Screened Out vs. Disqualified

They both make you ineligible to finish a surveyThGetting screened out and getting disqualified from online surveys are similar processes in many ways:

  • They both make you ineligible to finish a survey
  • They usually end in you using your time for no reward
  • The circumstances that screen you out or disqualify you may or may not be within your control
  • Your profile plays a huge factor in both of them
  • They can make or break your experience with different survey panels

There is a slight difference between being screened out and being disqualified though.

Getting screened out typically means that your information didn’t qualify you to take a survey.

In most cases, you simply may have been too late responding to your invitation, and your demographics have already been filled.

In other cases, you get screened out because your demographics just don’t match what that particular survey needs.

This can happen when your profile isn’t filled out completely or accurately, so the survey site’s algorithm matches you with the survey thinking you’ll be a good fit.

Once you fill out the initial questionnaire for the survey, however, it determines you’re not a good fit based on your responses.

This is why it’s super important to fill out your profile as completely as possible before you start taking surveys!

When you get screened out, you won’t have the opportunity to continue on to the full survey, which usually means you won’t get a reward for your time.

Some websites do still offer a small amount of cash, points, or even a sweepstakes entry to reward you for taking the time to try to qualify, but most don’t give you anything even if you spend ten minutes answering screener questions.

Disqualification is slightly different.

When a survey tells you that you didn’t qualify, it’s usually because something in the way you answered questions didn’t work.

In other words, it’s often (but not always) the result of user error.

Some of the reasons you may be disqualified from a survey include:

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  • You rushed through answering the questions
  • You didn’t read the instructions or questions thoroughly
  • Your answers didn’t match what you indicated in your profile
  • The survey site’s algorithm indicated that you were being dishonest
  • The site picked up on fraudulent activity with your account

When you get disqualified, you also will not typically get rewarded, save for a few sites that will give you some small compensation for your time.

As you can see, there is a slight difference between getting screened out and getting disqualified.

When you’re screened out, it’s usually because your demographic isn’t needed at that time.

When you’re disqualified, your demographic could have matched what the survey needed, but some other issue prevented you from moving forward with the survey.

The Big Problem with Being Disqualified

It’s going to see that you’re consistently rushingIf you continuously get disqualified from surveys rather than getting screened out, the site is going to eventually figure out that something is going on that shouldn’t be.

It’s going to see that you’re consistently rushing, not answering questions truthfully, or not keeping your profile updated like you should be.

Does that sound like a person it wants on its panel?


The big issue here is that if you keep doing things to get yourself disqualified, then you could stop getting invited to surveys, or worse – get kicked off the panel completely.

However, you can usually get around being disqualified, and I’m going to tell you how.

Before it comes up though, once you have been disqualified there is nothing you can do to undo it.

The tips here will help to prevent you from being disqualified in the first place.

How much money can you make taking surveys online?

Ultimately, it’s a side hustle that can fit into most people’s schedules, but the compensation isn’t usually very high. Sure, there are some that pay $50, $100, $200, or even more, but they are incredibly rare. But realistically, most come in between $0.25 and $5 per survey.


5. Opinion Outpost

Opinion Outpost is a very well-known and high paying survey site. Their typical survey clients are government agencies, public bodies, and businesses so you may get some slightly different surveys than on most other sites.

Opinion Outpost has a low threshold to cash out your earnings which makes it great for someone who wants to make a little extra cash right away.

After you sign up, you’ll have to answer questions about yourself so that they can send you the most pertinent surveys. This keeps you from wasting your time with surveys you don’t qualify for.

For earnings, every 10 points equals $1. Each survey earns you between 10-30 points. As soon as you reach 100 points, you can withdraw $10.

Seeing as each survey takes around 10 minutes, you can make $10 taking surveys for an hour and a half per day. While this isn’t a great hourly rate, you’re not at a traditional job.

By using your downtime to take surveys in 10-minute bursts, you’re monetizing the time that you’d’ve wasted mindlessly browsing the internet. Join Opinion Outpost today.

How can I make the most money taking online surveys?

First, make sure you’re only spending time on the best paid survey sites—reputable companies with a steady stream of new surveys, reliable payouts, and favorable cash-out terms.

Next (and this is important) focus on surveys with a high payout to time requirement ratio. If you’re taking hundreds of surveys across dozens of platforms only to receive small payouts, you’re wasting your time.

Instead, consider the ROI of each survey. The better the ROI, the better your survey side hustle game.

