Prolific Surveys Review & Money Making Guide

prolific surveys logo
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Prolific Review

Prolific is the industry standard for earning money with surveys or studies. They are incredibly high paying, up to £15/$15 in some cases. You’ll find everything from short marketing surveys to full psychological studies that you can take all from the comfort of your own home.

You are always pre-approved for Prolific surveys/studies meaning that you will never be disqualified. This is an incredibly rare feature for a survey site.

Read on to find out why Prolific, formerly Prolific Academic is the highest rated earning opportunity on Earnologist.

What you need to know

  • Time: 1 minute to 1 hour depending on the study/survey.
  • Earnings: £0.10/$0.10 up to £15.00/$15.00.
  • Trust: High trust, no issues found.
  • Payout Options: PayPal
  • Country Availability: USA flag Canada flag United Kingdom flag European Union Flag Australia flag Japan Flag (Full List)

What is Prolific?

Prolific Surveys is widely regarded as the very best paid survey site available for those wanting to earn online. Prolific was formerly known as Prolific Academic, but has changed its name to lose the “Academic” suffix.

What sets Prolific apart from other similar sites is that you will never be disqualified (DQ’d) after starting a survey. You will always be able to complete a survey assigned to you. This is because Prolific uses your profile answers to determine if you qualify before they offer a survey to you.

“You will never be disqualified after accepting a survey.”

In addition, the surveys available typically have generous payouts for the time spent. Surveys can range from £0.10/$0.10 for one-minute surveys to £15/$15 or more for longer surveys.

Money for surveys on Prolific is measured in GBP(£) but will be converted to your local currency e.g. USD($) when cashed out.

Prolific is available in many countries, but unfortunately, both India and most of South America are excluded.

Example Prolific survey showing £0.88 for a 4 minute survey
Example Prolific survey showing £0.88 reward for a 4-minute survey

In our Prolific review, we’ll look at what makes the paid survey/study site so good and what sets it apart from the rest. We’ll also look at home to make more money with Prolific, and some checks to show that Prolific is a legit site to earn money from.

How to Sign Up to Prolific

There are no sign-up bonuses for Prolific, so just head directly to the Prolific home page and sign up. Make sure to select that you want to take part in studies (surveys). Use the email that is linked to your PayPal account as this will be how you receive payment. You can actually use a different login and Paypal email, but this just keeps things simple. The rest is self-explanatory, just make sure to fill in the details honestly and correctly.

Prolific Waiting List

Occasionally, when users try to sign up for Prolific surveys, they are instead given a prompt to sign up to the Prolific waiting list. The waiting list shows when there are already enough members on the site. It is in place so that existing members are able to complete a good amount of studies/surveys as places are always limited.

It might be annoying to have to jump onto the waiting list but when you’re accepted you’ll be thankful due to the huge amount of surveys it allows you to do on any given day.

There is no way to know how long the waitlist is for Prolific and no way to speed it up. That being said, you should be granted access within a couple of months of joining the waiting list.

Prolific’s waiting list exists to protect members and ensure there are enough slots available in studies and surveys.

How to Make More Money with Prolific

Now the important part – how to make more money with Prolific and how to increase your profits. The goal here is two-fold. Firstly to ensure that you get as many surveys offered to you as possible, and secondly to make sure you complete them while they’re active.

1. Fill in the About You Section

Your first task as soon as you sign up and log into Prolific is to fill in your “About You” section at the top of the site. You must answer all questions in all categories until your profile shows 100% in the progress bar at the top.

The reason for this is that Prolific uses your responses to qualify you for surveys, which it then offers to you. If you do not fill out this section at all, you will get no surveys and if you do not fill it out completely you will get fewer surveys. 

So, simply put, answer all questions and you will get more surveys offered to you:

Prolific About You section showing categories such as basic demographic and interests
Prolific “About You” page showing some of the categories of profile questions.
 
Altogether there are around 200 questions, but don’t worry they’re just simple answers of yes/no or filling in a single answer. Sometimes new questions are added, so make it a weekly or monthly task for yourself to check the About You section. Similarly, if your personal situation or views change, update them here as it can alter what surveys you’re offered.
 

2. Keep the About You Section Updated

The Prolific profile or about you section is constantly updated. Having any blanks can mean that you’re not invited to surveys and studies that are perfect for you. Make it a habit to check and update if necessary whenever you login to Prolific.

3. Answer Yes to Alternative Survey Formats

Additionally, you can also get more surveys on Prolific Academic and by proxy increase the amount of money you make with Prolific by answering “Yes” to some alternative ways to take surveys. In the “About You” section there is a category called “Participation on Prolific”.

These questions ask about your willingness to conduct surveys/research in person or via Skype. There are also questions asking if you are willing to record yourself on webcam or take part in a dual survey with your romantic partner:

Would you be willing to record yourself via webcam as part of a study?

Would you be willing to attend an experiment in person?
Two example profile questions that can help you make more money with Prolific.

Taking part in surveys face to face or via webcam isn’t for everyone, but if you’re OK with it, simply choose yes to those questions and you’ll be given more surveys, meaning you’ll make more money with Prolific Surveys.

