Is it Possible to Ace University Exams Without Studying?

Is it possible to ace exams without studying?

Asking that question was how it all got started. Nearly four years ago I wrote an article about how I was able to do just that—get A’s on exams without studying.

I know it’s possible, not just because I’ve done it a number of times, but because after writing the article I heard from numerous people who told me that they had as well. What’s more interesting is that most of them told me they did it the same way.

To clarify, I don’t think writing exams without any kind of preparation is a good idea. Just because you can drive blindfolded doesn’t mean you should. But it did force many students to question their assumptions about how to learn.

To many, learning success means a lot of painful hours in the library. Successful students must either possess rare genius or monastic obsession to their textbooks. Claiming there might be a third option caused a bit of controversy. Enough that I still get emails every day about an article I wrote almost four years ago.

Learn More, Study Less: The Video Course

On that note, today I’m publicly releasing Learn More, Study Less: The Video Course. A few days ago, I did a small launch to a few learners on my email list, and it’s already become very popular.

Watch the short video (3 minutes) and click here to learn the details of the course. If you pay attention to the video you’ll notice that I’m the proud owner of what may be the ugliest couch in the world. 😉

Click here to find out more about the course.

Help Me Get the Word Out

Because I’m a lousy marketer (I still get complaints about my lack of a Facebook page and infrequent Twitter updates) I wanted to ask for your help in getting the word out about this course, and the new ideas for learning rapidly. I’ve set up an affiliate page, with details that will allow anyone to make a 50% commission for reviewing the course.

If you run a larger blog (>2000 readers) and are serious about doing a review, give me an email, I’d love to help you find ways to tailor the ideas more to your audience.

P.S. – The first emails for the course are going out tomorrow, so anyone who’s interested better sign up quickly!

Image courtesy of DAEllis

Read This Next
How to Be More Social
  • Wendy Irene

    Really great idea marketing your course this way Scott! I think it is a wonderful way for you to focus more on the parts of your job you enjoy the most and allow others to help you with the marketing!

  • Marthe

    Hi Scott,

    I was so happy when I first discovered your blog, because I have always been able to ace my exams without studying half as much as other students do. Problem was, I didn’t know why!

    I’m definitely doing what I can to promote your course here, hope I can help! 🙂

  • sudhir khanger

    I think It’s a little misleading to say that you can ace exam without any preparations. Would you be able to pass a college level genetics or quantum physics without studying. No, otherwise no one will fail. The reason you do well is that over the period of time you have developed knowledge, tactics and you know how to use that knowledge to think of new things. Off Course that takes time involving reading books and being able to pin point what is important or not.

  • A.H.A.

    I might be interested in doing a review, but I don’t want to be tied to an affiliate program.

  • Gabriel

    Outsourcing is the way to go, focusing on what you love doing and delegating the areas that are not your strength.

  • Gabriel

    Outsourcing is the way to go, focusing on what you love doing and delegating the areas that are not your strength

  • Scott Young


    Of course you can do a review without the affiliate program!


    As I make clear in the post–I don’t recommend trying to ace exams with zero preparation–just because it’s *possible* doesn’t mean it’s ideal for most people.

    But you make a mistake in assuming that certain classes are possible to get away with little studying and others aren’t. The problem isn’t the level of difficulty, it’s the level of difficulty relative to your current knowledge. Algebra can be very difficult if you’ve never learned it before, similarly a PhD in physics could quite easily pass an exam in quantum physics without studying.

    Obviously the situation is more nuanced than I’ve described. For one, what is “studying” and what is just “learning the material”? Depending on how you define it, many people regularly pass exams without “studying”, but almost no one can pass an exam without learning it.

    But then again, that’s the entire point–that we have all these assumptions about how to learn, what studying is, and how to do well in school and a lot of them are flat-out wrong.


  • Preeti @ Heart and Mind


    I agree with you that we can learn more when we are interested, or passionate about the subject, without studying we can achieve it.

    I wish you great success on your video course, I wish to get your word out, my blog is too small, and I am even worse marketer than you (despite working as a marketing manager), I do not even have twitter account!

    With your 11K readership, getting word out should not be a problem! Good luck and wish you well on sales of the product! Btw, it was interesting to see you with shaggy beard !

  • Alex

    man that’s a little too pricey for me now but i’ve got a lot of schooling ahead of me, and i might get this at some point.

  • Scott Young


    Anyone can be an affiliate, regardless of audience size. My goal in seeking larger blogs is that it allows me to put together more tailored offers to their audience.


  • Arina from Arina’s Self Help B

    While this may be helpful to many students, there is still that big number of young folks who need to nail themselves to the chair to study – even for mediocre grades. As it is, it’s different strokes for different folks. It’s still better to study – and learn! As compared to simply reviewing, memorizing and like pushing yourself on what’s spoon-fed. Each student MUST find a method in studying to get good grades. For those who are natural achievers in academics, then this post is an amazing load of effective tips. Keep it up, Scott!

  • Mathieu

    Just a random passing thought…

    Being in a medical profession (for now) I thought about all the studying that I did to get where I am. I also analyzed the difficulty I had in studying subjects that I wasn’t so interested in, then, it hit me!

    Allow me digress…

    I have a friend who is starting med school. Even before he bought all the technical books, he bought a book called “How to walk and talk like a doctor”. I found this funny at first, but it made perfect sense. He was putting himself in the “wavelength” to study and succeed at the largely technical and unemotional from a specific viewpoint. That viewpoint was already thinking like he was a doctor. What a revelation I had!!

    It seems like fake it until you make it applies in this case, but there is much to be said from studying from a viewpoint like this, as it aligns your study habits with your ultimate goal.

  • Matt

    Interesting blog. I am the author of the book “How to pass any exam without studying”. Are you interested to exchange ideas and to talk about our observations. I am focused on integrating everyday technology in the studying process. My method is called “Exam terminator”. Let me know if you thing we can combine our efforts:) Keep up the great work mate