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Pick, Group, & Rank Question

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About Pick, Group, and Rank Questions

Pick, Group, and Rank questions allow respondents to drag and drop items into groups. Within each group, respondents can rank items by dragging and dropping them into place (as they would with a Rank Order question).

On the left, phone types. On the right, a box for Devices the respondent may want and a box for ones they'd never want. Items can be dragged from the list to any of the boxes, or between boxes

Qtip: For sorting activities, the ranking portion of this question can simply be ignored. Have respondents drag items into the groups without instructing them to rank the items, and then disregard the ranking data in your reports.


There is only one variation for the Pick, Group, and Rank question type, called Drag and Drop.

Column Options

By default, groups are displayed vertically one beneath another. Use the Columns option to include two groups per row.

Columns is selected so the group boxes are next to each other where they can fit on the line

Stacking Options

By default, items are displayed one beneath another. For certain sorting activities, stacking these items into piles may be more appropriate. Stack Items and Stack Items in Groups will conserve space by stacking the choices rather than displaying them next to each other.

Note that ranking is not possible when Stack Items in Groups is selected.

Items listed to the left or in boxes are stacked on top of each other


On the question editing pane, you can use the validation options of Must Select and Each Group Contains. These options can be used when you need to maintain control over how respondents answer the question.

When you choose Must Select, you’ll define a range of how many items respondents must group in total. This means all items can be put in 1 group, so long as they meet the minimum/maximum requirements.

If you choose Each Group Contains, you’ll need to define how many items respondents must assign to each group.

Must Select is chosen from Validation Types, creating fields for minimum and maximum items to be dragged into the groups

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various ways you can analyze your response data. From the Reports tab, you can view aggregate data in pre-made reports as well as create your own reports from scratch. From the Data & Analysis tab, you can view and manage individual respondents’ data.


In the Results section of the Reports tab, there are five visualization types available for Pick Group and Rank questions: Simple Table, Bar Chart, Line Chart, Pie Chart, and Breakdown Bar. For more information on these visualizations please visit the linked visualization support pages.

A bar chart is set to the groups as its data source so you can see each time each item was sorted into a group

In the Reports section of the Reports tab, the compatible visualizations are the Bar Chart, Line Chart, Statistics Table, and the Data Table.

Selecting ranks in the data source

You can either choose the Groups as the data source, displaying how many times each item was sorted into each group, or you can choose Rank as the data source, displaying how many times each rank was assigned to each item.

Downloaded Data Format

The downloaded data set will include two columns for each item participants were asked to group.

The first column will indicate which group the participant placed the item in (labeled numerically, with “0” being the first group, “1” being the second, and so forth).

The second column will indicate what rank this item received within the group it was placed in.

CSV of pick, group, and rank data