Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (2023)

When an individual makes a choice that is influenced by many factors, each of these factors has different priorities in the decision-making process. to determine how they were (or are) prioritized, we use a ranking question.

A ranking question is mostly used by market researchers to determine which aspect of a product is most loved by customers. It is used during the pre and post-production phase for market research.

Asides from market research, Ranking questions are used to carry out random surveys to determine what is most important to respondents among a series of options.

What is a Ranking Question?

A ranking question is a type of survey question that asks respondents to compare a list of items with each other and arrange them in order of preference. It is used by market researchers to understand the order of importance of items from multiple items.

Boasting as one of the most used survey question types by market researchers, it is integral to product development. Before an organization launches a new product, they need to know what their target market prioritizes the most.

Also, when creating an upgrade to an existing product, they need to know what customers want in an upgrade.

What is the Ranking Scale?

A ranking scale is a close-ended scale that allows respondents to evaluate multiple row items in relation to one column item or a question in a ranking survey and then rank the row items. It is the scale used by market researchers to ask ranking questions.

On a ranking scale, the question may be in terms of product features, needs, wants, etc. It can be used for both online and offline surveys.

For an existing product, a ranking scale gives a more detailed answer to whether customers like the product in question or not.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (1)

Types of Ranking Questions

  • Scale Ranking

The scale ranking type asks respondents to rank a set of items against each other. It is based on the concept of multiple-choice questions.

However, unlike the basic multiple-question, it allows you to compare multiple questions on a technically single scale — even though it looks different.

There are different types of scale ranking questions, namely; dropdown scale, choice option scale, star scale, hear scale, and emoji scale. They vary in terms of the kind of scale used in creating the scale ranking question.

  • Drop Down Scale

In this scale ranking type, the ranking is done using numbers, where 1 is the Lowest on the scale. As shown in the image below, respondents can rank the options by selecting a number from the dropdown.

This scale is mostly used by market researchers before launching a product. It will help influence the production process.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (2)

In the figure above, the most influential factor when purchasing a car is the price, followed by popularity, then the quality, and so on. It is important to note that each choice option cannot be selected twice in the dropdown scale.

  • Choice Option Scale

This scale ranking type uses numbers and choice options (radio buttons and checkboxes) as the ranking scale. Each of the choice options is labeled with numbers. As shown in the image below, respondents can rank the options by selecting the radio buttons.

(Video) Survey Rating Scales 1–5: Understand Your Audience Better

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (3)

In this case, a value is assigned to each choice option. This value is what will be used to calculate the rank of each brand.

Choice options are used for a market research before and after product launch.

  • Star Scale

This scale ranking type uses star ratings as the ranking scale. As shown in the image below, respondents can rank the options by selecting the stars.

In this case, the highest number of checked stars is what determines the difference. Also, the higher the number of stars the higher its priority.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (4)

5-star is prioritized more than 4star, 3 stars, and so on. Market researchers mostly use star scale after product launch to gain feedback from customers.

  • Heart Scale

This scale ranking type uses heart ratings as the ranking scale. As shown in the image below, respondents can rank the options by selecting the hearts.

In this case, the highest number of the checked heart is what determines the rank. Also, the higher the number of stars the higher its priority.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (5)

3-hearts is prioritized more than 2, 1, and so on. Similar to the star scale, market researchers use this scale post-product launch to get feedback from consumers.

  • Emoji Scale

This scale ranking type uses emojis as the ranking scale. As shown in the image below, respondents can rank the options by selecting the emoji that best describes how they feel about particular features.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (6)

In this case, the extremely happy emoji is the highest on the scale, while the extremely sad emoji is the lowest on the scale. This scale is also mostly used by market researchers after product launch to determine what consumers like about a product.

  • Constant Sum

A constant sum question allows respondents to enter numerical values for each variable that is being considered. However, these values must add up to a pre-specified total.

As the respondent makes each entry, it is summed up and shown to the respondent. It is mostly used when asking financial, or percentage related questions.

  • Drag and drop

In this type of ranking questions, respondents can drag and drop the answer choices to re-order them as they choose. It gives complete freedom to the respondent to order the answer options to best suit their preference.

Drag and drop are the most interactive of all the question types used by market researchers.

(Video) Ranking Scale Questionnaire - How to tabulate, analyse and prepare graph using MS Excel.

How to Create a Ranking Questionnaire with Formplus

Follow the following simple steps to create a ranking questionnaire using Formplus:

Step 1- Create a Questionnaire

You can create a Formplus questionnaire in one of the following ways:

Use an Existing Template

Get a head start by using a template designed by a team of market research experts. To do this, go to Templates and choose from any of the available templates.

