How to Add Ranking Questions in Google Forms | Jotform

How to Add Ranking Questions in Google Forms

When you’re crafting a survey to gather feedback, you may want to require more detailed responses to some questions than simply “yes” or “no.” But a multiple choice question might not always be the right fit, either, which is why ranking questions come in handy. As the name suggests, ranking questions are a type of multiple-choice survey question that allows users to rank their answers in a specific order. This type of question can provide insight into people’s preferences or even reveal the extent of their knowledge about a subject.

What are Ranking Questions?

A ranking question is a type of multiple-choice survey question that asks respondents to arrange the options in order of preference or importance — essentially, they rank items from most to least important. Ranking questions are like multiple choice questions in some ways. In both cases, the survey creator provides all of the answer options. But with a ranking question, there isn’t only one correct answer. Researchers often use these questions to understand how people prioritize different attributes or features of a product, service, or concept and to find patterns and trends in data. For example, a survey might ask customers to rank smartphone features in order of importance so manufacturers can better prioritize them in future product development. Ranking questions aren’t suitable for every type of survey or quiz, just as multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank questions might not always be appropriate, either.

Why Use Ranking Questions?

Here are four reasons why you might consider using ranking questions in a survey or quiz:

  1. To understand the preferences and priorities of your audience: Ranking questions offer insight into your respondents’ values and priorities, which can help you better understand what matters most to them.

  2. To make data-driven decisions: By analyzing the rankings, you can determine what items or options are most important or preferred and use that information to inform your decision-making process.

  3. To compare multiple items or options: Ranking questions allow respondents to evaluate and compare multiple items or options simultaneously, rather than asking separate questions about each one.

  4. To understand decision-making and trade-offs: By allowing respondents to rank various options, you can gain a better understanding of how people make decisions or trade-offs between those options.

Using Google Forms for Ranking Questions

Google Forms is a powerful tool that offers a variety of form templates, including surveys, quizzes, and tests. In addition to yes/no, multiple choice, and fill-in-the-blank question formats, the platform allows users to create ranking questions.

Step-by-step Guide to Adding Ranking Questions in Google Forms

The answer is yes, and here’s how to add Google Form ranking questions step by step:

  1. Open Google Forms and create a new form or open an existing file.
  2. Add a title and description at the top if you’ve created a new form.
  3. Add your ranking question in the question field. For example, if you’re conducting a survey about which issues leaders should tackle in their upcoming term, you might use this instruction: “Please rank these issues from most to least important for the upcoming quarter.”
  4. Click on the dropdown menu in the upper right of the question box for more options about question types. Select the option “Multiple choice grid.” Rows and columns will appear below the Google Form ranking question. You’ll use this format to add the options for your ranking question. Each row should be an option you want respondents to rank, and each column is a ranking option.
  5. Once you’ve filled out all of the options, set up the form to function as a ranking question. At the bottom right, click on the toggle button next to “Limit to one response per column” so that respondents rank each option. This ensures that users don’t skip options and that every selection will be counted as a ranking.
  6. Next, make sure that respondents can pair each ranking with only one answer. Otherwise, they might accidentally give the same ranking to multiple options and completely delegitimize the data. To do this, click on the icon next to the toggle button to open a new menu. Then, select “Limit to one response per column.” This will cause an error message to appear if respondents try to select the same ranking for more than one option.
  7. To customize the survey’s appearance, click the paint palette icon at the top of the screen to open the theme editor menu. Google Forms allows users to select from multiple themes, upload their own images, and make other changes to the design of their forms.
  8. Preview and finalize your form. Once you’ve finished tinkering with the form’s look and feel, click the eye icon in the top menu to generate a preview of the form. If you have more edits to make, close out of the preview and make the changes.
  9. To distribute the Google Form ranking survey, press the Send button at the top right of the screen and choose to send the form as an email or link or to embed it on a webpage.

Limitations of Google Form Ranking Questions

While Google Forms makes it possible to include ranking questions in any type of survey, the platform has several limitations. Here’s why Google Form ranking may not stack up:

  1. Complex Workaround: While it’s simple to create dropdown, checkbox, and multiple choice questions in Google Forms, ranking questions require a complex workaround. Formatting a question to properly rank answers can be quite complex and take more time than necessary. And if you make a mistake during setup, it could prevent the question from working or yielding accurate results.

  2. Limited Data Analysis: The way Google Forms displays responses to ranking questions makes it difficult to see the results clearly. Ideally, Google Forms would tally all of the survey responses and automatically rank answers from most to least popular (or important). Instead, the platform shows the data in a bar graph format that shows the total number of votes each item received for each rank. Analyzing the data and getting an overall ranking requires exporting all of the response data and manually tallying it.

  3. Lack of Professionalism: When you use Google Forms, everyone who receives the survey link knows it’s from Google Forms. All Google Forms essentially look the same, except that you can change some theme colors and fonts. That’s fine if you’re trying to gather information from friends and loved ones — but if you’re collecting feedback from customers, it can look unprofessional.

  4. Limited Integration: Google Forms integrates seamlessly with every app that’s a part of the G-Suite universe — and almost nothing else. If you want to record survey responses in your customer relationship management (CRM) platform or send out emails based on a respondent’s answers, there’s no way to do it without some manual effort. You might be able to set up some automations if you download third-party plug-ins, but the plug-in developers may not be reliable, and an add-on you’ve come to rely on could stop working without a way for you to remedy it.

Alternative Solution: Jotform

If you want a robust, easy-to-use form builder that makes it easy to add ranking questions, look no further than Jotform. The platform allows users to create and share surveys, quizzes, tests, and other online forms they need to collect data. Jotform features a library of more than 10,000 customizable form templates in addition to tables, workflow builders, and other solutions.

Jotform is easier to use than Google Forms and offers more built-in options for customization and question types. Each form is fully customizable, giving users complete control over colors, fonts, images, and other characteristics to reflect their organization’s branding and create a more cohesive and professional presentation. Jotform also provides better analytics, making it easier to analyze and understand the data you collect.

To create a ranking question in Jotform, follow these steps:

  1. Open Jotform and create a new form or open an existing form you’d like to edit.
  2. Enter the form builder by clicking on the “Create a Form” button or selecting an existing form from your dashboard.
  3. Click on the “Add Form Element” button at the top left of the screen to open the form element menu.
  4. Click on the “Survey Tools” tab at the top of the menu and search for the “Ranking” widget.
  5. Drag and drop the “Ranking” widget to place it in your form.
  6. In the “Ranking Options” box on the right, add as many ranking options as you’d like. Hit enter to separate items so they appear on their own lines.
  7. Click the “Save” button, and the list items will display on the main screen.
  8. Last, add a question above the list items. Feel free to toggle on the “Required” button to make the question mandatory for respondents.
  9. Click the “Save” button, and your survey with the ranking question is ready to go. Jotform automatically generates a link that makes it easy to share the form with anyone you want. In the Publish tab, you’ll also see options to email your form, create a QR code to share it, or embed it on a website.


Ranking questions offer insight into your respondents’ values and priorities. If you want a robust, easy-to-use form builder that allows you to create ranking questions, Jotform is the perfect solution. The platform offers more customization options, better analytics, and seamless integration with other apps. Start collecting valuable data with Jotform today.

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