If you’re serious about earning money in your spare time and think that surveys are the way to go, then take a look at this Prolific review to see why it’s one of the best sites out there.
I am very serious about making extra money from my home. Actually, I haven’t restricted it to just at home. If I can make money when I’m out and about, I am more than happy to do so. That’s where survey sites come in. Many you can complete whenever and wherever giving you plenty of opportunities to earn extra.
The issue is, sorting the wheat from the chaff. Which are legitimate websites, and which are just scams?
Well, I’ve signed up for plenty of survey websites, so consider myself a bit of an expert. And after reading a glowing Prolific review (formerly called Prolific Academic), I decided that this sounded one of the best.
For those who have signed up to survey sites before, you’ll notice that most of them are about companies or products. That’s fine of course, because they’re after your opinion and are happy to pay. However, it can become a little tedious over a day to answer the same questions repeatedly.
Prolific break this tedium, and you can sometimes earn some decent money too. See why it is on my list of the best-paid survey sites.
Can you really make money from surveys?
The simple answer is yes. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of bad survey sites out there – I know as I have joined quite a few. But join the right sites and you could make a decent extra income. Just £6 per day could mean over £2,000 per year!
What is Prolific?
Prolific is a UK company based in Oxfordshire and has been operating since 2014. Taken from their website:
Researchers want to understand how people feel, think and behave. On Prolific, you get paid cash for taking part in engaging research (no silly points or prize draws). No PhDs required!
Also worth reading
Is Prolific safe?
Prolific rarely creates the surveys themselves, so it captures little information about you. You can fill out an ‘About You’ section to help you receive more surveys, but this contains very little personally identifiable information.
Prolific also does not allow researchers to collect information that can identify individuals. If you think a researcher abuses this, you can email Prolific to warn them.
All your contact with survey providers can be made using your Prolific email address, accessed through your dashboard. After several years of using this site, I have never had an issue.
What kinds of studies are there?
Surveys, games or studies about scientific research, new products or public opinion. From minutes to hours to multi-part studies over longer periods, it’s always up to you what studies to participate in.
How does Prolific work?
The first thing you will need to do is sign up as a participant. There is an option to join as a recruiter, but unless you want to set up your own surveys, I wouldn’t bother.
Then, you will need to fill out some profile questions. There is quite a lot to go through, but it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. This is very important as it will mean you will be invited to more suitable surveys and earn extra.
Make sure that you validate your account. That does mean providing a phone number. If you don’t, you can sit there for several days asking yourself why you haven’t received any surveys. Apparently.
When a survey is available to complete, it will appear on the Prolific screen. There’s no need to refresh as it will appear automatically.
Just click on the survey, and a new box will appear on the right. When you accept, you’ll have 10 minutes to start the survey.
How long you have to complete the survey depends on the interviewer. Usually, you’ll be given at least 10 minutes more than you need, but this could be as much as an hour.
Can you use Prolific from a phone?
That depends on the study. When you receive a study, Prolific will tell you if it’s suitable for mobile, tablet, or computer. Although this is generally accurate, I have sometimes found that I can complete computer-only surveys from my phone.
Also worth reading
Prolific Academic is slightly different from many other survey sites. It is mainly used by people from universities who study people’s behaviour. For example, I’ve had surveys (also known as studies) about how I deal with negative emotions (I send them to their room until bedtime) and how I deal with my boss and colleagues at work.
I’ve played games, watched videos and shared my thoughts on them, and had to complete various tests.
The pay is generally far more than on other survey sites too. And let’s be honest, that’s why we’re here.
There are often opportunities to earn bonuses too. Do well in specific surveys, and you can get paid extra.
Another bonus is that you will very rarely be screened out of surveys. Because you have filled out previous profile questionnaires, you will have been chosen because you match specific criteria.
Finally, if you have any issues with any surveys, you can contact the creator directly through the Prolific messaging system. This is quite refreshing and normally means any problems are ironed out quickly. And if not, you can escalate it straight to Prolific.
