Smart Study Strategies

Study Skills for 7 Intelligence Types

Young woman studying on bed with laptop computer and books
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People are smart in different ways. Some people can create a catchy song at the drop of a hat. Others can memorize everything in a book, paint a masterpiece, or be the center of attention. When you realize what you’re good at, you can figure out the best way to study. Based on Howard Gardner’s theory of intelligence, these study tips can help you tailor your learning for your intelligence type.

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:

  1. • 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:
  1. • 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:
  1. • 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:
    1. • 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 cds, attending concerts, and creating songs. If you’re music smart, these activities can help you study:
      1. • 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:
      1. • 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:
      1. • 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