What Is a Pilot Survey?

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A pilot survey is a preliminary survey used to gather information prior to conducting a survey on a larger scale. Pilot surveys, typically taken by smaller groups, help determine the efficiency of the future survey while also helping organizations smooth out difficulties before administering the main survey.

Pilot surveys often help organizations determine the details of the survey. Survey takers may be asked to provide feedback on the content of the survey, how long it took to answer the questions or other information specified by the organization. By presenting the pilot survey to a smaller group, the organization also may determine the best group size for the main survey.