Companies like Prolific actually pay you in cash for taking short questionnaires.
These studies are usually designed by marketing groups or academic research teams who want to learn more about consumer trends and preferences.
Now, in most cases, taking online surveys isn’t worth it.
Generally, paid surveys aren’t popular in the side hustle community because of low hourly pay and high cashout requirements.
However, Prolific is one of the better survey sites out there with a much better reputation and higher earning potential than the competition.
So, if you’re tired of survey scams and websites that aren’t worth your time, you need to checkout our official Prolific review.
Time to dive into how this paid survey platform works, what you should expect for earnings, and if Prolific is legit or not!
Looking for other fast ways to make money online? Checkout:
- Survey Junkie – One of the only survey websites (alongside Prolific) that let you cash out with just $5.
- Mistplay – A fun way to earn free gift cards by playing mobile games.
Prolific Surveys Review
Description: Prolific is an online recruitment platform where you can make money for answering surveys and taking part in market research studies.
Application Category: Paid Surveys
Author: Selena Fulham
Ease of Use
What Is Prolific Surveys?
Prolific was initially developed to help a researcher find participants for a study she was completing as a part of her PhD.
Later on, Prolific became available to other researchers and has succeeded by being widely available and providing credible data sets for studies.
So, in a nutshell, Prolific connects researchers and relevant participants to help in scientific research and marketing studies.
As a participant, you qualify for certain surveys based on your age, gender, country, and other personal demographic questions. The more questions you fill out, the more surveys you get sent, and the more money you end up making.
The beautiful part about Prolific is that each survey has a time estimate, a pay rate, and an hourly wage.
Prolific also pays more than most survey websites on average and has some minimum earning requirements researchers need to adhere to (more on this later).
Why Is Prolific Popular?
If you ask around on various beermoney forums, you’ll find that Prolific is recognized as being one of the best survey sites available.
But, what sets it apart from the others?
Well, the fact that its researchers are all academics means that the studies tend to be more interesting than other sites.
On Prolific, you get the chance to participate in research about psychology, social issues, and other important topics– all while knowing that you’re making a meaningful contribution to academia.
Prolific also pays more than other platforms.
Depending on the survey, you can make anywhere from $0.5 cents to a bit over $2 for a very brief survey.
While this isn’t much, it’s better than other survey apps that will constantly disqualify you or require an unreasonable amount of points to cash out.
Plus, one of the best things about Prolific is that participants are pre-screened, so the studies you’re offered actually apply to you.
You’re also guaranteed payment for completing every survey, while other platforms will get you to fill out tons of screening questions only to kick you out when you don’t qualify.
How Does Prolific Surveys Work?
If you want to start making money with Prolific surveys, it’s actually incredibly simple to get started.
1. Prolific Eligibility & Available Countries
Just about anyone that’s at least 18 can sign up for Prolific, which is standard across most survey websites.
However, only people in OECD countries will be able to participate in studies (AT, AU, BE, CA, CH, CL, CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FI, FR, GB, GR, HU, IE, IL, IS, IT, JP, KR, LU, LV, MX, NL, NO, NZ, PL, PT, SE, SI, and US).
There’s been talk at Prolific about extending the availability to other countries, but so far it hasn’t happened.
If you’re not in a qualifying country, it may be worth keeping an eye on the site to see if they make any changes.
2. Create An Account
If Prolific is available in your country, all you need to do is sign up using your email address and phone number, or your Facebook account.
You need to choose two of those methods in order to verify your account and access your earnings, which you do under the ‘Trust’ tab on the site.
Prolific has to make sure that every user is legitimate so they can guarantee that study results are accurate and reliable enough for research.
Prolific also uses pre-screening questions to determine your eligibility for any given survey. There’s a ton of questions you can fill in, but they’re not mandatory to answer to start participating.
However, the more questions you answer the more studies you will become eligible for.
Many of the studies being conducted on the platform have very specific population criteria, meaning they may be looking for a very specific age group, gender, income group, nationality, or something else you may be qualified for.
It’ll take time to fill out your Prolific profile, but the effort is worth it if you want to maximize your earning potential.
3. Find & Participate In Studies
Available studies for you to participate in will be available under the ‘Manage Studies’ tab.
You can also view your total earnings from approved studies under this tab.
More importantly, you can also check your Prolific score, which starts at 100 and declines if one of your survey submissions gets rejected– and your bonus earnings.
As you browse through studies you can see the title, the name of the researcher conducting them, the pay rate, and the approximate time expected for completion– which is very accurate compared to other survey sites.
Again, this is the beauty of Prolific! Surveys actually pay a decent amount, and the information is spelled out for you.
