Are you looking for a StudySoup review? But you may wonder if it is a scam.
You may have heard of the company if you are a student looking for a way to make money.
Users are essentially compensated for taking notes on the site.
Tempting, is not it?
What I want to know is whether StudySoup lives up to its name. Could it be that it’s all a scam?
As a disclaimer, I’m not affiliated with StudySoup. It means I’m not paid to write this review. So you can rest assured that you will get an honest and unbiased review from me.
At the end of this review, I’ll also tell you the best alternative to StudySoup that has enabled me to make a full-time passive income online.
What Is StudySoup?
It’s easy to make money with StudySoup if you are already taking notes to do well in school and eventually in your job.
By simply sending in your best and most complete notes, you can earn up to $500 per course.
College students can subscribe to a huge library of class notes and study tips created by their fellow students on StudySoup, a digital portal.
It’s a great resource for students who need to catch up on missed classes or improve their note-taking skills before important exams.
Or it’s a fantastic online activity for students who have excellent notes, but need extra money for college.
Sieva Kozinsky and Jeff Silverman, the company’s founders, aptly describe StudySoup as a “peer-to-peer learning marketplace”
Like Studypool, StudySoup brings note-takers and students together for the benefit of both, facilitating the learning process for all.
This platform can help you improve your notes each semester, and it’s available to students at hundreds of colleges and universities across the United States, as well as those preparing for graduate school entrance exams.
How to Make Money Online With StudySoup?
Elite note-taking at StudySoup is just what you need if you want to make note-taking a full-time profession.
How does it all work?
It’s the elite note taker’s job to submit the following materials:
- Class Notes: these summaries are uploaded weekly (during the first eight weeks of the semester) and summarise the most important information from recent lectures and assigned reading.
- Study Guide: when not sharing notes from class, post a study guide to prepare for an upcoming exam. Three textbooks are required for each course. Each must be uploaded at least four days before a major exam and include a summary of the essential material.
You will receive fifty percent of the earnings from each download of study guides or notes you submit.
There is a minimum of $60 for each study guide.
StudySoup claims you can earn up to $500 per course, for a maximum of two courses per semester. However, your actual earnings will depend on factors like the number of students enrolled in your course.
It is even known that the best elite notetakers in a class get a better final grade.
This means that by simply uploading your notes to StudySoup, you can earn over $2,000 per academic year.
The notes you submit to StudySoup are reviewed for quality before they are posted, but the site does not mandate a specific note structure.
In order for your notes to be accepted, you should make sure that they contain enough background information, are well organized, and do not contain plagiarized material.
The company recommends using PDF files, uploading documents longer than one page, and using templates like these.
This way, you can get more of your colleagues to give you permission to download the material you offer.
StudySoup Referral Program
Although being an elite notebook writer is the only legitimate job offered on the platform, any extra money you earn goes a long way toward covering the costs of higher education, such as tuition and books.
By referring your friends to StudySoup, you can increase your earnings and get closer to your financial goals faster.
After you sign up for the service, you’ll receive a unique referral code that you can use to tell your friends and acquaintances about the platform through electronic mediums like email and social media.
You and your referral will each win $5 once your friend signs up with your code and shares their first lesson notes or study guides.
There is no limit to the number of people you can refer to StudySoup, so you can earn a significant amount of money just by telling your friends about this opportunity.
Why Do Students Use StudySoup for Notes?
You may be a top student who doesn’t need StudySoup’s note-taking service. However, many students struggle in their courses and could benefit from using StudySoup.
Possible causes include:
- Their own notes are insufficient, and they need further support and materials.
- They skipped some classes because they preferred to sleep rather than participate in class.
- They have spent a few weeks in Nepal and are now anxious because the midterm is coming up.
- They fell asleep in class and missed the entire lecture… for the whole semester.
Be that as it may, these people could use your advice and support.
StudySoup Elite Notetaker Requirements
To become an elite note taker, you only need to be enrolled in the courses for which you wish to upload notes; you don’t need to be a top student.
Since course dates are subject to change, this method guarantees that you’re providing the most up-to-date information.
These requirements must be met for each course you choose:
- Enroll at least 50 students.
- You must take at least three exams to meet the requirements of your study guide.