Start From Scratch

To create a new survey from scratch on Formplus, go to your Dashboard, then click on the Create new form button.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (7)

, Alternatively, go to Forms in the top menu, then click on the Create Form button.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (8)

Step 2 – Add Ranking Questions

To better illustrate this step, we will be creating the dropdown ranking example shown above.

  • Go to Media & Structure in the left sidebar.
  • Click on Section Header, then the Add Row button.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (9)

  • Go to Choice Options, then click on Single Select.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (10)

  • Create 3 duplicates of the Single Select form field and place them in the same row.
  • Edit the form fields as shown below.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (11)

  • Check Assign value to each option to define the weight of each rank. The values should be assigned in reverse order.
  • Click on Save

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (12)

Step 3 – Beautify your Survey

  • Click on the Save button in the top-right corner to Save your ranking question.
  • This will take you to the Customise page where you can beautify your survey and make it more attractive to respondents.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (13)

Step 4 – Share and start receiving responses

Now that you have beautified your survey, the next step is to start receiving responses. With Formplus, you have various sharing options to choose from. This includes sharing via email, customized links, social media, etc.

Survey Ranking Question: Examples, Scales and Types (14)

Why Use Formplus to Create Ranking Question Surveys?

  • Logic and Calculation

When asking a financial, budget, or percentage related question, you can easily use the logic and calculation features. These features make it easy for you to use the constant sum ranking question to carry out your research survey.

You don’t have to stress yourself with complex mathematical computations behind a constant sum. Just select the right form field, then the rest is history.

To create a constant sum question in Formplus, all you have to do is add the right input form field (e.g. Table field), then go to Add Calculation to add the calculation you want.

(Video) Are 5 or 7-point rating scales best for survey research?

  • Data Interpretation

Once you have collected the required response from respondents, Formplus helps you interpret it. The Analytics and Reports section gives a summary of all the responses and makes data interpretation straight forward.

For instance, you can get the average score of all the responses given for each feature. This will help you determine which feature is the most preferred by respondents.

This will, therefore, ease the market research process and helps to easily attain a conclusion before completing the product development process.

  • Ranking Question Features

Create a standard ranking question by adding all the features required in your research survey. Formplus has numerous form fields that are required of a ranking question.

It doesn’t matter which type of ranking question you are working on, Formplus has a form field that is perfect for each one of them.

  • Geolocation

When performing market research for a product that is distributed across multiple locations, your customer preference may vary for each of these locations. Hence, you need to know the location of each of your respondents before concluding your market research.

Formplus has a feature that automatically detects a respondent’s location, as well as the closest physical address using the Google Web Service. You can use the Formplus Geolocation feature instead of creating a different ranking question survey for each location to arrive at the right conclusion.

  • Data Storage

Rather than spending money on multiple types of research, you can subsequently reuse the data collected from particular research. Formplus stores your data into secure cloud storage that can be accessed at any time from any of the devices where you are logged in.

If you have an existing cloud storage account on Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive, you can also seamlessly transfer your data to these platforms. You can also store your data in your device’s local storage.

What is the Difference Between Rating and Ranking Questions?

  • Definition

A rating question is a question used to ask respondents to compare different items using a common scale. On the other hand, a ranking question asks you to compare a list of variables with one another.

  • Scale

A rating scale is a closed-ended scale that allows respondents to evaluate multiple variables on a single scale. On the other hand, a ranking scale is a close-ended scale that allows respondents to evaluate multiple row items in relation to one column item or a question in a ranking survey and then rank the row items.

  • Rating questions allows us to measure the strength of options while ranking questions measure the priority of options. That is, with ranking questions, respondents choose one opinion over the other. On the other hand, rating questions give every option a rating, but the strength of each rating is what is accessed.

Ranking Question Analysis & Interpretation

Analyzing a ranking question is not as straightforward as performing simple numerical analysis. It uses average ranking analysis, of which it involves two stages — assigning a value to each rank and finding the average of the responses for their assigned values.

What is Average Ranking?

Usually used to analyze ranking questions, it involves determining which answer choice is most preferred overall by finding the average of all the responses with respect to the values assigned to each rank. The answer choice with the largest average ranking is the most preferred.

Given that::

w = weight of the ranked position

r = response count for each answer choice

Hence, rw = inriwi=r1w1+r2w2 +..+rnwn where n is the total number of responses

Total Response Weight

To get the total response count, we will multiply the weight of the ranked position by the response count for each answer choice. This will be done for every response that was received.

