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How to Become a Rapid Learner

Master the process for acing tough classes, accelerating your career and learning anything quickly and efficiently


Your ability to learn underpins everything else in your life.

Learning defines your career growth. Master cutting edge skills and you can translate them into promotions, autonomy and a job you love. Struggle with learning and you may become obsolete.

Learning defines your education. Knowing how to learn effectively means good grades, low stress and high confidence. Lousy studying strategies mean pre-exam panic attacks, all-nighters and burnout.

Your life is defined by learning. Want to be better with money? Speak a foreign language? Improve your relationships? First you have to learn how.

Learning Well Depends on More than Just Your IQ

Intelligence and talent play a role in how quickly you learn. But eventually everyone, no matter how smart, comes up against a learning challenge that threatens to break them. For some people this point comes in high-school, for others it will be in college or in their profession.

Whether you adapt and push through that challenge or give up depends a lot on having the right methods. If you’ve learned how learning works, you can confidently tackle any challenge, even one that you don’t feel smart enough to solve right now.

You can’t change your genes or natural talents. But with good learning techniques, you can push the limit of what you think you’re capable of. Learning how to learn helps you become the best version of yourself.

Imagine Confidently Acing Your Classes

Imagine going into any class, no matter how difficult, with a clear strategy. You know how to analyze the class and break it down into particular learning challenges. You know how to organize your time and learn every part efficiently.

When you get stuck, you’re equipped with dozens of different methods for handling any type of problem you might encounter. Too many facts to learn? You can apply SRS, mnemonics and distributed practice. Can’t wrap your head around an idea? Break it down with the Feynman technique or 5-Year Old Method.

Best of all, because you know what you know, you can walk into any exam with confidence.

Accelerate Your Career by Learning the Skills that Matter

What would your career look like if you could learn faster? For starters, you could quickly become proficient at the work you’re doing now, so you can work with less stress.

Next, you can figure out what skills you need to reach the next level and learn those too. You’ll advance faster than your colleagues. More importantly, you’ll become good at what you do. Work will be more enjoyable because everyday you can say to yourself, “I’m good at this.”

Switch from falling behind to keep up to accelerating your career by investing in your learning process.

Accelerate Your Career by Learning the Skills that Matter

Become a Smarter, More Knowledgeable Person

What would you learn if you knew you’d be successful? Would you become fluent in multiple languages? Would you learn to play piano or guitar? Would you become an expert in your finances, relationships or psychology?

Learning can be a frustrating experience when it doesn’t work. But if you can do it well, it can be one of the best experiences in life. The feeling of getting good at something you didn’t know before is addictive.

Many polyglots, people who learn multiple languages, go onto learn many more. Why? Because once you figure out how to learn one language, the process goes from being frustrating to fun. Once you crack the code of learning a language, you want to do it over and over again.

There is a code to learning anything. Crack the code and you can enjoy learning anything, from French to finance, computer programming to quantum mechanics.

Why Learning Can Be Frustrating

How well you learn touches virtually every area of your life. Despite this, learning how to learn is a subject rarely taught in schools. As a result, most people’s studying methods are based on their own trial-and-error attempts to find the best methods.

Sometimes this process works—you’ll stumble upon the right combination of habits and methods and learning will feel easy. You’ve probably experienced some situations in your life when learning seemed to happen smoothly and automatically.

Unfortunately, whether this happens or not often depends on luck. You’re just as likely to fail to pick up on the right strategy, and therefore, struggle painfully through some skills, subjects and classes.

Sometimes I just don’t feel smart enough.”

Have you ever felt like you’re just not smart enough to learn something you need to learn? Maybe it was a class you took that destroyed your confidence. Maybe it was a particular domain of learning—that you’re not good at math, that you didn’t inherit the "gene" for languages, or that you’re not artistic or athletic.

Many people have convinced themselves that learning some things are impossible for them. They’re convinced they simply don’t have the gifts that other people seem to have.

