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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.
Qtip: Pick, group, and rank questions can be used in surveys and 360 projects, but no other EmployeeXM projects. These questions are not compatible with scoring.


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

Groups Options

By default, groups are displayed vertically one beneath another. You can change your groups using the following options:

  1. Number of groups: Change the number of groups that respondents can drop items into.
  2. Use suggested groups: If using suggested choices, you can use Qualtrics’ suggested groups for those choices.
  3. Add columns: When enabled, groups will be organized into two side-by-side columns instead of being organized vertically.

the groups options for a pick, group, rank question

Format Options

By default, items are displayed one beneath another. For certain sorting activities, stacking these items into piles may be more appropriate. Stacking items can conserve space by stacking the choices rather than displaying them next to each other.
for a pick, group, rank question, the format options for stacking items and groups

When Stack items is enabled, your choice options will be presented in a stack.
in a pick group rank question, the items are stacked

When Stack items in groups is enabled, grouped choices will be stacked on top of each other. Note that ranking is not possible when this option is selected.

in a pick group rank question, the groups are stacked


the validation dropdown for a pick group rank question

In the Response requirements section, you can use the Add validation option to control how respondents answer the question. When adding validation, you have multiple options:

  • Must select: The respondent must select a certain amount of choices. 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.
  • Each group contains: The respondent must put a certain amount of choices in each group. You’ll need to define how many items respondents must assign to each group.
  • Custom: Create custom validation for your question based on your own criteria.

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