(Video) Questionnaire data in SPSS - Ranked response question

The weight of the ranked positions is applied in reverse. That is, the respondent’s most preferred choice (which they rank as number 1) has the largest weight, and their least preferred choice (which they rank in the last position) has the smallest weight.

These weights are predefined and cannot be changed. For example, if a Ranking question has 3 answer choices, the weights are assigned as follows:

The number 1 choice has a weight of 3

The number 2 choice has a weight of 2

The number 3 choice has a weight of 1

Weights are applied in this manner to ensure clarity when the data is presented on a char. This way, there will be no confusion as to which data is preferred.

The average ranking is now calculated using the following formula:

Average ranking =r1w1+r2w2 +..+rnwnTotal response received

After finding the average ranking for each choice option, the next step is interpretation. To determine the highest-ranked choice option, we will compare the average ranking together and choose the one with the greatest score.

Our analysis can be visualized using a bar chart.

Advantages of Ranking Question

  • It helps to generate advanced consumer insights

This type of question helps to gather more insight into the profile of each respondent. Beyond knowing that a customer likes, dislikes, or feels neutral about a product, you get to discover the specific things a customer likes about the product.

Also, the fact that there is a value tied to each choice option makes it easier to derive a statistical analysis of a certain subject. It is especially useful in making better business decisions.

  • Eliminating Response Biases

Most times when respondents are asked to rate a particular product, they just assign a random number to the rating because they are not sure. But with the ranking question, they provide realistic responses. This is possible because they get to arrange each factor according to how they really feel about them.

  • Ease of Use

The instructions are very simple and easy to understand. The respondents are usually comfortable and sometimes find it fun ranking the different options in terms of personal preference. It heightens the sense of belonging.

Disadvantages of Ranking Question

  • It is not easy to interpret. The analysis and interpretation of a ranking question are not as straightforward as that of other questions.
  • It forces respondents to place importance on one item over another.


Ranking questions are no doubt, one of the most important aspects of carrying out a market research survey. It helps market researchers and organizations determine which aspect of their product customers like the most.

By simply listing the factors that are known to influence a customer’s decision, they can ask them to rank these factors in order of preference. This helps organizations to create products that are loved by customers.

It allows survey respondents to compare different items to each other by placing them in order of how they score (or rank) at a specific aspect, such as design, cost, functionality, importance. In most cases, the most important or preferred item ranked first or on top of the list.

Create Ranking Survey Questions with Formplus [Signup Now]

(Video) Ratings & scales. Part 3 of 3 on Questionnaire Design


What are examples of ranking scales? ›

The most common example is the Likert scale, star rating, and slider. For instance, when you visit an online shopping site, it asks you to rate your shopping experience. It is a popular choice for conducting market research. It can gather more relative information about a product or certain aspects of the product.

What is an example of a ranking question in a survey? ›

A ranking question on the other hand asks survey respondents to compare a list of different objects to one another (e.g. “Please rank each of the following items in order of importance with #1 being the most important object to #10 being the least important object.”).

What are ranking scale questions? ›

Scale/rank question type can be used to ask respondents whether they agree or disagree with a number of statements, to rate items on a scale, or to rank items in order of importance or preference, for example.

How do you ask a ranking question in a survey? ›

In the question text field, write instructions that ask respondents to rank the answer choices in order of preference, 1 being the highest. It may also help to include what all the choices have in common. For instance, "Rank the following ice cream flavors in order of preference, 1 being your most preferred flavor."

What is a 5 point rating scale examples? ›

The 5-point Likert scale contains 5 response options that will consist of two extreme sides and a neutral option linked to the middle answer options. Examples of a 5-point rating scale for measuring satisfaction are: Very Satisfied, Satisfied, Neutral, Dissatisfied, and Very Dissatisfied.

What are the 5 rating scale? ›

5 points (Pass)Excellent. Exceptional Mastery. Much more than acceptable.
4 points (Pass)Very Good. Full Performance Behaviours. Above average.
3 points (Pass)Good. Acceptable. Satisfactory Average
2 points (Fail)Weak. Less than Acceptable
1 more row

What is an example of a scale question? ›

Here is a typical Likert scale question and answer example: How satisfied are you with the service you have received from [brand, department, service agent]? The respondent might be offered this 5-point Likert scale from which to select a response. Very satisfied.

What are the four types of rating scale? ›

Four primary types of rating scales can be suitably used in an online survey:
  • Graphic.
  • Numerical.
  • Descriptive.
  • Comparative.

What is a 5 point scale survey? ›

What is a 5 Point Scale Survey? A close-ended question with five answer choices is known as a 5 point scale question. Surveys that feature these questions is called 5 point scale survey. Imagine a scenario where you want to find out how your employees feel about the casseroles in the breakroom. Are they too salty?