While people do vary in ability, I’d like to offer a counterexplanation: you haven’t found the right methods yet. I’m convinced that everyone is capable of learning anything that anyone else can learn. It might take some people a little longer, but nothing is “impossible” to learn.

Find the right method and you too can learn anything.

I can’t keep up with everything I need to learn.”

Do you ever feel like you can’t keep up with everything you need to learn? Maybe you’re swamped with classwork, wondering how you’ll possibly learn everything before the final exam. Maybe your work is evolving so quickly you feel that by the time you learn a new tool, it’s already outdated.

Good learning methods don’t just make learning possible, they also make it faster. Choose the wrong method and while you may learn eventually, it can take much more time. By investing in understanding how learning works, you can eliminate waste and save hundreds of hours.

I know this firsthand. During the MIT Challenge, I watched lectures at 1.5x the speed, slowing it down whenever I didn’t understand something. This allowed me to invest more time in selective practice problems, a more efficient approach to learning the material. Similar method choices also allowed me to learn Spanish better in three months than I could with French over a year.

If you feel like you can’t keep up, you have to first stop running in the wrong direction.

Can You Learn an MIT Degree in One Year? Learn Four Languages in 12 Months?

I’m a learning enthusiast. For the last ten years, I’ve maintained a blog about my own adventures in learning. My perspective is a blend of hard-won practical insights from my many learning experiments and my own private study of cognitive science, memory and neurobiology.

In 2012, I completed the MIT Challenge. This was an effort to pass the exams and complete the programming projects that make up an undergraduate MIT degree in computer science. The purpose of this project was to show that you could approximate the education of an elite school with a fraction of the cost and time, all from the comfort of your home.

Two years later, I completed a second challenge, The Year Without English. In this challenge, a friend and I travelled to four countries, learning Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin Chinese and Korean. To show that I’m not special, and that method really does make a difference, my friend, Vat, also learned all four languages despite never having learned a new language as an adult before.

Later I decided to see if I could apply the same insights to a different kind of skill: drawing faces. How much better could you get at drawing in just thirty days of practice? Although drawing, languages and computer science may feel different, the general strategies for learning efficiently are often the same.

Learning is my passion and I want to take the years of experiments and research I’ve done and condense it into a format that you can use to quickly improve your ability to learn.


Rapid Learner is a program to help you learn more effectively, quickly and deeply.
By signing up you’ll get two things:


A strategy for learning anything. I’ll walk you through my process for breaking down any learning goal you might have into actionable chunks. Whether it’s a college class, a professional skill or just something you’d like to know more about.


Dozens of tactics for solving specific learning problems. Struggle with remembering things? Can’t understand hard ideas? Feel like you forget things right after you learn them? I have tactics based in research and practical experience that can help you learn any of these things.

No matter whether you’re a struggling high-school student or a brilliant professor, I believe there is always room for improvement in how you learn. By taking this course I can add my own methods to yours, pushing you to become a faster, more effective learner.

Who is Rapid Learner For?

For Students...

Rapid Learner is well suited for middle, high-school, undergrad and graduate students. The format of the course will teach you how to break down any classes you might have into simple actions you can take to learn anything.

This course is about the act of learning, not tricks to pass a particular exam. That’s why it works for students of nearly every subject. Although the contents of subjects differ—medicine, physics, architecture and history—there are patterns that underlie learning anything. I teach you how to recognize those patterns, so you’ll know which method to apply when and where.

For Professionals...

The format of this course doesn’t apply just to students. If you need to learn for your job—needing to pick up new skills or bodies of knowledge—this course will also work for you.

Because professionals are often more time constrained and have less structure than students, knowing how to learn efficiently is even more important. Rapid Learner will give you the tools to keep up with the cutting edge of your field, learn new skills as you need them and systematically become an expert at what you do.

For Anyone Who Wants to Learn More...

Would you like to learn new languages? Understand business, psychology, relationships or technology? Learn an instrument or sport? Read more books and remember it for years afterward?

Learning how to learn is one of the best investments you can make in yourself.