You will earn a lot more money for taking part in webcam and in-person studies, so make sure you don’t miss out.

5. Install the Prolific Assistant Browser Extension

The Prolific Assistant browser extension will alert you when new surveys are assigned to you. This is helpful in addition to email notifications. The extension is especially useful if you spend a lot of time on your PC/laptop.

I cannot emphasize enough how IMPORTANT it is to install this extension. Being alerted and instantly accepting surveys has increased my income while reviewing Prolific by a significant amount.

It is available as the Prolific Assistant extension for Chrome and the Prolific Assistant extension for Firefox.

The Prolific extension will pop up to notify you and also add a number on the icon to show how many surveys are available. You can even set it up as an audio alert to hear a cheery voice announce “New studies available on Prolific”

One setting to look into is the check interval in seconds. Set it to something around 60 seconds to make sure you don’t miss out on Prolific surveys:

Prolific Assistant Extension Settings - set check interval to 60 seconds
Prolific Assistant Extension Settings – set check interval to 60 seconds

6. Set-up Email Notifications on your Phone

Prolific Academic can also alert you via email when a new survey is assigned to you. Firstly check that you have email notifications set up on your phone. Additionally, make sure that Prolific emails don’t end up in your spam or you won’t get notified.

Setting up notifications will make sure that you see new surveys as soon as they’re available. To make this even more effective, go to Prolific and remove some of the email settings such as marketing, rejections, referrals, etc.

This will mean that if you receive an email from Prolific, you know it must be about a new survey:

Email preferences on Prolific
Prolific email preferences set-up.

As above you can see the email preference on the Prolific site. If you uncheck everything apart from New Survey (And reactivation, as we’re not entirely sure what this means…) you won’t get distracted by non-new survey emails.

Without email notifications or the Prolific Assistant extension set-up, you could miss surveys and miss out on extra cash. So make sure you’re notified about and react to new surveys asap so you can make as much money as possible on Prolific.

7. Prolific Attention Checks

As with most paid survey sites, you will run into Prolific’s attention checks when completing surveys. There’s nothing to worry about here, but just make sure that you do pay attention.

Normally you will have one or more attention checks in Prolific’s surveys. Sometimes they’re as simple as saying “choose option 3” and sometimes there is a paragraph of fake text followed by an instruction to choose a certain option.

Just read every question thoroughly and you will pass Prolific’s attention checks without any issue.

Warning: Failing an attention check can mean that you won’t get paid for that survey or study!

How to Answer Prolific Surveys

Answering surveys on Prolific is different than most paid survey sites. You need to claim your place for the survey/study, complete it in time, and make sure that you’re credited on completion by clicking a link or typing in the completion code. 

Step 1: You Recieve a New Survey Notification

As mentioned it is crucial that you set up email notifications on your phone or via the Prolific extension in your browser so that you are alerted about new surveys. This is because there are a limited amount of slots available. So with notifications set up, you can ensure that you don’t miss out on any surveys and money making opportunities with Prolific.

Step 2: Check your Survey List on Prolific

When you log in to Prolific you should now see your survey(s) waiting for you. The surveys will show:
  •  A title, giving you an idea of what the study is
  • The reward amount for completing the survey (and what it works out as an hourly rate)
  • How many slots are left open

Example Prolific survey showing £0.88 for a 4 minute survey

Step 3: Click the Survey and then Click Reserve Place

Once you’ve clicked the survey, you need to claim it before you can start. It’s important to note that from the point you click reserve place, you have 10 minutes to begin. Note this is NOT 10 minutes to complete it, but 10 minutes to click into the survey and start answering questions.

Survey acceptance, click Reserve Place.
Survey acceptance page – click Reserve Place to claim your spot.

Step 4: Copy your Prolific ID and Click Start Now

You will now be taken to the page shown below. Before you click “start now”, copy your prolific ID with the copy button. This isn’t always required but sometimes you will be asked for it at the start or end of the survey.

Copy your prolific ID, then click start now within 10 minutes.
Copy your prolific ID, then click start now within 10 minutes.

Step 5: Complete the Survey

Each survey is different but will give you instructions. Answer honestly, and don’t rush! Sometimes trick questions will be thrown in to make sure you’re paying attention. Getting these wrong may lead to rejection and not getting paid. High-quality answers can even lead to bonus payments from the researchers so extra money in your pocket.

Once complete, the survey will let you know you can close the current window and return to Prolific.

And that’s it! It may take a few hours or a day but your survey response will be accepted and money added to your Prolific account.

Is There a Prolific Surveys App?

During our Prolific review, the one thing that really surprised me is that there is not a Prolific surveys app. The reason that this is so strange is that they do offer mobile-only surveys that must be taken on a mobile device.

However, not having a Prolific survey app isn’t actually that big of a deal. The Prolific website itself is so well optimized for mobile that it almost feels like an app.

Prolific Academic No Mobile App
There is no Prolific App, but their mobile site is just as easy to use.

The only thing that you’ll really miss is native mobile notifications for new surveys. But that can be covered with our email notification tip above.