How do you score survey rankings? ›

The score, computed for each answer option/row header, is the sum of all the weighted values. The weighted values are determined by the number of columns, which is usually the same as the number of rows but can be less if using the option to Limit Ranked Items.

What are scale response questions? ›

Scaled-response questions are questions that have a predefined answer list with options that are incrementally related to each other with the purpose of measuring the intensity to which a respondent feels toward or about something.

What is rank order rating scale? ›

A rank order scale's scores are weighted scores in which items selected first receive a higher value than the next ones in the list. This value is exponential and depends on the number of selections in your rank order scale. In your reports the percentage of all of these values (compared to the total) is shown.

What is ranking scale method? ›

What is a Ranking Scale? A ranking scale forces respondents to rank a list of items with only one selection in each rank. Ranking scale questions often ask respondents to rank based on preference, but you can get creative with your ranking criteria.

What is ranking vs rating scale? ›

A rating scale question allows you to measure strength of response. A ranking scale question allows you to measure priority of options. Using the two in tandem can give you very powerful insights into consumer preferences.

What is Checklist rating scale? ›

Checklists, rating scales and rubrics are tools that state specific criteria and allow teachers and students to gather information and to make judgements about what students know and can do in relation to the outcomes. They offer systematic ways of collecting data about specific behaviours, knowledge and skills.

What is 1 5 ranking scale? ›

A 1 to 5 rating scale is a simple and effective way to rate the severity or magnitude of something. It typically goes from 1, the lowest rating, to 5, the highest rating. The 1 to 5 scale allows respondents to answer quickly and can be applied to a variety of things, such as pain, temperature, and brightness.

What is the scale of 1 to 10 survey questions? ›

In a 1 to 10 Opinion Scale Survey, a numeric scale is provided where rating options lie from 1 to 10, among which the customers can choose a score to rate their experience. Here, ten represents the most positive experience, and one(or zero) illustrates the most negative experience.

What does scale of 1 to 10 mean? ›

A drawing at a scale of 1:10 means that the object is 10 times smaller than in real life scale 1:1. You could also say, 1 unit in the drawing is equal to 10 units in real life. As the numbers in the scale get bigger, i.e. 1:50 – 1:200, the elements in the drawing actually get smaller.

What is a simple rating scale? ›

The usual simple rating scale purports to measure direction (i.e. important/unimportant, effective/ineffective) and intensity (i.e. very, somewhat) of attitude or opinion in a single assessment.

What is an example of a 5 point Likert scale question? ›

5-Point Likert Scale

It is frequently used to measure satisfaction or agreement. For example, “Express your satisfaction level with our products.” Respondents would choose from five options ranging from “Highly Satisfied” to “Highly Dissatisfied.”

What are the different types of scale explain with example? ›

Introduction: There are 4 types of scales, based on the extent to which scale values have the arithmetic properties of true numbers. The arithmetic proper- ties are order, equal intervals, and a true zero point. From the least to the most mathematical, the scale types are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio.

What is a 5 scale Likert rating? ›

A 5-point Likert scale is a psychometric response method where respondents can easily answer questions and state their level of agreement in five points. The 5-point Likert scale consists of the below points – (1) Strongly Disagree; (2) Disagree; (3) Neither Agree nor Disagree; (4) Agree; (5) Strongly Agree.

What are examples of Likert scales? ›

Likert scales can be either unipolar, which measures on a one-way scale, such as from 'not at all helpful' to 'very helpful', or bipolar, which measures two opposite forces – for example 'agree' versus 'disagree' or 'satisfied' versus 'dissatisfied'.

What is the best Likert scale to use? ›

Most researchers agree that, at a minimum, you should use a 5-point Likert scale survey. But other research shows that the more choices there are, the less often respondents use the middle or neutral category.

What are the 7 types of questions? ›

Types of questions
  • Closed questions. ...
  • Open questions. ...
  • Funnel questions. ...
  • Leading questions. ...
  • Recall and process questions. ...
  • Rhetorical questions. ...
  • Divergent questions. ...
  • Probing questions.
Sep 30, 2022

What are the 3 C's of survey? ›

The 3 Cs of customer satisfaction highlight the important factors in satisfying your customer base. But here's the catch: the 3 C's of customer satisfaction are consistency, consistency, and consistency.

What is the formula for ranking question? ›

The general formula and basic for the ranking position is given as Total = [ Left + Right ] -1 However when overlapping happens then use [ Left side rank+Right side rank ] – T, where (Left side rank+Right side rank )> T.

