What the Gallup Student Poll measures and sample questions

July 17, 2013
What the Gallup Student Poll does

The Gallup Student Poll takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It presents students with a series of 20 statements or questions and asks them to indicate whether they agree or disagree, on a 1 to 5 scale.

Hope: Determines whether students have the energy and ability to achieve goals in the future. Results indicate whether students are “hopeful,” “stuck” or “discouraged.” “Hopeful” students tend to have higher grade-point averages and attendance rates.

Sample statements measuring hope: “I know I will find a good job after I graduate.” “I can find lots of ways around any problem.”

Engagement: Determines how involved and enthusiastic students are about school. Results indicate whether students are “engaged,” “not engaged” or “actively disengaged.” High-performing schools tend to have more engaged students.

Sample statements measuring engagement: “My teachers make me feel my schoolwork is important.” “At this school, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.”

Well-being: Determines how students are doing in their lives. Results indicate whether students are “thriving,” “struggling” or “suffering.” “Thriving” students are better able to focus on academic work because they aren’t distracted by meeting basic needs or other life demands.

Sample question measuring well-being: “Please imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top. The top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. On which step of the ladder would you say you personally feel you stand at this time?”

Lynh Bui is a Prince George's County public safety reporter and former Montgomery County education reporter.
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