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Working with Printed Questionnaires

A Discus Feature Focus

Published: Tuesday 28 November 2023

When you click the 'Start Testing' tab in Discus, you're given four options. The first two of these allow you to complete a profile either online or directly through your browser. The third option, 'Print a DISC Questionnaire', will create a printable PDF questionnaire for manual completion. This third option is often overlooked, but it can give you a range of advantages suited to specific situations.

Unlike the other testing options, printed questionnaires are not automated; instead they're designed for a candidate to complete by hand, using a pen or pencil to select options on the questionnaire. Once completed, you will need to enter the results into Discus in order to calculate the DISC values and generate a report. Nonetheless, this approach can be particularly useful, for example, where you need to collate large numbers of profiles quickly, or for use with candidates less comfortable with technology.

Before you create your printable questionnaire, you need to check the Questionnaire Type. In most circumstances we recommend the default option, 'Phrase-based', as the questions in this questionnaire tend to be clearer and more comprehensible to candidates. Adjective-based questionnaires tend to be more compact and quicker to complete, but provide a little less context for the candidate. (The third option, 'Perspective', is a specialised questionnaire that isn't directly relevant to our discussion here.)

Discus also gives you a huge range of different questionnaire languages (currently a total of twenty-six different options, ranging from English to Russian to Chinese). When you have selected the questionnaire type and language you want to use, just click 'Create Questionnaire' and Discus will generate a PDF following your instructions. You can use this file in any way you like: typically you'd print as many copies as you need, but you can also save the file and send it as (for example) an e-mail attachment if that suits your needs.

Entering Answers From a Printed Questionnaire

Printed questionnaires always include their own instructions and guidelines to help the candidate complete them, which is a relatively simple process. Once complete, you'll need to enter the candidate's responses into Discus in order to create a profile analysis. Again, this is a simple process: just use the 'Start Testing' tab as usual and select 'Enter questionnaire answers'. Then just confirm the kind of questionnaire, enter the candidate's details, and move on to the questions themselves.

This form of the Discus questionnaire is designed to make it as easy as possible to enter and review manual answers. Though you can use the mouse to answer if you prefer, it's normally easier to simply use the keyboard: just hit the keys 'A', 'B', 'C' or 'D' (or '1', '2', '3' or '4' if you prefer) and Discus will complete the relevant answers for you on the screen.

For instance, on a given question, if a candidate selected 'B' for their 'Most' answer and 'D' for their 'Least' answer, you would use the key sequence 'BD'. There's no need to hit 'Space' or anything else; just keep hitting keys and Discus will fill in subsequent answers for you, so you can enter an entire question set in no time. This layout also shows you the entire questionnaire on a single page, so it's easy to check your entries before saving the results. With a little practice, you'll find that you can use this technique to enter manual responses amazingly quickly.


In summary, Discus' ability to create printable questionnaires gives you a powerful extra questionnaire option in the right circumstances. Though you'll need to enter the answers yourself to create a profile, in the right circumstances it can be a remarkably convenient and accessible way of presenting a DISC questionnaire.

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