3. Understand Survey Qualifications

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Understand Survey Qualifications

One of the most discouraging things for new survey panel members is being disqualified (also known as “screened out”) from a survey. The question new survey panel members ask most often is “Why didn’t I qualify for that survey?

There are many reasons why you may not qualify for a survey, but the bottom line is that if a survey panel cannot use your answers, they cannot pay you. The good news is that most survey panels will offer you a small compensation for your time; some offer small cash or point amounts, while others give sweepstakes entries.

The thing to keep in mind is that survey panels earn their income by providing completed survey data to the company that hired them, which in turn lets them turn around and pay you. The information they gather (by having people take surveys) has to meet the criteria of their client. The data usually also has to have responses from a certain number of people in different demographic categories. If you do not fit into those categories, they cannot use your information.

Here are several scenarios that may occur that would result in you not qualifying for a survey.

Disqualification Reasons You Cannot Control:
  1. You immediately get disqualified from a survey after answering questions about your age, race, marital status, etc.Example: The survey panel needs 100 people in each age group. The survey is still open, but your particular age group slot is filled.Final Verdict: The survey study was filled for your particular demographic.
  2. You get disqualified from the survey after spending a few minutes answering questions. In this case, you may spend more time because you did meet several of the prerequisites for the survey, but eventually disqualify because you did not meet ALL of the prerequisites.Example: The survey panel needed 30-year old females who eat out at least once a week at a specific restaurant. You are a 30 year old female who eats out once a week, but you don’t visit the restaurant they were looking for, so they cannot use you for the survey.Final Verdict: You do not fit the specific qualifications for the survey study.Note: While it may seem tempting to attempt to guess what the survey company is looking for, and pretend, for instance, to have visited a restaurant that you don’t usually visit, that is dishonest behavior. These companies are paying for your honest opinions, and the results affect the company’s decisions. By being dishonest on a survey, you mislead them and may cause the company to lose money down the road.If those reasons don’t convince you, remember that all survey panels have a “Terms of Service” that you agreed to when registering. It generally states that deliberately giving false information WILL cause you to lose your account, all of your rewards, and may potentially have further legal consequences.Remember, these survey panels are run by people who are doing their best to earn a living. If you can tell from the questions that you are likely to disqualify, don’t worry about it. Remember, you can try again with another survey!
  3. You get disqualified at the very end of a survey after spending 30 minutes, or longer, answering questions and receiving a “Survey completed! Thanks” message or something similar after submitting your answers. In this case, your demographic may have been open at the beginning of the survey, but was filled while you were taking the survey. The survey panel is only paid for a certain number of completed responses, so you are disqualified.Example: The survey panel needs one hundred 30-year-old females who eat out at least once a week at a specific restaurant. You are a 30- year-old female who eats out at least once a week at that specific restaurant. Unfortunately for you, another 30-year old female who also eats out once a week at that restaurant was taking the survey at the same time and finished the survey before you did, filling the quota. Since the quota was now filled, your answers could not be used.Final Verdict: You do fit the specific qualifications for the survey study; however, someone else with the same demographics completed the survey before you, filling the quota.
Disqualification Reasons You (usually) CAN control

The scenario that can really frustrate you is this: you spend over five minutes answering survey questions, maybe even half an hour, or complete the entire survey and then get disqualified. This can happen because the quota gets filled as stated above, or it could be due to a problem with the answers you gave.Many survey studies have special techniques to detect whether the survey panelist is really engaged and putting effort into the survey, so that the quality of the data they obtain is good. If they feel that you are not really taking the survey seriously, they may abruptly disqualify you, even after you have spent several minutes on the survey.

Here are a few examples of survey panel quality control scenarios.

Example 1: Question number 50 states “Answer C for this question for quality control purposes.” But you answer D.Verdict: You are not reading the questions.</>

Example 2: The survey should take 15 minutes for the average person to get to question 30, but you do it in 4 minutes. Verdict: You are rushing.

Example 3: The survey asks you “Did you eat dinner at a fast food restaurant last week?” You answer “Yes.” In a later question, they ask “How many fast food dinners did you have week?” You answer “None.” Verdict: Your answers are inconsistent.

Final Verdict: You weren’t paying attention.

Now, these are just a few reasons why you may get screened out from a survey, but the bottom line is that it is normal to not qualify for every survey you receive. This should not discourage you from taking more surveys. The main thing to remember is that by being consistent and honest in your answers, you are doing your best to increase your odds of qualifying for the paid surveys you take.

