10 Ways to Cheat Your Way Through University (without actually cheating)

Michael Woronko
6 min readAug 22, 2018

To keep this post from being pages long, I’ve decided to simply splurge everything in bullet form below. It goes without saying that these are my experiences from studying a social science major (law) specifically and will not be applicable in all cases, of course. I did, however, graduate with highest honours (to toot my own horn) and can say that, whether or not the below tips and tricks can or cannot help you, it is ultimately some outside-the-box thinking that helped me graduate with such a high CGPA rather than solely hard work and book smarts. Anyone can graduate from university — it’s merely the effort that’s needed.

  1. You’re in Control
    Unlike high school, you build your schedule, you choose your courses, you decide whether to skip or go. Think up a priority list — is the professor more important to you or the time of day in which you have class? Check out websites which rate and review professors — they helped me immensely through my academic career — they’re on point and give you a solid warning about certain lecturers. Don’t sign up for early morning classes if you’re not a morning person, especially if you have to travel far to get to campus. Take pride and diligence in your newly acquired sense of autonomy.
  2. The Overlap Rule
    If something appears in the lecture and also in the textbook, you better be sure it’ll appear on the exam. If something appears in the lecture but is not in the text, treat it as a likely-to-be on the exam. You can infer by this point that if something is only in the textbook and not mentioned in the lecture, it’s possibly safe to skip. Of course, the more comprehensive your study session is, the better.
  3. Cheat Sheets
    If you’re allowed a cheat sheet on exam (not if you bring a cheat sheet to actually cheat— I don’t advocate taking that kind of risk)— always type it, never hand-write. At first, handwriting seems like the better idea because you can write any which way, squeeze sentences in vertically, horizontally, etc. but you will always, always fit substantially more content typing out in 8pt. font.
  4. Stray from the Beaten Path
    Professors love it when you stray from the norm — when you get creative with your assignments. Don’t go down the same beaten, predictable path. If you take a new approach…