Rapid Learner will guide you through
a process for learning anything.


Here’s What You’ll Learn in Rapid Learner

The main modules of Rapid Learner are delivered over six weeks, however you’re free to pursue the program at whatever pace fits your schedule.

The six modules of the course build on each other, starting with the basics of breaking down a learning goal and personal productivity, finally moving into the nuances of specific techniques for memory and understanding.

1. Project - Ensure success before you start

Learn how to take any learning task—classes, self-education or professional development—and turn it into a learning project.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to break any learning goal into weekly chunks
  • Find the right materials to learn effectively without getting overwhelmed or distracted
  • Smooth your schedule to prevent stress and burnout
  • How to design projects to learn practical skills

In addition to the main lessons, you’ll also get six bonus lessons, including:

  • How I Prepared for the MIT Challenge - A detailed walkthrough of how I was able to set up, and stick to, the intense learning project
  • Making Realistic Predictions - Know how to set goals you can confidently complete every time

2. Productivity - Get more done without the procrastination

Build a productivity system that will allow you to get work done without stress, guilt or procrastination.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why you get burned out, and how to prevent it
  • How to improve your energy, so you can get more done in less time
  • Recognize different types of procrastination, and the different methods to eliminate it

In addition to the main lessons, you’ll also get six bonus lessons, including:

  • Kill Procrastination - Not all procrastination is the same, and neither is the fix. In this lesson, I’ll teach you how to spot different forms of procrastination along with the specific method to kill it
  • Make Productivity a Habit - How to go from being productive some of the time, to consistently getting your work done and accomplishing the projects you start

3. Practice - The most effective studying method

Build your foundation right. Learn effectively by applying the techniques a comprehensive study named as the most effective learning methods:

What you’ll learn:

  • Active versus passive learning, why you want to learn more actively yet few learners do
  • How to practice without problems sets or past exams
  • What SRS is and when to use it to quickly memorize information
  • The most common, inefficient studying strategy that most students use without realizing it

In addition to the main lessons, you’ll also get six bonus lessons, including:

  • How Memory Works - Dig into the science of memory and how you can use yours effectively
  • Choosing the Right Practice Activity - Be able to analyze the kinds of practice you’re doing and fix possible weaknesses, so you’ll never be caught off-guard in an exam again

4. Insight - Understand hard ideas with ease

Expert learners don’t just memorize information—they understand deeply the principles behind what they’re learning. Learn how to quickly build and test intuitions about the material so you’ll “get” it.

What you’ll learn:

  • The Feynman Technique and how to apply different variations of it to tackle particular learning challenges.
  • How to know when you’ve learned something deeply enough
  • Diagnose whether you understand something well enough, or simply need to learn the details better

In addition to the main lessons, you’ll also get six bonus lessons, including:

  • How to Learn Things You Don’t Understand - A recipe for deconstructing anything you don’t understand
  • Mindful Practice - How to approach practice in a way that will improve you intuition about ideas

5. Memory - Quickly remember anything

Not all knowledge is remembered equally. Learn to exploit this fact by representing what you’re trying to learn in a way your brain can more easily relate to and store.

What you’ll learn:

  • Holistic learning methods to vividly remember and recall important concepts and ideas
  • Mnemonic systems to quickly memorize detailed information
  • How to visualize ideas to remember and understand them better
  • Detailed walkthroughs for applying analogies to sift through and understand ideas

In addition to the main lessons, you’ll also get six bonus lessons, including:

  • The Memory Palace - Employ the technique competitive mnemoticists use to memorize thousands numbers, facts and words quickly and accurately
  • How to Visualize Abstract Ideas - Learn to see what you’re trying to understand to remember it more easily

6. Mastery - A lifelong strategy to maintain and improve your knowledge and skills

Learning is only half the battle. To learn well, you also need to retain what you learn. In this module, I’ll teach you how to develop a plan to retain whatever you’ve learned for years with minimal effort.