Main reasons for being DQ-ed

Here are the two main reasons for being disqualified, or DQ-ed from completing a paid survey:

Representative sample seeking

Brands often want answers from an equally broad range of people. As a basic example, they might want opinions from 50% men and 50% women. In this case, once enough women or men have completed their survey, all other women or men who try to access it will be disqualified until the survey is taken down.

Answers don’t add up

Paid survey websites may ask qualifying questions just to test if they match your profile (ex. do you own a car?). If they don’t, this suggests you’re not concentrating or taking the survey seriously, so you’ll be screened out. The website has a duty to provide accurate results for their clients, after all.

You can’t always be the perfect demographic that a particular client is looking for. And that’s why you’ll face disqualifications at times.

Nevertheless, there are things you can do to reduce how often this happens!

17. OhMyDosh! (UK)

OhMyDosh! is a newer app for making money online in the UK. This one is currently only available in the United Kingdom so you’ll have to skip this one if you live elsewhere.

It isn’t only surveys though. You can earn money choosing from a variety of different offers including surveys, free trials, product sampling, cashback online shopping, and so much more.

As soon as your reach 10 pounds you can cash out. If you’re in the UK, join OhMyDosh! here.

Keep Your Profile Updated

It’s equally as important to keep your profile updI mentioned the importance of staying true to your survey panel profile information when you answer screener questions.

It’s equally as important to keep your profile updated by checking it every few months.

If you only check your profile once a year, there’s a good chance that the information won’t be current and accurate.

A lot can change in a year, and you may not remember that you have different information in your profile that doesn’t match your interests now.

That can automatically get you disqualified from surveys.

Make it a point to check your profiles for accuracy every three or four months.

This simple trick can save you a lot of headaches spending time qualifying for surveys only to be told you can’t make it through to the full survey for cash.

When to Avoid a Survey Site

Although the sites on our list are trustworthy, you can’t trust every site that claims to pay you to take surveys. Avoid survey sites if they:

🚫 Ask for payment. A legitimate survey site will never ask you to pay to join.

🚫 Ask for private information upfront. You should not be asked to provide your Social Security number unless you’ve earned at least $600.

🚫 Have no history or ratings. Well-established companies are more trustworthy. You can read what real users have to say about them and verify their history of payments and available opportunities.

🚫 Pay too little. Legitimate companies will have some higher-paying opportunities worth completing.

🚫 Have a glitchy or outdated site. Companies that don’t take care of their websites may not take care of their members.

🚫 Make it hard to qualify for surveys. Don’t waste time on a company if it consistently disqualifies you for surveys.

Even if the site seems legitimate, if you’re skeptical about it or it spams you with emails, remove yourself from its list. There are enough quality survey-taking opportunities available that you can avoid ones that annoy you or aren’t a good fit.

Related: 6 Common Work-from-Home Scams to Look Out For

What to do to qualify for more surveys?

Before getting into this, I want to make one thing clear – there is no trick you can do to always qualify for surveys.

If somebody tells you that you can do some kind of clever trick to cheat the survey sites and always qualify for every single survey, it is NOT true, and it might be because they are trying to sell you something without being completely honest:-)

You will keep not qualifying for certain surveys, but the way to get the most out of survey sites is by knowing how to navigate, so you optimize your time.

This will lead to you enjoying it more and give you success with surveys.

The main points to consider to optimize your participation in online surveys are:

Tip 1 – Find the right survey sites for YOU:

Different survey sites have different options and are available in different parts of the world. Some surveys sites might be the best to use in southern Europe, while others are the best in the US, or in Asia, and so on.

That is why one of the most important ways to succeed with paid surveys and qualify more often is to find the right surveys for YOU and your country.

A part of finding the right sites is to look at the conditions for each of them and sign up for the ones that sound most relevant to you. Sign up for several of them, and then test them out.

You will quickly figure out which ones offer the best opportunities for you. You can, however, easily end up wasting a lot of time testing sites that are not even giving real opportunities in your country if you do not know which sites are good to join.

I have therefore created lists with the best survey sites in certain countries, so you can easily find the sites with the absolute best chances of earning and qualifying for you. So check that out through the link above to get started easily.

Tip 2 – Click on what is working:

As mentioned earlier, some survey sites offer surveys from different providers/routers.

