In this application we have sort of a multiple choice questionnaire to fill out. The Business Owner set the requirement of showing the Current Score on page in the format of: "CurrentScore/MaxScore"

eg. 9/10

However, it has now become apparent that the MaxScore is variable as some answers cause the question's score to be disregarded.

eg. If you answer "N/A" to a Question that can normally score 1 point, then the MaxScore is reduced by 1.

This makes me wonder how the Current Score should be displayed. Here are the options I've come up with. Are any of these an accepted way of showing scores like this?

  1. CurrentScore/CurrentMaxScore (IE, when no answers are given, max score is Zero and the max score grows as relevant answers are given). E.g. 0/0 then 1/1 then 1/2.
  2. CurrentScore/MaxScorePossible (IE, when no answers are given, max score is the max score possible if all relevant answers are given, but as N/A answers are give, max score drops). E.g. 0/10, then 1/10 then 1/9.
  3. CurrentScore (IE, don't even show the MaxScore)

1 Answer 1


Instead of reporting the score continuously, you could report it at the end of the questionnaire. During the questionnaire, instead of the score, you could report the progress.

Either way, if the total can change, perhaps percentages and a progress bar would be better than absolute numbers.

Percentage score

Fuzzy progress

As additional paths open or close, you can recalculate the percentage. Consider that if you update the percentage too frequently, users may adjust their responses in order to reduce their work. Your feedback could turn the questionnaire into a game.

If you decide to report progress, keep in mind that the goal is to help the user estimate the remaining effort. So you'd be on the right track by counting individual questions, rather than pages of questions. That's because a question that is more involved and requires many clicks on sub-questions, obviously takes more effort.

  • 1
    Ahh... I already have a Progress bar along with percentage complete. These indicate how much is needed to go through, not the actual score achieved. But I already have suggested percentages are now more meaningful than scores just as a way of ranking one result with another.
    – Arkiliknam
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 15:58
  • 1
    Luckily, the users of this app are internal to the company and must answer the questions correctly (for their job's sake), so there's not such a problem with users turning it into a game playing experience.
    – Arkiliknam
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 16:01

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