What you’ll learn:

  • How to decide whether to master, maintain or relearn whatever you’re learning
  • What you should try to remember from a book
  • How to quickly relearn forgotten subjects
  • How to master knowledge and go from beginner to expert

In addition to the main lessons, you’ll also get six bonus lessons, including:

  • The Science of Forgetting - Learn important principles from cognitive science that dictate how you forget things so you can maximize the knowledge you retain
  • The Mastery Habit - How to continually get better at whatever you learn


In addition to the six core modules, all Rapid Learner students also get access to graduation material to further their mastery of the concepts. Graduation material is available once you’ve completed the course checkpoints and you’ve completed payment for the course.

This graduation material includes:

How to Become a Straight-A Student - Interview with Cal Newport, author and MIT PhD., about the studying strategies he uncovered researching high-achieving, low-stress students from top-level universities.

Developing an Intuition for Learning - Interview with Kalid Azad, founder of Better Explained, about how to develop intuitive understandings of abstract subjects like math, finance and computer science.

Fluent in 3 Months with Benny Lewis - Learn the strategies octolingual polyglot Benny Lewis uses to quickly learn new languages.

Dozens of Learn Faster Bootcamp Essays - For years I’ve kept a private archive of some of my best writing and ideas on learning. All Rapid Learner students can get access to dozens of these essays, sharing new tactics and research to help you learn better.


In addition to the standard Rapid Learner program, which includes all six core modules and the Graduation Bonuses, I’m also offering an upgrade for those who want to deepen their understanding of the material and get access to my complete library of learning techniques for a reduced price.

This edition also includes:

Complete archives of Learning on Steroids - Get access to the complete 12 months of Learning on Steroids, my previous best-selling rapid learning course. This includes dozens of different tactics, additional video walkthroughs and guides covering specific topics I didn’t have space to include in Rapid Learner.

Learn More, Study Less - My most popular ebook by far, this book (including translations) has sold over 100,000 copies. This book covers the basics of holistic learning, my productivity system and how to make learning faster a habit. I've also included the expanded course that went along with this book, which includes over forty video lessons spread over ten modules.

Combined, these bonuses include everything I've produced on the subject of learning more effectively.

Here is what some of the students of the pilot versions of this course and previous generations of my learning courses have to say about the lessons I'll share with you for learning better.
Robert S., CEO, Clinical Education Industry

"Started a VC firm"

I was very taken with Scott's thoughts about practice. I've just started a VC firm within the last 3-4 months and while I have a great deal experience elsewhere, this course helped me improve the skills I need to be functional in that area. I've discovered through my own experience that practice is essential for learning but the most relevant is scheduling your activities - the course reminded me to itemize the things I had to do and then actually doing them. With VC, I made a list of things I needed to learn, and then I learned them.

Aaron M., Executive Director, Brussels

“The techniques in this course should be taught to children at school, students starting university and workers.”

In early 2015 I was diagnosed with leukemia. After rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant I returned to work and became Head of Public Affairs for a European Chemical Industry Association. My new job meant I had to learn far more effectively, work smarter, and recall a lot of information. Scott Young’s course gave me invaluable lessons which I use in my everyday job. The techniques in this course should be taught to children at school, students starting university and workers.

Beresford S., Assistant Accountant

Beresford had failed his accounting exam twice before taking Rapid Learner. After, he was able to pass the exam which enabled him to complete his AAT (Association for Accounting Technicians) Level 4 qualification.
Kane H., Programmer and Teacher

"Kane participated in an early version of the course and used the lessons taught both to effectively teach the LISP programming language to himself, but also to use the ideas to teach math ideas to younger students."
Joshua B., aced Organic Chemistry

"I used a tip of yours to pass chemistry last semester. That alone was enough to increase exam scores from the 50% average of the class to being constantly 1 or 2 points under the top grade, even scoring the highest grade on one exam."
Aaron W., Writer and Entrepreneur

