How to Get Through University Doing as Little Work as Possible

How to Get Through University Doing as Little Work as Possible

Let’s face it, everyone’s dream paper is one where you can spend all your time in some state of intoxication and still pass with ease. 

Since not everyone has an older sibling who can give them some realistic course advice, Critic thought we would do a bit of the legwork and surveyed over 300 students on the easiest and hardest papers of their degrees, so that you can choose yours accordingly, and thus spend more time throwing shit into the Leith (actually, don’t throw things into the Leith #climatechange).

Note: we’re aware that some people actually care about the grades they get (ew) and so we also asked people what the easiest paper to get an A in was. 



(in order as voted)


1. MAOR102: Māori Society

(Also voted Easiest A)

“They basically give you the exam questions in an online multiple choice bank two weeks before the exam.”

“Did nothing all semester, showed up to the exam stoned and still came out with an A+.”

“Exam is multichoice and questions are the same most years.” 

“If you went to primary school in NZ it is impossible not to get an A. 90% of the class are American exchange students who don’t know what a waka is.”

“I'm fluent but I'm white so no one suspects anything.”


2. COMP111: Information and Communications Technology

(Easy A)

“They put the exam questions on a Kahoot.”

“Most basic paper at uni. Don't even need to turn up half the time.”

“The exam was made up of multichoice questions most of which were given in practice tests.”


3. BSNS111: Business and Society

(Easy A)

“Didn't go to a single class and got a B. Allowed double-sided A4 cheat sheet in final exam.” 

“Never went to a lecture, went to final exam drunk and left after 45 mins, got 74%.” 

“Piss-easy internal marks.”

“Literally an 80 question multichoice exam worth almost the entire grade. The 80 questions come from a pool of 120-160 questions which you have access to before the exam.” 

“It's a joke (like pretty much any BSNS paper really). If you're failing you've gotta be pretty fucking stupid.”

“Didn’t go to any lectures or do any study and got an A-. Idiot-proof stuff.”


4. STAT115: Introduction to Biostatistics 

“100% plussage and a two hour multichoice exam, how can you fuck that up?” 

“Basically just high school stats.” 


5. STAT110: Statistical Methods

“Didn’t go to any lectures, all assignments and tests were plussage, easiest multi choice exam ever.” 


“Went for about 8 classes of 48 and got an A.”


6. MART112: Marketing Management

“Easily the nicest lecturer ever and I'm fairly sure he doesn't fail anyone.” 

“Super easy, requires no prior knowledge. Minimal participation reaps great grades.”


7. MANT101: Managing for Performance

(Easy A)

“If you fail this you should drop out of uni.” 

“30% midterm that you don’t even need to study for.” 

“Essentially common sense.”


8. MAOR110: Introduction to Conversational Māori

(Easy A)

“They practically give you the answers.”

“All the assignments are submitted through blackboard and there's no final exam.” 

“Didn’t go to any lectures, didn’t study. Did all my verbal tests drunk (submitted them 11:59pm Friday nights) and still passed.”


9. HUBS191: Human Body Systems 1

(Easy A)

“Everything is given to you and people want to do all the quizzes with you. Piss easy A+!” 

“Multichoice and tests were easy.” 

“Easy if you don't get sucked into everyone's whirlpool of overhyped stress because ~health sci~.”


10. ENGL127: Effective Writing

(Easy A)

“Got asked what a verb was in the exam. Which also has fill in the gaps sections.”

“First lecture was literally ‘what is a noun?’. [sic] Then ‘what is a verb?’. [sic] Like really?!” 

“All you have to do is turn up to the exam and circle words.” 

“You learn the correct place to put a comma.”


Honourable Mentions:

Easy Pass: TOUR101, POLS105, ENGL228, ASIA101, GEND101, ANTH103, ENVI111, ANTH208, COMP112, MFCO102, PHIL113, PHSI191 (“Come on fellas you can have a cheat sheet.”), SOCI103, SPAN131, TOUR214.

Easy A: PHIL105, ENGL128, COMP150, SOCI101, BSNS104, MUSI191, EDUC252, BSNS113, BSNS114, BIOA201, MUSI132, MUSI141, POLS102, POLS215, TOUR103.

