Understanding the difference between Top 2 Box and Average Scores

This article explains the differences in reporting options Effectory offers. In survey research Top 2 Box and Average Scores are two commonly used metrics. Here’s a friendly guide to understanding their differences.

Please note that Effectory scores are measured as follows:

  • Strongly Agree = 10
  • Agree = 7.5
  • Neither agree nor disagree = 5
  • Disagree = 2.5
  • Strongly disagree = 0

Top 2 Box

  • Definition: Represents the percentage of respondents who select the top two most positive responses on a scale. To calculate the Top 2 Box score, you count the number of respondents who gave one of the top two ratings (Agree and Strongly Agree) and then divide that number by the total number of respondents. This result is expressed as a percentage.
  • Example: If of the 5 respondents, 3 answer with Agree or Strongly Agree, the score is (3/5) * 100 = 60%
  • Usage: Useful for quickly identifying the proportion of highly satisfied customers. Use Top 2 Box for international organizations as it is understandable for everyone, including countries that don't use the 0-10 point scale.

Average Scores

  • Definition: The average (mean) of all responses to a survey question. This result is expressed in a number (up to one decimal place).
  • Example: On the 5-point Likert scale, if the responses are 2.5, 5, 7.5, 10, and 10, the average score is (2.5 + 5 + 7.5 + 10 + 10) / 5 = 7
  • Usage: Provides a broader view of overall sentiment, incorporating all responses. Use Average scores when a detailed view of overall customer sentiment is needed, considering all response levels.

Key differences


  • Top 2 Box: Highlights the highest satisfaction levels.
  • Average Scores: Reflects overall sentiment.


  • Top 2 Box: Shows the percentage of highly satisfied respondents.
  • Average Scores: Represents the central tendency of all responses.


  • Top 2 Box: Less sensitive to neutral or negative responses. When only a few people have answered positively, the score will be low or 0 if no one has answered Strongly agree or Agree
  • Average Scores: Sensitive to the full range of responses.


  • Top 2 Box: Easy to understand as a percentage of positive responses.
  • Average Scores: Requires understanding of mean calculations.

Both methods provide valuable insights, tailored to different analytical goals. By understanding their unique strengths, you can choose the right approach for your survey analysis needs.


Please refer to this article to understand how to read the coloring of the scores.

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