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Prolific.co is a survey company that I love – it is probably one of my favourite survey companies now! Each of the surveys on Prolific Academic pay a rate that is equal to at least £5 per hour.
This rate is pretty high for survey companies and I often find that surveys typically take less time than they say they well. Most of the surveys are short and still highly paid.
The highest one I’ve had was actually worth £20 and took me around 45 minutes. It involved playing a game and was actually great fun!
Prolific.co is a crowdsourcing platform that allows academics, with a valid university email address, to post research. In turn, subject to meeting eligibility requirements, you can complete these surveys in exchange for money.
The academics have someone to provide research results and you can make some nice money too. It’s a win win really!
Thanks to the extensive on site profile surveys, and targeting specific survey demographics, researchers can be sure of finding the exact people they are looking for, or even finding a random audience!
Who can take part in Prolific surveys?
Just about any adult from what I’ve found! Everyone I have ever mentioned Prolific too has been able to sign up, complete all of the on site questions and then eventually get surveys.
My own further education ended before university. Despite this I receive a steady stream of surveys from Prolific.co throughout the week.
How do you sign up to Prolific?
It’s FREE to join and you can choose to be paid via Paypal, so there is no need to share your bank details, or even your address.
How does Prolific work?
Once you’ve signed up visit the ‘about you’ tab and then fill in the questions. There will be a LOT! At the time of writing this post I have 317 questions in there. I have answered every single one.
Then you need to either leave the Prolific website open OR you want to install the Prolific Assistant add on for Chrome. This wasn’t an official add on, from what I can tell, but from Spring 2020 it is officially supported by Prolific.
This browser add on will check the Prolific website and notify you when a new study is available. Also, emails are sent for studies too, but not all studies, just selected ones.
You’ll want to be super fast to nab surveys on Prolific, as there are literally 100s, or even 1000s, of people waiting for surveys every day at any given time!
How long does Prolific take to pay for surveys?
When you complete a study there is a completion code sent to the researchers. Sometimes the payment for surveys is added to your account within minutes, or a few hours. Other times it is days, as the researcher may want to check that you’ve not failed any attention checks or have answered all questions correctly.
Prolific automatically approve submissions once 22 days have passed, which is good to know, just so you aren’t left waiting indefinitely once you’ve completed a study.
Look in the submissions tab and hover over the ‘awaiting review’ button to see the latest date that you’ll receive your credit by.
What is the Prolific minimum payout?
Once you have £5 in your account you can cash this out to Paypal.
What is the cash out time?
Payments are processed on Tuesday and Friday afternoons (GMT). If you’re someone who has the ‘instant’ setting on your Paypal account, then you’ll receive your payout the moment you request it. I LOVE this feature as it encourages me to let my balance build up a little before I cashout.
How to get moved to instant cashouts with Prolific?
Make 4 cashouts to the same Paypal, after September 2018, and then you’ll be moved to instant cashouts. Yay!
Prolific attention checks
The surveys on Prolific, like those from many different survey companies, have test questions and attention checks built within them. This allows researchers to be sure that you’re paying attention, reading questions and not just tabbing through pressing any old answer which could invalidate really valuable research.
Typically companies don’t want you to share what these are, but to give you an idea then you’ll likely be asked if you participate in a sport, if you use a certain type of device, if you can type a set word into an open box or even check how long it takes you to complete the survey.
Does Prolific have an app?
No, they do have the Prolific Assistant which checks for studies though.
Top tips for using Prolific
If you have a super short study then be sure not to rush through it. As a rule, any study that takes under 10 minutes I try to leave a little time between pages. The reason for this is that in the past I’ve been disqualified from a study after completing it for ‘rushing’. I do read all questions, and I’m a very fast typer, but I found if I slowed down just another 1-2 minutes, to take longer than 4 minutes even for small studies, this stopped it from happening.
Download Prolific Assistant. I know I’ve mentioned it above but honestly it’s helped me grab £100s of studies in the last year alone.
Pay attention to all of your studies. You’re often contributing to really good research, for academics, not just saying if you like a brand, love a product or shop in a specific store.
Answer all of the questions in the ‘about you’ tab. Also, if you notice on the studies tab that it references this page with a link then that is usually a sign that you have a new question to answer. Sometimes one new question will be loaded up in advance of a large study and so answering just this one extra question can help you get into a well paid study.
Don’t be afraid to return a study if it turns out that you won’t have time to complete it, or have accepted it before reading all of the instructions and now no longer meet the needs for this particular study.
If you have a rejected study don’t be afraid to reach out if you think this is in error. If you’re rejected for completing fast, but feel you paid attention, then it is always worth a polite message to the researcher to let them know that you believe they’ve made a mistake. I’ve had credit reinstated for studies on this basis.
How much can you make on Prolific?
Some days I don’t get any studies, other days I make £5-£15. It really varies. I don’t have the website open every day, nor Chrome open every day, so I do miss a LOT of studies. Even with sporadic days leaving the website open I tend to make £50 a month.
I have made a couple of £1000 since I joined Prolific, but I have been a member for several years. It’s not a get rich quick scheme but I often leave it open while I’m working during the day and it is a great way to pick up a little extra money to save for Christmas.