What are the most common scales used in research? ›

The four most common types of scale are: nominal, ordinal, interval and ratio. Among the attitude scales used in scientific research, we highlight the Thurstone and the Likert.

What is the most popular rating scale? ›

The four-point rating scale. Many organizations have used the standard three-point rating scale. However, in our research on the distribution of performance responses, we have found that a 4-point rating scale is often the best option.

What is an example of method of rank order? ›

For example, a teacher may rank students by skill: 1 (highest skill), 2 (next highest), and so forth on down to the last rank (lowest skill). In recreational sports, ladder and round-robin tournaments may result in a rank order of individuals or teams.

Which type of scale is at the most a ranking scale? ›

Ratio scales

The highest level of measurement is a ratio scale. This has the properties of an interval scale together with a fixed origin or zero point.

What are the 2 ranking scales? ›

Types of Rating Scale

Broadly speaking, rating scales can be divided into two categories: Ordinal and Interval Scales.

Which scale is a ranking scale? ›

What is a Ranking Scale? A ranking scale forces respondents to rank a list of items with only one selection in each rank. Ranking scale questions often ask respondents to rank based on preference, but you can get creative with your ranking criteria.

Which scale of measurement is used for ranking? ›

Ordinal: the data can be categorized and ranked.

What type of measurement scale is ranking? ›

Ordinal: Used to measure variables in a natural order, such as rating or ranking. They provide meaningful insights into attitudes, preferences, and behaviors by understanding the order of responses. Interval: Used to measure variables with equal intervals between values.

Which of the following scales is a ranking scale? ›

Answer and Explanation: The Likert scale is a scale that reads the different choices in a particular rank and hence it is a ranking scale. Similarly, a paired comparison and a comparative scale ask the respondents to rate the various responses.

What is simple ranking scale? ›

A ranking scale is a close-ended scale that allows respondents to evaluate multiple row items in relation to one column item or a question in a ranking survey and then rank the row items. It is the scale used by market researchers to ask ranking questions.

What is a 5 point performance rating scale? ›

This is more often than not a 5 point rating scale (5– Outstanding, 4– Exceeds Expectations, 3- Meets Expectations, 2- Needs Improvement, 1- Unacceptable).

Is ranking ordinal or interval? ›

Ordinal – A way of measuring that ranks (puts them in an order) on some variable. The difference between the ranks needs not be equal (unequal intervals between units of measure).

How do you measure rank? ›

How to calculate percentile rank
  1. Find the percentile of your data set. Calculate the percentile of the data set you're measuring so you can calculate the percentile rank. ...
  2. Find the number of items in the data set. ...
  3. Multiply the sum of the number of items and one by 100. ...
  4. Divide the percentile by the product of 100 and n+1.
Feb 22, 2021

Is ranking a ratio scale? ›

Ratio scales provide rankings, assure equal differences between scale values, and have a true zero point. In essence, a ratio scale can be thought of as nominal, ordinal, and interval scales combined as one. For example, the measurement of money is an example of a ratio scale.

What is a good example of an ordinal scale? ›

Ordinal Scale: Ranks, customer satisfaction rating and degree, socio-economic status, education qualification, etc. are examples of the Ordinal Scale.

Is ranking an interval scale? ›

An interval scale is a measurement scale in which the items on a scale are ranked in order and the intervals between the scale points are equal (in real terms) but which has no true zero point.

What level of measurement allows for the ranking of data? ›

Ratio: Ratio is one of the Quantitative scale of measurement that allows the ranking of data, a precise difference between units of measure and also includes a true zero (that is the values cannot be less than zero or in negative).


1. Forms Tutorial - Create a ranking scale question
(LinkedIn Learning)
2. How to analyze ranking scale questions - Prepare Table and Graph using Excel
3. How to create a Matrix/Rating scale question with SurveyMonkey
4. City Commission Workshop 03-08-2023
(North Port, Florida)
5. How to add Ranking, Likert, and Rating questions in Microsoft Forms
(ClerksWell London)
6. How to Create Ranking Questions in Google Forms
(EdTech Explorer)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Last Updated: 07/10/2023

Views: 5361

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (68 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Francesca Jacobs Ret

Birthday: 1996-12-09

Address: Apt. 141 1406 Mitch Summit, New Teganshire, UT 82655-0699

Phone: +2296092334654

Job: Technology Architect

Hobby: Snowboarding, Scouting, Foreign language learning, Dowsing, Baton twirling, Sculpting, Cabaret

Introduction: My name is Francesca Jacobs Ret, I am a innocent, super, beautiful, charming, lucky, gentle, clever person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.