How to Calculate Q Rating

By Dan Chruscinski

If popularity can be measured, it is done using the Q Rating. This system determines how well-known and well-liked a specific subject is by surveying a group of respondents to determine their familiarity levels and gauge their opinions. Television shows, actors, gadgets and computers are among the subjects that are given a Q Rating. You can determine the Q Rating of any subject by creating a short survey focused on one subject and then comparing the results to determine the most popular item from your survey.

Create a survey listing the subjects for which you wish to determine the Q Rating. For example, if you want to determine the rating of television shows in 2010, you might list “Lost,” “Desperate Housewives,” and “CSI,” among others.

Gather together a group of respondents for the survey. The more people you use, the more accurate your final Q Ratings will be.

Ask the person being surveyed if he has heard of the subject. You can ask, for example, if he is familiar with the television show “CSI.” This is a yes or no answer. Mark down the number of respondents who are familiar with the subject.

Calculate the percentage of respondents familiar with the subject. Do this by dividing the number of positive responses by the number of total responses and multiplying the result by 100. If 340 out of 1000 people have heard of “Lost,” then the percentage would be 34 percent because 340 divided by 1000 equals .34. Multiplied by 100 this totals 34.

Ask the respondents if they would list the subject among their favorites in the category. For example, ask each respondent if she considers “Desperate Housewives” one of her favorite television shows. Respondents can be asked to rate the show with a score such as poor, average, good, and favorite. Only use "favorite" scores when calculating Q Rating.

Calculate the percentage of respondents who listed the subject as a favorite. Divide the total number of favorite responses by the total number of respondents and multiply the result by 100. If 200 out of 1000 respondents listed “Lost” as a favorite show, the percentage would equal 20.

Divide the percent of favorite responses by the percent of respondents familiar with the subject. Using the example of “Lost,” divide 20 by 34 to get approximately .59. Multiply the result by 100 to determine the final Q Rating. For example, .59 multiplied by 100 equals 59, giving “Lost” a Q Rating of 59.

Compare Q Ratings between all subjects in your survey. The closer the score to 100, the better the rating.

Tip

Q Rating is not an exact science. A subject with a small but loyal following can yield a higher Q Rating than a subject that is well known but not considered an absolute favorite.

About the Author

Dan Chruscinski has written pieces for both business and entertainment venues. His work has appeared in "Screen Magazine" as well as websites such as Starpulse.com. Chruscinski graduated in 2006 with a degree in English literature from Illinois State University.