Courteously Requesting a Review

Occasionally, you may get to the complete end of a survey, and then get a message saying that you disqualified, or you may get a message that says you completed the survey correctly, but when you get back to your panel, you are not rewarded for the survey you just took. You are likely to be frustrated and upset. Don’t be. Survey panels, like every other website, occasionally have glitches.Sometimes, the survey panel will even find that it is a major glitch affecting multiple people, and then your contact will have fixed things not only for yourself, but for others. (For example: the data sent when you complete a survey is reversed, so that people who complete the survey are told they did not, and those who screen out are rewarded.) While uncommon, these things do occasionally happen.

The best thing to do is to stay calm, contact the survey panel, and ask them to credit your account.

  1. Contact the survey panel.Depending on the panel, this might be via email, web form, or even phone. Remember to be courteous. You’re more likely to get a good response if you aren’t confrontational.
  2. Give them the survey number, if possible.They deal with thousands of different surveys daily. Just saying “a survey didn’t work” is often not enough for them to be able to find the information. You can often find the number at the beginning of the survey, or on the survey history list at the panel site.Tip: It is a good idea to write down the survey number and points offered, along with the date and time before you start a survey, so that you have a record if you need to contact support.
  3. Describe the issue.If you completed the survey all the way, it might be helpful to state what the survey was about (to show that you were paying attention) and mention the last few questions you answered, along with the time that you took the survey. If you happened to take a screenshot of a page (like the completion page) that confirms your story, you may want to include it.
  4. Request that they look into this.The survey panel should then check your account, and may be able to view or recover your responses. In that case, they will more than likely be able to credit you for completion. They will be more likely to do this if you have a history of being a good survey taker and being honest with their company. If you’re an asset to them, they will want to keep you happy.
  5. No matter what the outcome is, be polite.In the extremely rare case that they cannot give you credit, you probably failed due to one of the other tests above (rushing, inconsistent answers, etc), or for some reason the survey panel cannot use your responses. Unfortunately, if they cannot get paid for your survey, they won’t have the money to pay you. However, in most cases, your account will be credited for the survey.

Today’s Recommended Survey Panel: GlobalTestMarket

Like our first two recommended survey panels, GlobalTestMarket has also has been in our top 10 list for quite some time and is quite popular with our members. Our members like that it has frequent surveys with reasonable point values for the time spent. The cash-out level is quite high ($50), but is easily reached.GlobalTestMarket is free to join, maintains high privacy standards, and will never spam your email address. GlobalTestMarket is open to individuals 14 or older, however participants that are 14 to 17 years must have parental consent.

Get Started with GlobalTestMarket
  1. GlobalTestMarket Login PageJoin & Log In

If you are not already a member of GlobalTestMarket, you can join by going to the GlobalTestMarket Registration Page and filling out the registration form. When registering, remember to use your dedicated email address for surveys, as mentioned in our bonus tip on Day 1.Once you are a member, go to the GlobalTestMarket Member Login page and log in. Be sure to bookmark the login page or add it to your favorites so you can easily access it in the future.

When you log in, you’ll see the “Surveys” page. This page lists your MarketPoints Balance at the top right of the page, your profile surveys, and your current available GlobalTestMarket online surveys. There are also other links listed at the top for other things you may want to do.