If you see one you like, simply just click the ‘Select this Study’ button, which will carry you over to the information page where you can click to start the study.
The studies all follow a similar format, but some may have test questions to make sure you’re actually paying attention, so watch out for those and read carefully.
Once you’re done, click on the completion link to go back to the homepage or click ‘I’m finished’ and let the researcher know you’ve completed it.
Quick Tip: Every study has a limited number of spots, so you should start the one you like as soon as possible, otherwise you may miss your chance!
4. Get Paid
Your earnings from a study appear once the researcher has approved your submission.
If they don’t do this, then the funds will automatically be sent after 22 days.
Prolific issues payment through PayPal, which you set up on your account page.
Payment is issued in GDP, but you can convert this to your currency of choice through PayPal, which is useful since Prolific is available in so many countries.
You need to have over £5 in your account in order to cash out, and payment requests are processed on Cash Out Days, which are every Tuesday and Friday afternoon (GMT).
After cashing out 4 times, you will automatically qualify for Instant Cash Outs, which means you don’t have to wait for Cash Out Days to have the funds sent to your PayPal.
A £5 minimum is actually very reasonable in the world of paid surveys, especially when you consider scams like InboxDollars require $25 to cash out!
Prolific also lets you donate your funds to charity, so you can do good and contribute to science!
A lack of free gift cards is a slight downside. If you’re more interested in gift cards, I suggest checking out:
- Fetch Reward Review – Earn Gift Cards for Grocery Shopping.
- The 18 Best Reward Apps to Earn Cashback and Prizes.
How Much Money Can You Make On Prolific?
Alright, time to break down one of the most important parts of this Prolific Survey review.
As mentioned before, most surveys pay anywhere from $0.5 to $2, depending on the set rate and how long the survey takes you to complete.
There are longer surveys that can make you more money, which can take 45 minutes or an hour to complete, as well as some that require you to create a video or do a written task.
You can also get bonuses on Prolific, but these are also quite small (usually around $1 or $2).
However, the main thing to note is that Prolific requires a minimum hourly rate of $6.50.
Some people have reported making over $200 in a month, but for the majority of users this is super unrealistic.
Most people will maybe hit the $30 mark after a solid month of doing surveys.
It’ll likely take you almost 100 submissions to make it to $100, which means devoting a lot of time to Prolific– and that’s if there’s even surveys available that you qualify for.
Overall, the amount you get paid will vary depending on how many surveys you can do, which can be difficult considering how fast they fill up.
You’re also more or less likely to get survey options depending on where you live, as some countries are less studied than others unfortunately.
Prolific will sometimes email you when you qualify for a survey, but they only email a limited number of people and it’s not the fastest way to get notified, so there’s a good chance the one they send you will already be full by the time you get there.
The best way to make the most out of prolific is to check your account every day–even multiple times a day if you can– to see if any have been added.
Quick Tip: There’s a chrome extension you can use that will notify you every time a survey is posted, which we will talk about in the FAQ section below.
Prolific Pros & Cons
Alright, time to wrap up our review of Prolific with the main advantages and disadvantages of using this paid research platform.
- Interesting topics and helps contribute to meaningful research.
- Reliable payouts using PayPal and a $5 cashout threshold.
- Higher hourly pay than most survey apps.
- Pre-screening means you don’t get kicked out of surveys nearly as often.
- Mobile-friendly website means you can do your surveys anywhere, anytime.
The low cashout threshold and hourly earning minimum are definitely the main benefits of Prolific surveys.
- Limited number of surveys available depending on your demographic.
- Long wait for payout when researchers don’t approve your submission.
- Won’t replace your day job.
- No referral program anymore.
Extra Reading – Survey Sites That Pay Instantly.
Other Prolific Reviews
A good way to determine is a survey site is legit or not is to see what other users have to say about the platform as well.
For starters, in this older Reddit thread, two users share how much money they made with Prolific, and the numbers are quite impressive:
- moocow232 says: “In 1 year I earned £160 with Prolific (with a 2 month break of not doing any surveys)
- maruf_sakar100 says: “I’m at £380 so far, from the UK, I’m about 1.5 years in or so
I’ve generally heard the Prolific is quite popular and performs well in the UK, but what about elsewhere and in the United States?
Well, more Reddit threads show some positive Prolific reviews. In this more recent thread, here’s what some real Prolific users had to say:
- aceacebailby says: “I’ve been on since August and I probably average 5 (surveys) a day. It’s rare that I get absolutely nothing. And then I have rare days when I’ve submitted upwards of 10-15 in a day. I’ve made over $1,000 since August 2020.”