The only downside to Prolific is that you have to find the surveys quickly. Most have limited spaces, ranging from 10 up to several thousand. And when you have tens of thousands of potential participants, they can fill up quickly.
Holiday times can be pretty quiet for surveys. As the majority are written by students, most won’t be at university and you will see a drop in your earning potential. So if you join during the summer, don’t be too disheartened, late July and August can be slow.
It can take a while for payments to be approved by survey owners. Although most are confirmed within a day, some can take several weeks.
How much can you make on Prolific?
Pay can vary wildly, but Prolific has a minimum payment of £6 per hour (before 2022, this was £5 per hour). The majority of surveys pay between £7-9.
If you’re lucky enough, you can find some real gems. I have found surveys requiring you to complete short questionnaires daily for a small reward. Then at the end of the week, you get an even bigger payout. For example, this survey below paid out the equivalent of £84 per hour!
Below you can see that since I joined just over six years ago, I have earned over £5,200. And that doesn’t include bonuses, which takes my total to over £5,600!
On average, I earn between £20-£50 per week. But good weeks can see me earn far more.
How long does Prolific take to pay?
Once you’ve built up at least £5, you can withdraw into your PayPal account. Although it used to cost to do this, since June 2019, it has been free.
Payments are processed on Tuesdays and Fridays, so how quickly you receive your money depends on how close to these days you request your money. Once you have made four cashouts, withdrawals should hit your PayPal account instantly.
How to get more studies on Prolific
You need to make sure that you keep your profile up-to-date. Underneath the ‘waiting for studies’ caption, Prolific will tell you if there are new profile questions to answer. These are often updated when researchers are looking for a specific target audience.
There are some specific extensions for Prolific that you can add to your browser. They can make a noise to inform you when a new survey is available. This is the Prolific browser extension available for Chrome users, and here is the extension for Firefox users. Adding the Prolific Assistant will take just a few seconds and ensure you’ll see plenty more surveys.
There is also an option to receive email notifications when new surveys are available. However, I have never received any, although my wife does. However, there is a good chance all the surveys will have gone by the time you log in.
Apart from that, you have to sit and wait!
What other people say
When writing survey site reviews, I find it helpful to look at other users’ views too. Surprisingly, on Trustpilot, Prolific scores a rather unimpressive 2.9 out of 5. Positive reviewers say that the site pays well and the surveys are interesting. On the negative side, there are a large number of members who have complained their accounts were suspended without warning.
Prolific referral scheme
Several years ago, Prolific did offer a referral incentive, which meant you earned a small amount of money when your friends became participants and made their first cash out. Unfortunately, this was withdrawn in 2019 and there has been no replacement scheme offered since.
However, you can refer people to become researchers, which will earn you a referral bonus.
It’s important to note that in March 2022, the site created a waitlist for new participants due to the popularity of Prolific. That means you will need to leave your details on the site, and they will contact you when an existing member drops out.
Prolific pros and cons
- ✅ One of the best paying survey sites
- ✅ Interesting studies
- ✅ Low payout threshold
- ❌ A waitlist for new participants
- ❌ You need to be quick when a survey appears
My Prolific review conclusion
So, is Prolific worth joining? I cannot recommend this site enough. I have tried many survey sites, and this is by far the most interesting and best paid. If enough surveys were available, this is the one site you could earn a full-time living from. It is a shame that so many people seem to have had an issue with their account though.
Click on the button below to start earning.
Why not take a look at my post on the survey sites most similar to Prolific?
Are there any sites like Prolific Academic?
These kinds of sites are few and far between. However, a similar site worth looking at is Testable Minds.
Is Prolific Academic legit?
Yes, you can have no concerns with this website. It has been operating for over 6 years and has no issue with paying users.
Is prolific better than MTurk?
Far better. Although MTurk tends to have more work, Prolific is far more reliable and the pay is usually better.
Is there a referral scheme?
Not any more. The Prolific referral scheme was closed in 2018.
Can partners have an account?
You can have more than one account in a household (both my wife and I have one). However, many of the surveys can only be taken by one person in each home.