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Rank Order Question

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About Rank Order Questions

The rank order question type provides respondents the unique opportunity to rank a set of items against each other.

A question asking you to drag and drop items. They are numbered.

Qtip: Rank order questions can be used in surveys and 360 projects, but no other EmployeeXM projects. Rank order questions are not compatible with scoring.


Four different variations are available for the rank order question type. You can access these variations under the Format dropdown, in the question editing pane.

Drag and Drop

With the drag and drop type, respondents drag items into their preferred order. This variation is appropriate for shorter lists where you want respondents to rank each item.

Drag and drop is set on the rank order question

Radio Buttons

With the radio button type, respondents choose a rank for each item from a list of possible rankings.

Radio buttons is set, making the rank order look more like a matrix table

Text Box

With the text box type, respondents type in their preferred ranking for the provided options. Respondents can be forced to rank all options, some options, or only a select range of options by setting a Validation Type.

The question is set to text box, putting an empty text box next to each option that can be ranked

Change the Alignment of the text boxes by selecting horizontal or vertical.

Select Box

The select box type is an alternative to drag and drop ranking. Respondents select items and then rank them by clicking the arrows to move each item up and down.

Select Box is selected, making the question appear as a boxed list where items can be reordered with arrows on the left and right

To edit the choices for this type, click Click here to edit choices in blue on the bottom-right.


To give you more control over how your respondents can rank items, some rank order variations include extra validation options.

  1. Go to Response Requirements.
    Validation set to Must Rank Between with boxes for the values that must be ranked between
  2. Select Add validation.
  3. Choose from the following:
    • Must rank all: Respondents must rank all items to proceed in the survey, or they can leave the question alone.
    • Must rank between: With the second option, respondents must rank a defined number of items (you’ll set the accepted range), or they can leave the question alone.
    • Custom: See Custom Validation.
Qtip: All but the “select box” type of rank order also offer a force response option.

Data Analysis

Once your responses have been collected, Qualtrics offers various methods to create reports both in and out of the platform. In the Results and Reports sections, you can view aggregate data with pre-made reports as well as create your own. From the Data & Analysis tab, you can view and manipulate your survey responses on an individual basis.


Rank order questions are compatible with the following Results visualizations:

Rank order questions are also compatible with the following Reports visualizations:

For more information on these visualizations please visit the linked visualization support pages.

Downloaded Data Format

The downloaded data set for a rank order question will include a column for each item being ranked. In each column, you will see the ranking each participant awarded that particular item.

CSV of rank order data