DISCLAIMER: The difficulties of these papers are based on what students from previous years have said. Someone told me at a party that they’re making MAOR102 harder. Take what you will from this.




in order as voted. These papers were also all considered by voters hardest to get an A in.

Avoid the following papers like the plague.


1. CHEM191: The Chemical Basis of Biology and Human Health

(Also voted by most as Hardest A)

“Due to a large number of small internals, you can lose a large number of marks even if you do relatively well.”

“That paper fucked me over for med, yo.”

“Excuse me what who.”

“Easy until mid-semester then gets pretty intense.”

“I cried onto my exam paper in the final, twice. The content feels like fake news.”

“Three years of biochemistry later I still don't know what the fuck a Ramachandran plot is.”

“Worked my ass off, went to every tutorial and still only just passed.”


2. FINC202: Investment Analysis and Portfolio Management 

“Majority of the class did not pass the midterm.”

“Lots of matrix mathematics. 20% of the class fails terms.”

“Fuck FINC202” 


3. BIOC192: Foundations of Biochemistry

“Large volume of rote learning required.”


4. BSNS112: Interpreting Business Data

“Key concepts are brushed over as if students all have a strong background in statistics or as if everyone understands everything the first time it is mentioned.”

“It was a bitch.”

“Sorry to my flatmate for throwing him under the bus, but he only passed it on his fourth attempt.”


5. MATH170: Mathematics II 

“Much harder than anything else at first year level.”


6. MATH160: Mathematics I

“Ruins your life and makes you cry yourself to sleep.” 


7. GEOL251: Minerals and Rocks

“A fucking mess of a paper.” 

“Didn't go, did matter.”


8. GENE221: Molecular and Microbial Genetics 

“Insane amount of complex content, and the grade is mostly on the exam.”


9. PHSI231: Quantum and Thermal Physics

“Monster of a paper, and not only do you have to wrap your head around the theories, you need to do hand calculations which are 4+ pages of maths.” 


10. FINC102: Business Mathematics 

“Fuck calculus.”


Honourable Mentions:

Hard Pass: FINC206, ECON112, PHIS132, ZOOL316, PSYC211, SOCI103, SURV202, ANAT335, ANAT242, BSNS102, COSC326, FINC203, FOSC111, HUBS192, LING314, MFCO202, PSYC311.

Hard A: BSNS102, COSC242, COSC342, ECON302, MATH302, MFCO301, MICR335, PSYC203, PSYC212, PUBH192, SOWK111, SURV301, SURV302.




1. LAWS203: Property Law 

“Fuck that paper, for real. It was borderline traumatising.” 

“Destroyed my morale. Lecturers in their exam questions try to catch you out.” 

“Fuck that shit.” 

“Insane content volume. Complex ideas.”

“Very technical, detailed and marked by unforgiving lecturers.”


2. LAWS462: Wills and Trusts 

“So much material and some of it is incomprehensibly difficult.”

“Wtf is it even on about? Why is it so complicated? How the heck do you use maths in law?”


3. LAWS467: International Human Rights Law 

“A B+ in that paper is the equivalent of an A.”


4. LAWS302: Jurisprudence

“It was boring, hard and waffly.”


Honourable Mentions:

LAWS406 and “Probably whatever Jesse Wall is teaching.”





We decided to go one step further and used the information to lay out the easiest possible degree. 

This degree, and the papers therein, were carefully selected based on a few factors. Firstly, anthropology is a major that doesn’t have much in the way of 100 level core papers – which frees you up to beef out your degree with a shitload of other easy 100-level papers. Secondly, some of the core ANTH papers (and BIOA substitutes) were actually voted as easy papers alongside the MAOR/BSNS/STAT ones. Thirdly, the class time and workload for an anthropology degree is INSANELY FUCKING TINY. In this degree, your class/lab/tutorial hours only total 8-11 hours per week on any given semester (excluding summer school). And care was taken to ensure some very easy marking criteria for the papers. In ANTH329, for example, 20% of the grade is pass/fail for completing a GIS computer course, and the exam is 1 hour multichoice/short answer. Trust us. This degree can net you a B+/A- average without even attending all of the whopping 10 hours of uni a week – leaving you free to browse the internet for various hot sauces at your leisure. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

This article first appeared in Issue 1, 2019.
Posted 8:22pm Thursday 21st February 2019 by Chelle Fitzgerald.