Smart Study Strategies

Study Skills for 7 Intelligence Types

Young woman studying on bed with laptop computer and books
John Lund/Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Getty Images

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