- Koolkat30625 says: “Prolific is by far the best survey site. Best pay in comparison to other survey sites. I also actually find most of their surveys interesting. The month of March I made $123.21. I’m really happy because using sites like swagbucks is frustrating at best. Screenouts and low pay makes it difficult for me to do surveys on any other site except Prolific and a few other no screen out apps.”
- Gonadatron says: “Prolific is the ONLY survey website I use. I have heard horror stories about the other sites and how they also only pay in Amazon Gift cards.”
- Youcha19 says: “All what I got in my account is ‘waiting for studies. Want some more’. I’ve signed up since December but no study received so far.”
It’s honestly a very useful Reddit thread to read if you want to learn more about making money on Prolific.
It seems like users either love Prolific and make a decent amount of extra cash with the platform or are stuck waiting for surveys.
However, from various user testimonials, it also sounds like using the Prolific Assistant extension (mentioned down below) helps you land survey opportunities more consistently.
Overall, it seems like Prolific is one of the best survey sites out there and quite well liked by users, which is a good sign!
Frequently Asked Questions
It wouldn’t be a useful Prolific review without covering some of the most popular questions people have about this paid research platform.
1. What Types of Studies Are There?
All Prolific studies are conducted by universities or scientific research groups, so the topics of the surveys can be of a wide variety.
Sometimes it’s scientific, other times it’s about products, social issues, or public opinion.
Most of the surveys are quick questionnaires, but others will get you to watch a video, submit a video, do an activity, or complete a written piece of work. You will usually get paid more when the study is more labor intensive.
There’s also some surveys that are multi-part, so you will be asked to follow up at a later date– sometimes more than once!
2. Is Prolific Safe?
Prolific is a very reliable website, which isn’t surprising considering the serious research goals of those posting surveys.
There’s tons of positive Prolific reviews from users who say that the information posted is accurate and detailed, and payment has been received without issue.
As you can see from multiple Reddit threads throughout this post, people do get paid and Prolific is legit.
3. Prolific vs Mturk — What’s The Difference?
Another common question people ask (or comparison they make) is the difference between MTurk and Prolific, two microtask websites that you can use to make money online.
The platform charges a higher commission fee than Prolific, so in general, the rates tend to be lower on Mturk.
As mentioned, Prolific also enforces a minimum hourly rate of $6.50, which sets a minimum standard that researchers have to comply with, unlike Mturk.
Also, most people find that Prolific is much more reliable and the surveys are far more interesting.
The only benefit of Mturk is that there is a lot more available work (though it is lower quality and pays less), but this is mostly because the Prolific study spots fill up so fast.
So, you can probably make more money with sites like Mturk, but you earn less per hour than with Prolific.
Extra Reading – How To Make Money On Amazon.
4. What Is The Prolific Assistant Extension?
The Prolific Assistant is a chrome extension you can download that will notify you every time a new study appears for you to participate in.
You can adjust the settings so it checks your account as often as you like, so you can jump on a study as soon as it’s available.
The extension has a few issues, as it will sometimes log you out of your Prolific account.
Overall though, it’s still better than staring at your screen all day waiting for something to appear.
5. Is Prolific Legit?
Prolific is a legitimate market research company that has a history of paying its users.
There are plenty of positive reviews and payment proof screenshots online. The only reason people seem to dislike Prolific is if they don’t every qualify for surveys.
Who Should Use Prolific Surveys?
In my opinion, the ideal Prolific user is someone who wants to start a new side hustle from home and potentially make some extra grocery money.
Prolific can pay users around $20 to $100 per month if you get a bit lucky and get enough surveys, and overall, it’s one of the best paying survey sites out there.
However, if you want to make thousands of dollars per month or replace your day job, Prolific isn’t the right side hustle for you.
Instead, you can check out our post on jobs that pay $5,000 per month, like freelance writing or other types of freelancing, to make more considerable income.
Extra Reading – The Best Sites Like Prolific.
Prolific might be the best of its kind, but it’s still not going to make you rich.
The payout is still somewhat low, especially considering how many surveys you have to complete to make a decent amount of money.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a serious side hustle to supplement your income, you might want to look elsewhere.
That being said, if you just want to make some beermoney in your spare time, Prolific is probably one of the best survey options out there.
Also, always remember to consider the opportunity cost of anything you do.
Prolific has a low earning ceiling, so you’re literally just trading time for money.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully, our Prolific review has helped clarify what to expect!
Selena Fulham knows how valuable having a side hustle can be. She’s a freelance content writer with a focus on SaaS, B2B technology, social media, and the art of making money online. Currently based in Montreal, Quebec, Selena can usually be found either drinking coffee, hiking up a mountain, or snowboarding down it.