Prevent required answers for Ranking feature

I have a ranking question. We want to let respondents choose the number of rankings they provide in an answer - and allow them also the option of not answering. However, Kobo seems to require a response for every option. For example, at the end of the survey when validating it it prompts you to go back and answer the “none selected” boxes.

Is there a workaround to this to prevent this from happening?

Ideally, we want respondents to be able to leave options blank if they want (only ranking the options applicable to them).

I have attached screenshots for your reference.

Thanks in advance for your reply,

Hi @emmakenny,

Welcome to the community! Would you mind having a look at our support article Rating vs Ranking Question Types and see if it solves your issue.

Please reach us back if there is still an issue.

Have a great day!

Thank you for your response! I have looked at that article and searched the forums but I’m still having the issue. It is a ranking question we want since we want to compare the answer options and see what is the preferred answer choice amongst participants.

Does this go to say that it’s not possible to have answers be optional in a ranking question type? If we don’t want them to be mandatory, we should probably not make it a ranking question?

I was wondering if it would be possible to just remove something from the XLS form, in order to remove this constraint.

Thanks for your help!

Hi @emmakenny,

Well in this case, the workaround would be as follows:

  • Download your survey form as an xlsform.
  • Make the mandatory response as optional by deleting the true under the required column.
  • Replace the xlsform and then redeploy.

Your problem should be solved.

Have a great day!


Thank you very much for your help - this seems work!! Much appreciated.

Is it also correct of me to remove the constraints of “Items cannot be selected be selected more than once” as well?

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Hi @emmakenny,

It depends. If you wish to make all your questions optional, you could remove the required as mentioned above else you could be selective with only the variables that you wish to have it as optional.

Have a great day!

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