Try as many of these providers as possible, and after a while, you will know which ones you regularly qualify for, and which ones you never qualify for – and then just click the ones that are working for you. That will eventually save you a lot of time and frustration:-)

Tip 3 – Do not give up right away:

Sometimes people sign up for a survey site and only try a few clicks, and when that does not work as expected, they quit.

Be a bit more patient, if you want success with paid surveys. Click around a bit and try the different options, and also try on different days.

I have, for example, noticed that many survey sites do not give very many surveys on weekends. So if you sign up at the weekend, and then do not give it a chance for a bit longer than just one day, you might miss out on what the site has to offer.

The trick is to not just give up after trying a few surveys but to try different routers and different types of surveys.

Give it a bit of time and test it out. Then you will quickly spot which opportunities are the best for you and then you can optimize your time by just focusing on these.

Tip 4 – Fill out your profile information:

Most survey sites have a section with your profile, where you can fill out a bit of information about yourself.

Filling out your profile can sometimes help you qu
Filling out your profile can sometimes help you qualify for more surveys.

Especially the sites that send emails, when there are surveys available, use this information to match you with surveys. That means that at some sites, you will get more invitations for surveys if this profile info has been filled out and kept up-to-date.

Many sites even give you a reward for filling out this profile so there can be several good reasons to do this.

Tip 5 – Be smart in the qualification process:

Before starting a survey, you will usually have to go through a few questions to see if you qualify as they are often looking for answers from a specific target audience.

It is important to be honest here as the sites will spot if you give inconsistent answers and try to guess what the answers should be to qualify.

But there are also some questions that can be interpreted differently and here the way you interpret it can affect your chances of qualifying.

One question you will often get is, for example, if you have recently participated in other paid surveys.

You have to understand that some research companies prefer answers from people that do not take surveys all the time for the money but just once in a while because they really want to share their opinion about a certain topic.

Having your voice heard and giving honest answers is important and should definitely be a part of the reason you take surveys. But, in my opinion, this is definitely possible even if you take several surveys every day.

But my point is that if a question asks you if you have recently taken any surveys, then your understanding of what recently is might be different than mine. Some might think recently is within the last month and others might interpret it as within the last few hours.

So how you interpret this and the answer you give will affect your chances of qualifying – you should always be honest but in a case like this also be smart about how you interpret the question.

Tip 6 – Take the surveys as soon as you can:

Most surveys have a certain quota. When that fills up, you will not be able to take the survey.

To get a better chance of qualifying, it is, therefore, a good idea to take the surveys you are offered as soon as you can.

For this reason, it can also be a good idea to check your favorite survey sites regularly (1-2 times per day) to check for new surveys and get the best possible chance of taking them before they fill up.

Tip 7 – Disable any VPN, adblocker, or similar software:

As mentioned earlier, many sites will block your account if you use any of these types of software.

You will not only not qualify. You might also risk getting your account completely blocked.

So if you are using any software like this you might have a hard time taking surveys. At least make sure to check the conditions and terms on your favorite sites so you know if they will allow it or not.

Also, in general, you should be honest when using paid survey sites. If you try to cheat whether it is by lying to try to qualify for more surveys or by trying to fake your country, you are basically stealing from someone as the companies behind are also owned by real people.

In addition to this, survey sites know that, unfortunately, many people do try to cheat so they have strict security so if you try to cheat in any way, you will likely end up getting banned and lose your earnings.

Tip 8 – Join several sites:

Different survey sites give access to different surveys.

For this reason it is best to join several sites as you will then get more opportunities.

If you are new to paid surveys, I suggest joining 5-7 sites for a start so you also have time to test each of the sites properly as that is important.

Once you know what is working for you and what is not, you can focus on the sites that work the best and then forget about the rest and then join more sites to test these.

And on some sites, you will also only get very few surveys but if you then join several sites like this, you will overall get plenty of surveys.

Also, you will find that on some sites it will just be easier for you to qualify for the surveys than on others.

So joining several sites is an important way to get access to more surveys and thereby qualify for more.

Tip 9 – Manage your expectations:

This is a point I often mention in my articles, but it is very important, and therefore I want to mention it again here.

To get success with paid surveys, you have to manage your expectations and be realistic. It will not make you rich or a full-time income. If you expect this, you will probably be very impatient and give up before you have really given it a chance.

It is, however, definitely possible to make some nice extra money on surveys, and it is an easy way to start earning online and completely without risk – and you will have your opinion heard at the same time, so in my opinion, there are many good reasons to participate in paid surveys.

But you have to find the right sites and do it with the right expectations and not to become rich.

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