Prolific Cash Out and How to Get Paid​

Our Prolific review is coming to a close so next up is how to cash out from Prolific. At the top of the review, we noted that the only payout option is PayPal. This may be too limiting for some people, so just be aware of this fact before you sign up.

Minimum Payout on Prolific

The Prolific minimum payout amount is only £5 whether you’re accessing from the UK, USA, or Europe. For the USA and Europe, the £5 will be converted to your local currency as set up in your PayPal account.

Prolific Cash Out Process

A PayPal account is required for payment as it is the only option Prolific offers. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can easily sign up for a free PayPal personal account. Then you can either spend your money made from Prolific directly from PayPal or transfer it into your bank account.

Prolific payouts must be manually requested. Simply click “Balance” and click “Transfer Money”. If cash out is greyed out, then you either do not have £5 (or more) to withdraw or you haven’t set-up your PayPal account. Your PayPal account can be linked on your Prolific account page – on the same page as the cashout.

After you click cash out you will see the confirmation screen below. Note that there are NO fees.

Prolific cash out to PayPal confirmation

Prolific cash out to PayPal confirmation. You will see your PayPal email at the top, but this is blanked out in this image.

After you click Proceed, that’s it, you’re done.

Pay Out Schedule

After you click cash out, you will get the money in your PayPal account on the next payout day. Payout days are Tuesday and Friday, afternoon time (GMT).

Instant Cash Out

After you have triggered 4 payouts as above, you will automatically be upgraded (for free) for instant payouts.

This means that instead of having to wait for a payout day, your cash will instantly be transferred to your PayPal account!

Prolific Payment Proof

We have to admit, we’re kind of addicted to Prolific Academic! Over the past year or two, we’ve received many, many payouts. Check out our earnings and payment proof below:

prolific survey payment proof
Out Prolific payment proof. We’ve been very, very busy on the platform over the past year!

Prolific Survey Country Availability

Prolific is available in all OECD countries with the exception of Colombia, Costa Rica, Lithuania, South Africa, and Turkey. The full list of countries that Prolific surveys are available in are:

UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Is Prolific Legit & Safe?

After reading out glowing Prolific review, it should be clear that yes, Prolific is legit and safe to use. What’s more, is that it is one of the most highly respected and highest paying survey sites available.

It even makes it into the Top 3 of the best survey sites to earn money online.

If you want further proof of legitimacy, check out Prolific’s reviews on Trustpilot or the company profile on Crunchbase.

In summary, Prolific is legit, safe, and a fantastic way to earn online. Get to it and join Prolific today.

Prolific Review Summary: Pros & Cons

Pros

  • You always qualify for surveys.
  • Good pay for your time.
  • Interesting studies.
  • Instant payments.

Cons

  • Waiting list to join.
  • No mobile app.

It should be clear after reading our Prolific Review, but to be very clear, Prolific is the very best-paid survey/study site with no exceptions. The pay is high and fair when you consider the survey length. The studies can actually be very fun. And the interface is very user-friendly and a pleasure to use.

You do have to be quick on the draw sometimes to snag a survey as there will always be limited places, but the Prolific browser extension makes sure you’re aware as soon as a new survey drops.

The only genuine downside of Prolific is for those that haven’t joined yet. You will have to join a waiting list and won’t be accepted until manually approved. This is frustrating, but once you are accepted it actually works in your favour. Because they limit how many people can join, it means that there are always plenty of surveys for you to complete each day.

If you haven’t already joined Prolific, join the waiting list now! If you don’t, you’re missing out on hundreds of pounds/dollars every year.

Golden Rules and Must-Do's

Some final advice before we part ways. Your goal is to make sure you get as many surveys offered to you as possible on Prolific but to also make sure that you claim and complete all that you’re offered. This will make sure you make as much cash as possible.

As with all survey sites, honesty and concentration are important to make sure you’re not tripped up by trick questions or questions designed to check if you’re paying attention.

This extension will notify you via your browser as soon as a new survey is available. It is absolutely crucial to use this to increase how much money you can make with Prolific. It will allow you to snag more surveys and dramatically increase your Prolific profits.

All survey sites require honesty. If you’re trying to game them, giving different answers on your age, situation, etc. it becomes apparent that you’re lying. Similarly frequently changing your profile answers in an attempt to get more surveys could be flagged as suspicious. In all likelihood, this will just lead to fewer surveys rather than more.

Setting up notifications for email means you won’t miss new Prolific surveys. They’re limited by participants and it’s first come, first served!

Once you do 4 separate cashouts you’ll qualify for instant cashouts. This means money will appear instantly in your PayPal account rather than having to wait until the weekly payout dates.

Once you accept a survey you have 10 minutes to start it. If you aren’t able to begin in the next 10 minutes, don’t start it as you’ll lose your spot.

Fill out your profile questions to 100%. The more complete your profile questions are, the more surveys you will get and the more money you will make with Prolific.

If you give high-quality responses you can sometimes be given bonus funds by the researchers. Higher quality answers can mean higher payouts from Prolific surveys.

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