What Kind of Smart Are You?

I was (and proudly still am) a huge nerd growing up. I loved to read anything I could get my hands on that was remotely fascinating. During my sophomore year of high school, I became obsessed with education and learning as I set my sights on teaching. I stumbled upon Howard Gardner’s book, Multiple Intelligences and became enthralled with his theories. I always knew that I was intelligent in some areas more than others (Do not ever ask me for math help, your third grader could help you more than me!) and I liked how Gardner explained and recognized this theory.  Below is a synopsis of his theories and applicable study tips to help you with your program from The College Network:

Word Smart (Linguistic intelligence) – Word smart people are good with words, letters, and phrases. They enjoy activities such as reading, playing scrabble or other word games, and having discussions. If you’re word smart, these study strategies can help:

• make flashcards
• take extensive notes
• keep a journal of what you learn

Number Smart (logical-mathematical intelligence) - Number smart people are good with numbers, equations, and logic. They enjoy coming up with solutions to logical problems and figuring things out. If you’re number smart, give these strategies a try:

• make your notes into numeric charts and graphs
• use the Roman numeral style of outlining
• put information you receive into categories and classifications that you create

Picture Smart (spatial intelligence) – Picture smart people are good with art and design. They enjoy being creative, watching movies, and visiting art museums. Picture smart people can benefit from these study tips:

• sketch pictures that go along with your notes or in the margins of your textbooks
• draw a picture on a flashcard for each concept or vocabulary word you study
• use charts and graphic organizers to keep track of what you learn

Body Smart (Kinesthetic intelligence) – Body smart people work well with their hands. They enjoy physical activity such as exercise, sports, and outdoor work. These study strategies can help body smart people be successful:

• act out or imagine the concepts you need to remember
• look for real-life examples that demonstrate what you’re learning about
• search for manipulatives, such as computer programs, that can help you master material

Music Smart (Musical intelligence) – Music smart people are good with rhythms and beats. They enjoy listening to music, attending concerts, and creating songs. If you’re music smart, these activities can help you study:

• create a song or rhyme that will help you remember a concept
• listen to classical music while you study
• remember vocabulary words by linking them to similar-sounding words in your mind

People Smart (Interpersonal intelligence) – Those who are people smart are good with relating to people. They enjoy going to parties, visiting with friends, and sharing what they learn. People smart students should give these strategies a try:

• discuss what you learn with a friend or family member
• have someone quiz you before an exam
• create or join a study group

Self Smart (Intrapersonal intelligence) – Self smart people are comfortable with themselves. They enjoy being alone to think and reflect. If you’re self smart, try these tips:

• keep a personal journal about what you’re learning
• find a place to study where you won’t be interrupted
• keep yourself involved in assignments by individualizing each project

Comments for What Kind of Smart Are You?


Name: Ashley
Time: Monday, December 30, 2013

This is great! We all learn in different ways, and when you find out what works best to help you retain information, it can make a huge impact on your motivation and success with your degree program. Take a moment to complete the Learning Style Survey located in the Center for Learning Empowerment to identify your primary learning style and pick up study tips that will have you studying on the next level!

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