"I used to feel like I wasn’t retaining a lot of the information from the books I read. [After taking the course] I don’t worry about not remembering the most important information… This has also made it much easier to write book reviews, and I’ve since started a blog featuring these reviews. Not only are the reviews easier write, I can get them done faster, and they’re also better, sharper, and more comprehensive."
Jace B., Japanese Translator

"The last math class I took was over 7 years ago. With the learning system taught in the pilot course, however, I was able to pass a high level statistics class offered in my second language (Japanese)."
Elias T., Psychology undergrad now learns "2x as fast"

"I got behind during my 2nd year and had to redo at least 6 months worth of courses. I was desperate for a way to solve this on time. That’s when I found the course. Now I am able to study literally twice as fast (I took 2x the amount of courses). I caught up after a few months of this. I then returned to my normal studying tempo where I could not only get better grades than before but actually enjoy studying.

Do you want better grades? Join it. Do you want to learn faster? Join it. Do you want less stress when studying? Join it. Do you want to enjoy studying more? Join it."

What if Rapid Learner isn’t right for me?

Rapid Learner is the product of years of research and effort. I’ve worked with thousands of students via my books and courses to deliver a product that will work well for most people.

However, I don’t want you to just trust my word for it. That’s why I’ve added a 60-day money-back guarantee for Rapid Learner. If you join and don’t feel it is a good fit, for whatever reason, I can give you a full refund if you let us know within sixty days from the date of purchase.



  • Full 6-Week Curriculum
  • 40+ Supplementary Lessons
  • Private Community Access
  • Lifetime Access to all Materials
  • Graduation Bonus Interviews and 20+ Essays
  • Complete Archives of Learning on Steroids
  • Learn More, Study Less - Full 228 Page Ebook
  • All 10 Learn More, Study Less Video Course Modules

12 Monthly installments of $29 ?

GET STARTED NOW! Or pay in full and save 14%



  • Full 6-Week Curriculum
  • 40+ Supplementary Lessons
  • Private Community Access
  • Lifetime Access to all Materials
  • Graduation Bonus Interviews and 20+ Essays
  • Complete Archives of Learning on Steroids
  • Learn More, Study Less - Full 228 Page Ebook
  • All 10 Learn More, Study Less Video Course Modules

12 Monthly installments of $49 ?

GET STARTED NOW! Or pay in full and save 15%

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What exactly do I get in the course?

A: I believe the best way to answer that question is to show you! The video above does a complete walkthrough of the entire course website, showing you how the course works and what you can expect once you've signed up.

Q: How long will I retain access to the course? What if I can’t finish in 6 weeks?

A: When you get Rapid Learner, you get lifelong access to the course materials and community. Whether you want to finish the entire course in six weeks, or take your time and proceed more slowly through the curriculum, you can rest assured knowing the material will always be there for you.

Rapid Learner students also get access to any updates to the core program completely for free, including the ability to attend future sessions alongside new students.

Q: How much time does the course require?

A: Each Rapid Learner module is divided into a main video lesson, usually 15-30 minutes, and 7+ supplementary lessons 10-30 minutes each.

In general, I recommend setting aside at least 2 hours per week to keep up with the materials and an additional hour per week to do the minimum homework required. Of course, if you invest more time you can implement the ideas more fully. If you can’t invest 3 hours per week, you can go through the course at a slower pace.

Q: I prefer to read than watch video lessons. Are there transcripts available?

A: Yes! Every lesson in the course is available in multiple formats:

  1. A streamable, HD video you can watch directly from the website.
  2. Downloadable videos you can watch offline.
  3. Audio-only MP3 files you can put on your phone or listen during your commute.
  4. Full transcripts you can read on your computer, tablet or print off.
Q: Will this course work for nursing / engineering / business / programming /etc.?

A: This course teaches general learning strategies that work for many different subjects. Over the years I’ve applied these methods to very diverse projects: programming, cognitive science, languages, mathematics, physics, accounting, history, law and neuroscience. I’ve also applied it to non-academic pursuits like art and entrepreneurship.