- Host regular seminars where you can upload notes on a weekly basis.
All students, including those with higher levels of education, are invited to share their notes on StudySoup; however, the site adds that the most successful elite note takers tend to be college students.
It’s quite possible that if you’re a graduate student, you won’t be downloading notes at all, since classes are small and students who enroll are usually excellent note takers.
Every elite note taker must have a PayPal account or, if they prefer direct deposit, a bank account to get paid.
How to Become a Notetaker?
If you want to learn how to take notes, you can go two ways. First, you can upload your own notes to the website after you make them. When they are sold, you will receive a portion of the proceeds.
To become an Elite Notetaker and increase your earning potential, you must meet one of the following criteria.
- You’re enrolled in a class with more than 50 students.
- The class has at least three exams.
- Lectures are scheduled often enough for you to take notes weekly.
- You’re preparing for a graduate school entrance exam (like the LSAT)
- You’ll need to complete the application process and attend a professional development session.
Please note that you can qualify to be a grade clerk even if your class has fewer than 50 students. The only catch is that if your class is particularly small, you may not be able to sell enough grades to cover the entire semester’s fees.
Make an appointment with a mentor after your application is accepted so they can bring you up to speed.
Only you can truly understand how you learn best and how you study best. You will do well on StudySoup if you regularly get A’s and B’s and can attribute this to the quality of your notes. It is highly recommended that you type up your notes before uploading them.
However, handwritten notes are surprisingly tolerated. However, keep in mind the students who may benefit from these documents. A typed document is better than handwritten notes or outlines. Get a laptop and type your notes instead of writing them.
Perhaps only those who have impeccable handwriting and spelling should be allowed to submit handwritten papers.
How Much You Can Earn?
Elite notetakers can earn $300-$500 per course, according to StudySoup. Students can even earn up to $2,300 per semester if their notes are in high demand.
You’ll receive a regular salary plus sales commissions. Because of the commissions, you will be compensated even if you do not make any sales. The commission rate for Top Note Takers is 50%.
If you want to earn more than just a few cents, it might be worthwhile to apply to be an Elite Note Taker, as you can upload up to three classes per semester and receive a small amount of money for uploading your notes.
To earn money for your notes and study guides, you must first apply and be accepted as an Elite Notetaker.
You can increase your earnings by creating a study guide for exams. You are allowed to create three study guides for course exams. The deadline for uploading these notes is four days before the exam.
A Guide to Taking Impressive Notes
Use their Hall of Fame as a Resource
StudySoup’s Hall of Fame can give you an idea of the types of study guides that were popular in the past.
All of these legends have a penchant for meticulous planning. The notes are typewritten and organized into an outline, but the layouts vary.
Create the Notes With a Goal in Mind
Think about what you’ll learn in this course. If you’ve trouble organizing your notes, ask yourself these questions.
- What does the professor want students to grasp?
- What actions should I take to help them learn it?
- What information is most useful to teach?
Use a Neat and Concise Format
Consider how easy (or complex) it is to learn the material, depending on how you organize your notes. Organize them so that a student can skim them quickly and understand them without too much effort.
Here are some suggestions on how to format your work:
- Highlight the most important information at the top of the page.
- Use bullets, highlight important words, and use different colors or highlighting.
- Break up long passages of text.
- Use subheadings to break up long sections of text and introduce new topics.
- Be concise and to the point.
Use Their Share Tools to Market Your Notes
You have finished your brilliant notes, and now it’s time to share them in hopes that they’ll bring in sales.
StudySoup gives you access to sharing tools to connect you with your fellow students. A link is generated on the website that you can use to share the information. When someone clicks on that link, they will be taken directly to your resources.
Once you have completed the study guide, distribute it to your classmates via email and the school’s preferred method of group communication.
Use Grammarly to Eliminate Errors
Nothing is more demoralizing than notes riddled with typos. If you are not the best speller and make your notes by hand, type them up and use a free spell and grammar checker like Grammarly to find errors.
Read through your own notes several times to make sure they make sense.
Create Study Guides
The purpose of a study guide is to give students a condensed version of the most important and relevant information that will appear on the exam.
