating a survey scale of 1-5?

I did a survey and the respondents had a choice of 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest desired for each question. I added all the scores for each response and did an average and then converted the score. my score average score was 4.38 which I converted to 88%. I was later informed by a colleague of mine that I should have use the following formula (Avg score-1)/4*100. When I did this calculation the score dropped to 85%. My colleague can't give me a clear explanation of why I should use this formula. Please advise

Vasyutyn I.

Your friend wants to exclude a Choise #1 from average score calculation.
Probably this option is very bad like "very dissatisfied" so this choice should not add any value to average score.
Actually, this is the same as to say:
Choise #1 = 0 score
Choise #2 = 1 scores
Choise #3 = 2 scores
Hope is helps


1 Expert Answer


Kay G. answered • 03/20/14

4.9 (34)

~20 Years Accounting Tutoring Experience

Carey W.

This is somewhat help but it does provide enough statistical clarity as to why this formula is the formula of choice when you have a survey and use a response scale ranging from 1-5. Please provide more info if possible. 
Here are the 26 responses
5, 4, 5, 5, 5, 3, 4, 5, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 4, 4, 4, 3, 5, 3, 5, 4, 5, 4, 5, 5, 4=4.38


Kay G.

Now that you have posted all the data, I am kind of wondering what you are actually trying to do.  I was just kinda trying to explain what your colleague said.  Are you looking for a percentile?  That's like the percent of the way through a whole series of numbers, in this case all 26 digits.
50% of your data is below 4.8 and 50% is above it.  If you want to get picky, 4.38 is at the 51.5th percentage.  Is this what you're really wanting?  (4.38 is 88% of 5, not 88% of your data.  4.38 is 85% of the way through the digits 1 - 5, but not 85% of the total data.  If you're looking for how many respondents were below and above 4.38, you want a percentile.)
If that's what you're actually looking for, I can show you how to do that.  If it's not, could you explain what you're attempting to do?


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