While trying out different ways to make money online, paid survey sites have inevitably been one of the areas I’ve explored. I’m sure you’ll have seen from searching the web there are loads of survey sites around. The problem is knowing which ones are worth your time. In this post, I’ll review one of the survey sites I use the most – Prolific Academic.
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What Is Prolific Academic?
Prolific Academic is a high-end survey company, specialising in academic research studies. Originally called Prolific Academic, the company rebranded in 2015 to Prolific.
Is Prolific Legit?
Yes, Prolific is 100% legit, and what’s more a very ethical survey company as far as I’m concerned. They believe in fair payment and transparency which is refreshing to see in the paid survey space (not all companies can make this claim I can tell you!).
How Does Prolific Academic Work?
- Sign up and answer a few screening questions
- Take part in paid research studies
- Get Paid or donate your earnings to charity
Getting Started with Prolific Surveys
Once you signed up, you’ll need to fill out your profile. I know this is a bit of a pain, but the upfront work is definitely worth it. A full profile will make you eligible for more studies. So, I advise filling this section out as fully as possible. Keep tabs on it though, as periodically, new profile questions get added. So, make sure you keep this up to date, so you keep receiving studies.
You’ll also have to take part in a 5-minute demo study.
Is Prolific Worth It?
If you’re looking to make extra cash by taking part in interesting research studies, then yes.
It’s not going to make you rich or win any awards for the highest pay rate. But, it can be a great way to supplement your income, or combine with better-paid side hustles such as website testing.
What Are Prolific Academic Surveys Like?
The research studies on Prolific differ from the usual paid survey sites. With the traditional survey sites, you’re asked questions about your political views, your gas and energy provider, recent news or what you watch on TV.
However, because Prolific is an Academic Research company, the surveys differ quite a bit. The research studies on Prolific can be really thought-provoking, which is a nice change!
For example, you may have questions about moral dilemmas or psychology. I even had one about a mock murder trial – how cool is that?!
Is there a Prolific Academic App?
No, unfortunately not, this is one of the downsides of Prolific Survey. I also find that the bulk of the studies can only be completed on a laptop. This isn’t very convenient if you’re out and about all day.
How to Get More Studies on Prolific
One of the initial frustrations I had with Prolific was the fact that you don’t get email notifications.
This meant I had to keep checking back to see if new surveys were available. Now, this is completely impractical for most people. We’re all busy and simply haven’t got time to keep logging into a survey site to check for studies.
However, there’s a solution… There’s a handy Prolific Academic browser extension you can get. The Prolific Survey Extension alerts you when new studies are available. It simply sits on your Chrome browser and the little red box shows you how many studies are available.
It can also announce that a study is available. “New Study Available on Prolific”, says the robotic sounding woman…
You can also set the check interval – I set mine to every 60 minutes, which is the most frequent interval available.
How Do I Get Paid?
You can cash out and get paid once you pass £5 worth of survey earnings. Payment is then made either by PayPal or Circle Pay. Now, Circle was completely new to me. But, I’d recommend signing up for it and here’s why. If you cash out via PayPal, you’ll get stung with extra fees – nobody wants that! To cash out using Circle though is free. You can download the Circle Pay App from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.
To find out more about Circle Pay, check out the video below.
I did find this section of the site pretty clunky, to be honest. Finding information out about cashing out isn’t as easy as it should be, so I’ve put together a handy guide below for you.
Ok, I’m sold! Who’s It Available to and How Do I Sign Up for Prolific Studies?
Users from the following countries should be able to take part in Prolific Research Studies:
Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, UK, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Latvia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovenia, Turkey, US.
The sign-up process is simple. All you need to get going is your name, email address and country of residence. Then, simply create a password and you’re ready to get started.
How to make the most out of Prolific Academic
- Complete your profile as fully as possible
- Install the Prolific browser extension to alert you to new surveys
- Give each study your full concentration and make sure you give good answers.
- Sign up to Circle to cut out the PayPal Fees
- If you hit a problem in a study, email the researcher at the end. Or add a comment after the “Did everything go smoothly” box. This can help to prevent any non-payment issues.
- Prolific Studies don’t screen you out – EVER. One of the biggest frustrations with most survey sites is the screening out process. This is especially true when you’re screened out part way through a survey. You don’t get this with Prolific, when a study appears on your dashboard, it has a set number of places. Once you reserve your place you have 15 minutes to start the study.
- Always plenty of studies available. This gives you the chance to earn a decent amount of cash each month. This is probably why you don’t get studies emailed out to you. If you did, you’d probably end up unsubscribing anyway due to the sheer volume of them!
- Pay rates – this is a Biggy. The pay rates are way above average when compared with most survey sites around. Most survey sites tend to pay a paltry amount when you sit down and work it out as an hourly rate. In my view, this makes most survey sites just not worth your time. The minimum rate on Prolific is £5 per hour prorated. The rates vary for every survey though, and you do get a lot more at higher rates than this. I tend to ignore anything that’s below the minimum wage unless I’ve got nothing else to do.
- Transparency – The fact that all surveys give you the pro-rated hourly rate is another big plus. It’s up to you then if you take it or not. Just a quick note on this though – the browser extension doesn’t seem to calculate this properly. So, make sure you double check the pay rate. This is a big selling point over Survey sites that pays you in points, which you then convert into real money.
- Genuinely Interesting Studies – Surveys can get very monotonous, but with Prolific you do get a decent variety of studies to take part in. I’ve had memory games, brainstorming sessions, moral dilemmas just to name a few. So, as you can see it’s not your standard survey site.
- Some studies haven’t paid out. You can go back in and email the researcher to try and rectify. But this is a real pain when you’re talking about such small values for some of these surveys. This is a big negative for Prolific when compared with other survey companies. You get a similar review process with website testing. But, website testing pays an average of $10 for a 20-minute test – so you’d expect a review process.
- Not enough surveys available on mobile, or via an App. This would make studies more accessible. There’s no end of times I’ve logged on my phone to see a study, only find I can’t take part on mobile – FRUSTRATING…
- Website navigation. Finding information for participants isn’t always easy.
Overall, Prolific Academic is one of my favourite survey sites alongside PopulusLive and the Streetbees App. New studies are available daily. This sets it apart from a lot of other survey sites that deliver surveys into your inbox rather sporadically. There’s also loads more surveys available compared to a lot of other sites. This makes Prolific a top pick when it comes to survey volume, and overall earning potential.
Never getting screened out is also a huge bonus! I quickly gave up with the likes of Swagbucks due to this and the low pay. Populus also has a habit of screening you out after a few minutes which gets very frustrating.
To sum up, Prolific Academic won’t make you rich, but it’s a quick and easy way to make consistent extra cash each month.
My Rating: 4/5
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You can also check out a few of my other favourite ways to get paid for your opinion:
Prolific Academic Review: A Top Paying Survey Site