What is your type of intelligence?
In his theory of multiple intelligences Harvard University’s Dr Howard Gardner proposed eight types of human intelligences. Identifying and understanding which intelligence type you are will allow you to use your personal skills strategically when studying for tests and exams.
Optimise your studying process: how to use your intelligence type
1. Linguistic Intelligence
This type of intelligence refers to people who are smart with words. They talk well, write well and enjoy reading and playing word games like Scrabble. They are also great conversationalists. Strategies that help ‘word smart’ people include:

  • Making flashcards.
  • Rewriting course notes.
  • Talking to other people about what you have learned.
  • Keeping a journal of what is being learned throughout the course.

2. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
These are ‘number smart’ people. They have the ability to think logically and are comfortable with numbers. The following tips might help number smart students:

  • Study in a quiet setting.
  • Transfer your notes into numeric charts.
  • Outline your notes in the Roman numeral style.
  • Think about the importance of what you are learning, taking cause and effect into account.

3. Spatial Intelligence
Spatial or visual intelligence refers to the ability to visualise pictures and creations when an idea is discussed. ‘Picture smart’ people enjoy being creative, for example drawing, watching media, visiting galleries and museums, etc. They could do well with the following tips:

  • Connect related facts by drawing arrows across your notes.
  • Draw a picture of a concept on a flashcard and study by referring only to the picture and explaining the concept that it relates to.
  • Sketch pictures to accompany your notes – this can be done to describe full texts or to aid texts by drawing mini pictures in the margins.

4. Kinaesthetic (Body Movement) Intelligence
This refers to being manually dexterous, also known as ‘body smart’. If you are body smart, you enjoy participating in physical activities such as sports and outdoor work. People who are body smart should give the following strategies a try:

  • Act out important concepts you need to remember.
  • Find real-life examples that demonstrate what you are learning.
  • Pace and recite your revision sheet (almost as though you are presenting a lecture).

5. Musical Intelligence
People who are musically intelligent are generally good at creating, understanding and appreciating beats and rhythms. Whether it is listening to music, attending concerts or singing, music smart people enjoy the process and outcome of music creation. The following strategies may improve your studying process if you are ‘music smart’:

  • Listen to classical music while you study.
  • Link important concepts to similar sounding words in your mind.
  • Before you fall asleep, listen to classical music and revise your work in your head.
  • Create a song or rhyme that will help you remember a concept (similar to learning the alphabet in pre-school).

6. Interpersonal Intelligence
This is also referred to as ‘people smart’ and is one of the most highly rewarded intelligence types in society. People who have very good interpersonal skills are good with communication. They have the ability to make others around them feel at ease and they enjoy participating in activities (going to parties, being around their friends, sharing personal stories). Tips for this type of person include:

  • Create or join a study group.
  • Discuss what you learn with your class mates, friends and/or family members.
  • Allow someone to quiz you before an exam or try and teach someone who does not know the subject.

7. Intrapersonal Intelligence
These people are good with self-analysis. They are referred to as ‘self smart’ people because they are comfortable with themselves.They have an interest in behaviour and emotions, along with thinking and reflecting. Strategies to help self smart people include:

  • Keeping a journal and making notes on concepts learned.
  • Discovering a quiet study area where you can be completely undisturbed.
  • Writing separate summaries of what the material means to you.

8. Naturalistic Intelligence
These types of people understand and appreciate the natural world. Whether it is cultivating plants, seeing weather changes or playing with animals, naturalists tend to link information about the outdoors. Study tips for people who possess naturalistic intelligence:

  • Play with a pet during study breaks.
  • Find a quiet area outside where you can study.
  • Associate important terms with similar sounding animals or plants.
  • Keep your notes in clear plastic pockets in a ring-binder so that you can see them.

Once you know your intelligence type, you can optimise your study methods, but you should first and foremost know yourself. Read these additional tips to help you study smarter and not harder.
Article issued by Milpark Business School

Milpark Business School is a private, registered provider of Higher Education (HE) and Further Education and Training (FET) qualifications. The qualifications offered focus on the niche areas of management and leadership, banking and financial planning, and insurance. Milpark has two campuses in Johannesburg and Cape Town and an office in Durban. Visit www.milpark.ac.za for information about the school, its courses and qualifications.