What you’ll get in this course is a general framework for thinking about the big issues that affect every learning challenge: how to stay focused, how to retain information, how to understand complex ideas, how to prevent forgetting over time. As such, these tools are useful for many different kinds of learning projects. Of course, if you join the course and find it isn’t well suited for you, we have our 60-day return policy, so there’s no risk in trying it out.

Q: Why is the course 6 weeks but billed for 12 months? Can I cancel payments at any time?

A: We created a monthly installment option to make the course more affordable for those who cannot pay the one-time tuition, or who want to see the course before spending the full amount.

This course is not a subscription, so we ask that if you wish to keep the course you continue to make the remaining monthly installments. Failure to do so may limit your access to the course or other courses.

If you start a monthly installment plan and would later like to pay off the remaining balance, you can do so at any time (at a discount) by contacting our support team.

Q: What options do I have if I want to finish my monthly payments early?

A: We offer monthly payments because many students can’t commit the full price up front.

If you’d like to finish your payments early, just email us and you can pay the remaining payments at a discounted rate.

Q: Do you offer one-on-one coaching with the course?

A: Unfortunately, due to the number of students, I can’t make any promises for one-on-one coaching.

However, I frequently participate in the private community helping to answer questions along with our other members. So if you have questions about the course, learning or applying the principles, myself, a member of the community or a teaching assistant will be able to help.

Q: How is this course different from Top Performer? Which should I get?

A: Top Performer is a different course I co-teach with Cal Newport. Although there is overlap in the aims of the two courses, the material is quite different with both. Putting it simply:

Top Performer is a guide to deliberate practice for your career. In particular, we focus on methods for doing research to figure out which skills to develop, how to design projects to advance your career more quickly, cultivate deep work and maintain an ongoing professional development.

Rapid Learner focuses more on the detailed mechanics of learning: practice, insight and memory. It can be used for professional skills, but it is equally applicable to students and self-education projects which are not career-related.

The two courses complement each other, teaching related skills which can both help in professional and learning contexts.

Q: When will you be open again next time for enrollment?

A: I don’t offer registration for Rapid Learner frequently, and it will likely be at least 6-12 months before the course is available again for new students.

If you’re not sure whether you have time for the course right now, you can always get the course and begin when you do have time. You have lifetime access to the course materials when you sign up, and many of our students join and then begin the course when they can devote themselves to the material.

Q: How does this differ from your free articles on learning?

The ideas and principles I discuss on the blog are the same as those we discuss in the course. So there isn’t a “secret” strategy I’ve been saving for only my paid courses.

What you do get in Rapid Learner that you don’t get from the blog is a comprehensive system. You’ll be guided through an exact sequences of steps to transform your current learning habits and get new ones, with access to community feedback, specific exercises, examples and walkthroughs.

Essentially, if you like my blog, this course offers my best learning advice but better organized and with more detail, examples and rigor. If you don’t like my blog, this course probably isn’t for you.

Q: I can’t pay with the methods listed on the cart, do you take alternative payment methods?

A: Unfortunately, we’re limited in which payment methods we can accept. However, if you want to join the course but don’t see a payment option you can use, you’re welcome to contact our customer service and we can see what we can do to help!



  • Full 6-Week Curriculum
  • 40+ Supplementary Lessons
  • Private Community Access
  • Lifetime Access to all Materials
  • Graduation Bonus Interviews and 20+ Essays
  • Complete Archives of Learning on Steroids
  • Learn More, Study Less - Full 228 Page Ebook
  • All 10 Learn More, Study Less Video Course Modules

12 Monthly installments of $29 ?

GET STARTED NOW! Or pay in full and save 14%



  • Full 6-Week Curriculum
  • 40+ Supplementary Lessons
  • Private Community Access
  • Lifetime Access to all Materials
  • Graduation Bonus Interviews and 20+ Essays
  • Complete Archives of Learning on Steroids
  • Learn More, Study Less - Full 228 Page Ebook
  • All 10 Learn More, Study Less Video Course Modules

12 Monthly installments of $49 ?

GET STARTED NOW! Or pay in full and save 15%