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If you dabble in survey sites to make a little extra money, chances are you’ve already heard of Prolific (formerly known as Prolific Academic or Prolific.ac).
Prolific is probably one of, if not the best survey site around (in my, and many others opinion.)
Prolific comprises Academic research studies produced by universities and is far more reliable in respect of payment and not being screened out of surveys.
Payment is fair and will often reflect an hourly wage (pro rata’d to the time estimated to complete the survey).
Head to Prolific and sign up as a participant, you will then need to verify your email and phone number.
It can take Prolific a few days to verify your account before you’ll have access to studies and it helps if you complete your profile questionnaire as fully as possible to increase your study eligibility.
Once your account is verified, available studies will show on your homepage when you log in, along with information regarding the subject of the study, the estimated time taken to complete and the payment. You can now start to make money with Prolific Academic!
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When a study you’d like to take part in becomes available, click ‘reserve my place’ and then ‘start now’.
You will often be asked for your Prolific ID – this is your own unique number which allows you to be paid for the study you’ve completed.
It helps to copy this number to your clipboard before going to the survey.
The good thing about Prolific is that you won’t be screened out of surveys mid way through (which is one of my biggest annoyances with other survey sites) because if you aren’t eligible for a study, it won’t be offered to you in the first place.
Once you have completed a study, the researcher has to verify it before the money clears your account.
This will show in your pending balance and can happen quickly or take a few days.
Either way you will receive an email once it’s been processed and payment has been made. If the researcher doesn’t verify your study within 21 days, Prolific automatically will.
You need to reach the £5 payment threshold before you can cash out but you can then cash out instantly via Paypal.
There used to be fees for cashing out before £20, but it is fee free now.
How long will it take before you can cash out? Well it obviously depends on the number of studies you complete etc, however many people are often cashing out multiple times a month or even each week – whereas with many other survey sites it can often take months to reach the payment threshold.
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Unfortunately, Prolific closed their referral scheme on 14 March 2019, referrals were honoured until May 2019.
There is still a referral scheme available for referring researchers however.
If you are able and you spend a lot of time on a computer or laptop, open Prolific and log in. Then leave a tab open on the studies page.
The page automatically refreshes and updates when a study becomes available and you will see a (1) on the tab when this happens.
Be quick to secure your spot as the studies fill up quickly when they become available. Also keep an eye on your emails for notifications of studies that require your demographic.
If you have any issues with a study, reach out to the researcher via messaging and let them know. I have had studies declined because I completed them too quickly or failed an attention check by mistake.
If this happens tell them and then explain that you made a mistake or give them some detail about the study so that they know you did complete it. More often than not the researcher will then issue your reward.
Also make sure your profile is up to date – quite often they add a few more questions to your profile, making sure your profile is complete will ensure that you are selected for studies.
Not all studies are compatible with mobiles and some have to be done on a desktop/laptop.
You are not always notified by email when a study is available, so it makes sense to log in periodically and see what’s available.
But if they do have a study suitable for you, you will occasionally receive an email.
This site is by far my most profitable survey website, so if you were to only join one, make this it!
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I started Katie Saves while on Maternity Leave to document our adjustment to living on less. Now back in work - I blog about all things money with a little life organisation thrown in for good measure. Join me!