Here are a few suggestions of what should be included in the study guide:
- Key ideas and concepts
- Key concepts from each assigned chapter/section
- The study guide must be submitted at least four days before the exam to receive credit.
What are Karma Points?
To facilitate downloading course materials, StudySoup uses a karma point system. Those who sign up and pay for a subscription immediately receive karma points.
To earn more karma points, you can also train to become an elite note taker. Then you can use those points to buy study guides and notes from the work of other elite note takers.
If you want to sign up and have access to the notes and study guides, you can do so through one of the three subscription plans:
- 1 Year: $133.87 or $11 a month
- 6 Months (1 semester): $133.87 or $22 a month
- 1 Month: $32.87 a month
Payment is made at the time of subscription and is non-refundable.
Is StudySoup a Scam or Legit?
Many note writers have confirmed that they received their payments from StudySoup, which proves the legitimacy of the service.
There is no reason to suspect that it is a scam, although some users complain about low payments and long waiting times.
Reviews on Glassdoor are generally good, and most people give StudySoup a four-star rating after their time there.
You should not have any problems with your school administration if you use StudySoup.
Many people believe that using StudySoup is against college rules, but as long as you do not plagiarize your work, you can use it.
The company does not encourage cheating in any way and does not distribute essays or exams that have already been taken.
So, you are only encouraged to create study guides to help your peers pass their exams.
Is StudySoup Legal?
Meanwhile, there are also doubts about the legitimacy of the website. Even if StudySoup is a legitimate business, the online exchange of grades may be illegal in several countries.
There seems to be some ambiguity about the sale of class transcripts. However, posting materials created by your teachers, copyrighted portions of textbooks, or old exam papers is strictly prohibited.
Your own work, your notes, can be sold on websites like StudySoup.
Only original, user-created material that reflects your unique experiences and insights can be sold on this platform.
So you won’t have any problems sharing your notes online.
However, if your teacher doesn’t want you to share your notes online, StudySoup advises you not to do so. Basically, you should exercise caution and not do anything that could damage your reputation at school.
Pros of StudySoup
- You are being paid to do something you should already be doing: Take notes and learn.
- If you work for others, you will have a much deeper learning experience. Compiling your notes and creating study guides stimulates your brain in ways that buying and reading alone cannot.
- helping others
- You will gain valuable experience to add to your resume.
Cons of StudySoup
- The information is vague (and mixed).
- Several reports of payment problems (from both customers and registrants). The problem here’s not the payments… it’s the poor customer service and communication that’s caused these customers to file complaints and leave negative reviews.
- Commissions. For someone who’s worked in the field for ten years, working on commission is bittersweet and often stressful (students have enough stress as it’s). The earning potential can significantly exceed basic income but don’t count on it.
StudySoup Review: Final Verdict
All in all, StudySoup is a reputable company that offers students a real opportunity to make money doing what they already do.
However, there were a few aspects of the site that did not excite me as much. Most notably, the unclear salary structure. You can “earn up to $500 per course” on the website, but the amount is not broken down further. There is mention of an additional 50% commission.
This website lacks what I consider an essential feature, which is a transparent and well-described method of donating money.
In fact, I struggled to find concrete figures on how much you earn per note or study guide on the site itself, and even when I read reports from students who have used the site, the payment details varied widely. The cost of subscription and activation is given upfront, which is a plus.
The fact that your earnings are entirely dependent on the success of your product in terms of sales and subscriptions is another concern, as this may prevent you from receiving a fair wage for your efforts.
If you want to make a full-time income online, let me tell you more in the next section.
Best Alternative of StudySoup to Make Passive Income
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Affiliate Marketing is perfect for anyone who is new to online business.
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In affiliate marketing, you can actually run your business almost with zero cost and achieve a steady and sustainable passive income to pay for your bills. You don’t need any initial capital and can even do it as a side hustle.
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Wealthy Affiliate is an all-in-one platform for building your affiliate marketing business from scratch. It offers you a free account (including a free website) with comprehensive training on SEO (free traffic methods), which enables you to get started with affiliate marketing right away without paying a penny.
But How Much Can You Earn with Wealthy Affiliate?
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To give you more examples, here are some of the other inspiring success stories of Wealthy Affiliate members.
Where to Join Wealthy Affiliate?
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