GlobalTestMarket Dashboard

  • Add GlobalTestMarket to your whitelistGlobalTestMarket will notify you of new surveys via email. To be sure you don’t miss out on these surveys, add the email address “[email protected]” to your whitelist in your email.
  • Complete Your Profile SurveysAs we discussed on Day 1, profile surveys are very important. You’ll want to fill them out immediately to get the best results and the most surveys.To access your profile surveys, go to the GlobalTestMarket “Surveys” page. The profiles you need to fill out are listed under “Profile Surveys.” It will list ten profiles, including “Basic,” “Household,” and “Employment.”. A date will be displayed in the second column, which lists when you last updated the profile survey and its “Status” (Completed or Not Completed) will be listed in the third column. If you have not taken a profile survey yet, then no date will be listed and the “Status” will be “Not Completed.”To complete a profile survey, simply click the blue button at the far right of each profile survey. A new window will open up and you will be asked to complete a series of questions that relate to the topic of that particular profile. Once you have completed the profile survey, GlobalTestMarket may list surveys it has available for you to take. If you don’t want to take them, close the popup window and return to the main GlobalTestMarket “Surveys” page to complete the other profile surveys.Note: You will need to reload the GlobalTestMarket “Surveys” page for the profile survey you just completed to be shown as complete. You can update the profile surveys whenever you wish. When you update a profile, your previous answers will already be selected, so you can simply make your changes and exit.Once you have finished all ten profile surveys, it is time to relax and wait for the surveys that GlobalTestMarket finds for you based on your profile surveys and demographic information.
  • Check for SurveysGlobalTestMarket sends notifications via email to let you know if surveys are available for you. Listed in the email will be the survey number and the number of points you would earn for completing the survey. To take the survey, just click the “Start Survey” link in the email to load the survey page. You can take the survey at your convenience, but be warned that surveys fill up quickly, so it is best to take them as soon as you receive the email.GlobalTestMarket Survey InviteYou can also access your current surveys by logging into GlobalTestMarket and checking the “Surveys” page. Surveys are listed below the profile surveys area in an area called “Current GlobalTestMarket online surveys.” Surveys are listed by Survey number and date, so it’s difficult to determine what the survey is about or how many points it is worth until you click on it and attempt to complete it.Tip: Although the length of the survey is not usually specified in GlobalTestMarket’s survey invitation emails and on their “Surveys” page, you can usually judge the length of a survey by the number of points it is worth. Surveys that range from 25-40 points generally take about 20-30 minutes (give or take), while surveys that range from 60-100 points generally take 30 minutes to an hour or more to complete.
  • Take SurveysTo take a survey, click on the “Start Survey” link in the email notification or the survey number on the “Surveys” page. Either way will take you to the survey page.Tip: Taking a GlobalTestMarket survey by clicking the email link is preferable because the reward points are clearly displayed in the email, while no such information is shown on the “Surveys” page.Like many other panels, Global Test Market often offers you a survey hosted by another panel. If you will be redirected to a survey hosted by another panel, a message will appear informing you that you are about to participate in a GlobalTestMarket-approved survey.GlobalTestMarket OfferNo matter who hosts the survey, if you complete it, you will earn the MarketPoints specified. If you do not qualify, you will receive the disqualification reward. This is usually one sweepstakes entry, but can be a small number of points as well.

    After completing or disqualifying, you will often be given the chance to take another survey. On this screen, you will be clearly shown the time the survey should take, along with the rewards for completing or screening out.

    GlobalTestMarket Survey Intro

    You can click “Absolutely! Start Another Survey” to take the survey or choose not to take it by closing the window.

  • Check Your Survey HistoryTo check your survey history and verify that you received points for a survey you completed, go to the GlobalTestMarket “Rewards” page by clicking on “Rewards” (at the top of the GlobalTestMarket page), and then click the “View Recent MarketPoints Activity” link.The “Recent MarketPoints Activity” page lists your survey history, along with the date taken, amount of MarketPoints received and the survey number.GlobalTestMarket RewardsNote: You will only be able to see surveys that earned points, not those that only earned sweepstakes entries. To see your recent sweepstakes entries, click on the link at the bottom of the page that says “View Recent Sweepstakes Entries.” This will take you to a nearly identical page that lists all your surveys that have earned sweepstakes entries.The description will either say “Study Complete” (meaning that you finished it) or “Study Screen” (meaning that you screened out/disqualified). You can click “Next” and “Previous” to cycle through your entire survey history.

    Tip:If you do not see a survey that you completed in the “Recent MarketPoints Activity” page, check the “Recent Sweepstakes Entries” page. It is possible that a survey you completed only gave sweepstakes entries as a reward.

  • Redeem RewardsTo redeem your MarketPoints, click on “Rewards” at the top of the page. You will be taken to the “Rewards” page that displays the total number of MarketPoints you’ve earned since joining, as well as the total number of MarketPoints currently in your account.If you currently have at least 1,000 MarketPoints in your account, you can redeem them for a $50 check. Click on the orange “Redeem” button, and then specify the amount of MarketPoints you want to redeem, confirm your mailing address and click “Yes” to complete your redemption.GlobalTestMarket Rewards


Now that you’ve learned more about GlobalTestMarket, be sure to participateHopefully you enjoyed today’s lesson. Be sure to check back tomorrow for our next lesson on how to fit surveys into your daily routine. If you’d rather read ahead, you can look at it now by clicking here.

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