Prolific Academic Review – The Best Survey Site Ever?

Prolific Academic

*Asterisks set out in this article relate to advertising and they indicate that the author receives a small share of sales through the related link.*

If you’ve stumbled across this article because you want to make extra money in your spare time, this is the right place for you!

When people come to me for advice for making a bit of extra cash, I will always recommend Prolific Academic*, and I’ll explain exactly why in this Prolific Academic review.

Earning extra money from home is a goal for many of us, because of so many different reasons, it could be:

  • To help to pay off your debt
  • Get some extra treats for the kids
  • Save up for a holiday each year
  • Work from home instead of in a job you hate
  • To be a stay at home mum or dad

If you aren’t sure where to start with earning extra money, then surveys are a great place to start. They don’t take up a lot of time, and you can choose to do them when you want.

It’s worth picking the survey sites that pay the best and don’t screen you out of the surveys that you have started – with Prolific Academic being one of the best survey sites out there.

Sign up for Prolific Academic here and start earning today!*

What is Prolific Academic?

Prolific (previously called Prolific Academic), is a site where you are paid for your participation in research studies.

Researchers need participants when they are conducting research for their University studies or further work, and they need them to be particular demographics for what they are doing.

It was set up by 2 friends called Katia and Phelim – Katia was studying for her PhD at the time, and was struggling to find people who would sign up to her study.

They saw a gap in the market, and set up Prolific Academic! Prolific is now a popular crowdsourcing platform that has run more than 8000 studies. The participants get cash incentives, and the researchers get the people that they want to participate in their research.

Prolific academic

How does Prolific Work?

When you sign up to Prolific*, you will be asked questions to determine which demographic you fit into. This is important for the researchers because they will have certain groups in particular that they are targeting for their studies.

When the researchers sign up, they will put their study on the site, and screen for the participants that they want to use.

Due to the questions that you have answered, you will be matched to studies that you fit the demographics for.

Why is Prolific Academic The Best Survey Site?

It’s one of my favourite survey sites (I also really love YouGov*) – for a few good reasons, and why I keep coming back to use Prolific even-though I have multiple income streams now.

The top reasons why Prolific is the best survey site:

  • You can sign up for free, and it’s a very easy process getting set up
  • You can see how much money you are going to make before you sign up for the survey
  • You won’t get screened out of a survey once you are in it
  • You earn cash – not gift cards, points or rewards (nice to get, but money is much better!)
  • You get paid really quickly
  • The surveys are really quick and easy to do

How much money can you make on Prolific?

The amount of money that you can earn on Prolific depends on how much time and effort you put into it – and also to have a little bit of luck.

With Prolific, you will need to sign on to the site to see the surveys available – you will not be emailed when they are up.

Because you will need to be proactive to check the surveys that are up, this is where you will make more money if you get on there quickly enough to get signed up to the available surveys.

The surveys will say how much they will be paying out before you sign up to them, so it is up to you to decide if you want to complete them or not.

Prolific say on their site that they ask researchers to pay at least $6.50 an hour. You aren’t going to become a millionaire from answering surveys, but they are still good things to do when you have a spare few minutes.

You can join up to Prolific here through my link and you won’t regret it!*

How To Make More Money on Prolific

As mentioned, the best way to make money on Prolific is to log on as often as possible to see if there are any surveys that are available.

A good way of getting around this so that you are not constantly logging on to the site is to download the browser extension.

You can get money for referring people to Prolific, but please note that this is being stopped on March 14th ’19.

Before that happens though, if you refer participants to sign up then you will earn 10% of their first cash out on the site.

If you refer a researcher, then you will get 10% of the value of their first study between you and the researcher.

Prolific Academic

Answer the questions correctly – they may ask you questions to check that you have been reading the instructions properly, as they don’t want people to just click on random things. You can get kicked off the survey if you are not paying attention to the questions.

Sometimes if you are lucky, you can get a bonus fee sent to you from the researcher – I’ve had bonus fees just for them saying thank you, and there was a guessing game on one study and I got the questions correct so they gave me an extra bonus for that.

Who Can Use Prolific?

At the moment, users from the following countries can use Prolific:
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.

Before you are able to take part, you will have to verify your email address and phone number.

Each of the studies will want specific participants depending on the research requirements, so not everyone will be able to do each survey. You will only be offered surveys that you are eligible.

Who Uses Prolific Academic?

Both participants and researchers use Prolific, and pretty much anyone is able to sign up – as long as you have an email address, phone, and are from one of the eligible countries.

How Does Prolific Pay?

You can get paid from Prolific via either Paypal or Circle (for UK and US only), and the minimum amount to cash out is £5.

After you have completed your first survey, you will have to wait for your submission is approved by the researcher for quality control purposes – this will usually take no more than a week.

To cash out (once you have reached £5), you just need to click on the ‘Cash out’ button in your account.

The fees for cashing out via Paypal and Circle are as follows:

  • Circle (only US/UK participants): Cash outs are charged Circle’s 1% + 10p fee. If you want to minimise fees, then wait until you have accumulated £20.
  • PayPal: Cash outs are charged PayPal’s 2.9% + 20p fee. For participants NOT in the US or UK, if you want to minimise fees, then wait until you have accumulated £20.

Is Prolific Legit?

Yes, Prolific is legit. As mentioned, it is a site that has been set up for the purpose of helping University research studies, and they reward participants with a small cash fee for their time and help.

They are upfront with how much each survey is going to get you before you sign up to it, and you have access to the information about who is running the survey and what the research is being used for.

How Long Does Prolific Take To Pay?

Prolific does a pay run every Tuesday and Friday, so you will be paid on one of those days depending on when you cashed out.

They have now set up a new system that allows you to cash out as soon as you have reached £5 into Paypal, as long as you have made 4 cash outs with Paypal since September 2018.


To sum up, Prolific is definitely worth signing up* to if you want some extra cash in your spare time. Do the surveys in your lunchbreak, when you’re in the bath, waiting in a queue – just don’t spend all day on them.

If you would like to sign up to some more survey sites as well as this one, have a read of my article about more survey sites to use and earn money.

Do you use Prolific? Which is your favourite survey site? Let me know in the comments below!