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How to avoid survey disqualifications

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Want to know how to avoid getting disqualified from surveys? I’ve got you covered in this page packed full of information on while it happens and if you can help prevent it.

I know that receiving survey disqualifications can be super annoying. I get it! It can be very tempting to lie to try & avoid survey disqualifications. If you’re caught doing this you may be banned from survey websites and forfeit any earnings that you have already made.

I’m a bit of a pro at taking surveys, and my own survey demograpics have changed considerably in the 15 years I have been completing surveys online. I want to share with you my favourite tips on avoiding survey disqualifications.

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Firstly let me start by saying that receiving a survey disqualification is not the same as being screened out from a survey. Being screened out usually happens because a survey is full. Or sometimes if you do not meet the required quota for that paid survey.

Why do survey disqualifications happen?

Receiving a survey disqualification is usually because of failing a test question. Or giving false information compared to your profile surveys.

Survey disqualifications cannot be undone once they occur. Some survey companies can revoke your membership. This can also mean any earnings would be forfeited. Nobody wants that – not when it can take an age to build up balances! 

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Honesty helps

With regards to taking paid surveys honesty is always the best policy. It is easy to remember what you’ve said if you’ve spoken only the truth. I’m not suggesting that you be dishonest on surveys… however, depending on the subject matter or questions being asked it is true that you can get into more surveys by bending the truth.

I know a few people who do this and have built up an entirely fake profile based around having children, wealth and specific models of car. This isn’t something I advocate myself, as it could be affecting the data of potentially serious studies, but each to their own.

If you are going to bend the truth then always be honest about your location. This is usually one of the first things that a survey company will check. By providing your postcode, or town, they can work out quickly if you’ve lied!

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Survey demographics

Always be honest when answering questions based on your survey demographics. These are usually the most common to be checked.

Survey companies do not like it when you lie during these questions. Particularly as these are the ones that are likely to be checked automatically to allow you to progress into the main part of the survey.

Often survey results are based on specific demographics. If you lie during this part you’re likely to get caught out.

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Look out for fact checking questions

These questions are often found just after the survey demographic questions. They are often very simple questions.

One example of this sort of question would be to asking what automotive vehicles you have in your home. Towards the end of the survey, after you’ve completed the main part, you will then be asked how often you drive or use a specific automotive vehicle. Obviously, if you have stated that you don’t own a bicycle and then 50 questions later you’ve stated you cycle daily to work this could indicate that you’ve lied. Don’t get caught out!

Also, when answering lots of tick box questions look out for questions where they want you to choose a specific answer. Often with multiple choice questions there will be one where they leave a test question at the end of a long paragraph. This is designed to confirm that you have read the whole paragraph!

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When do you get disqualified?

Some survey companies will instantly disqualify you. Others will wait until you cash out to surprise you with the news that you’ve been caught out lying! This can be a nerve wracking, as occasionally you can get caught up even if you are completely honest. 

I personally once had my YouGov account frozen as they said I’d used the wrong date of birth. I got it sorted by contacting them and advising that I obviously know my own date of birth/age. 

To summarise it is usually best to be honest. The main exception to this is when you are asked how often you complete surveys. Despite the nature of survey companies, and the frequent invitations they send out, they may disqualify you from a survey if you state that you complete them frequently. This is possibly the only time I would consider bending the truth a little.

I pay attention while completing surveys and read everything, so I don’t see why the amount of surveys I’ve completed is a big deal. I don’t like when applying for market research focus groups or studies though.

New to surveys? Check out my top 5 survey sites.

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What is my favourite survey website?

Prolific is my absolute favourite survey website. for completely interesting academic surveys. If you’re looking to make some extra money online then be sure to check out my post of great ways to make and save money.

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Want to join survey sites that don’t disqualify?

I find that the majority of sites will disqualify you at some time. Some are much worse than others. One site that almost never disqualifies you from completing surveys is Prolific. You DO have to complete a LOT of questions to join up, and keep those up to date, but these are designed to ensure that you’re

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Josie

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

So how do I figure the survey questions out and what they are asking in that question?

What should I answer to that specific question so I don’t get disqualified

Thanks

Josie

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

@katykicker,

So when the question or questions come up what is your occupation? Have you or your family worked in any of these industries and how many surveys have you done in the past month?

What should be my answers to those

katykicker

Wednesday 4th of October 2023

You can never tell from the questions they're asking if they are just checking that you are consistently answering the same answers on every question or if it is a question related to that specific survey. You should aim to be honest when answering questions, try to guess what they want you to say to get through will potentially get you banned from panels, and therefore disqualified from all surveys.

Josie

Sunday 27th of August 2023

So when the question of the automobile comes up in a survey what should I answer so I don’t get disqualified?

Thanks

katykicker

Friday 1st of September 2023

You should answer honestly if you have a car or not.

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