You've taken one in one form or another—the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, an SAT, an ACT, or any state or alphabetical combination. They are intelligence tests, designed to measure the relationship between your chronological age and your mental age. How smart you are, according to these tests, is related to the portions of your brain that deal with abstract reasoning, verbal, and numerical ability. But we all know that whatever number you achieve on a test is far from the best indicator of how intelligent you are. Our intellect is more than our IQ. What psychologists are discovering is that intelligence in the teen years is not just an increase in the quantity of your thoughts, but also an increase in the quality.
That your friends have different aptitudes and different ways to learn than your learning style is no secret. We all know people who might do poorly on standard tests but who shine in music, the visual arts, or computer programming. A mediocre student can become a brilliant political leader, demonstrating exceptional interpersonal skills, even though he might not be particularly adept at science or math.
Read through the following profiles and discover your learning style from among the seven categories developed by Howard Gardner, a psychologist at Harvard who believes we are ever so much more than that number on the latest IQ test.
Your Learning Style: Verbal/Linguistic
You have always enjoyed playing with words, picking up a new language, and telling stories. You have a great memory and are good at crossword puzzles and Scrabble®. You might be drawn to career as an attorney, comedian, editor, writer, politician, psychologist, librarian, public relations person, teacher, or translator.
Your Learning Style: Your Learning Style: Mathematical/Logical
Using a microcomputer comes easily to you, as does chemistry and problem solving. You were probably really good at chess, checkers, and Go at an early age. Possible careers are accountant, banker, biologist, bookkeeper, chemist, city planner, mechanical engineer, pharmacist, physician, or technologist.
Your Learning Style: Visual/Spatial
You can find your way around better than most, and enjoy symmetry, puzzles and Pictionary. You'd be the first one out of a maze and have finished a jigsaw puzzle long before anyone else. As a child, you loved blocks and construction sets. Attractive careers might include advertising, architect, fashion designer, inventor, navigator, seamstress, surgeon, or urban planner.
Your Learning Style: Body/Kinesthetic
You learn best by doing—games, hands-on tasks, and building. As a child you probably fidgeted a bit and spent your happiest times in the playground. Sitting still is torture, but you always excelled at sports and athletics. You trust your gut feelings more than thought-out solutions. You might want to investigate becoming an actor, an architect, choreographer, craftsperson, juggler, inventor, massage therapist, physical therapist, pianist, sculptor, surgeon, or trainer.
Your Learning Style: Musical/Rhythmic
Your good sense of timing is reflected in your singing and/or musical talent in playing an instrument. You seldom mind practicing and learn well through songs, patterns, rhythms, and musical expression. You are particularly sensitive to sounds and have always been an excellent mimic where sound is involved. You learn best through non-verbal sound and rhythm. You could be drawn to a career as a band member, composer, disc jockey, figure skater, musical performer, songwriter, teacher, or violinist.
Your Learning Style: Interpersonal
You show an excellent understanding of others feelings, thoughts and motives and are rewarded by the friendship of many of your peers. You're likely to be street-wise, and able to mediate between groups. A good listener, you learn best through engaging in team activities and cooperative ventures. You might find yourself in a career as a community organizer, consumer service advocate, therapist, nurse, politician, religious leader, social worker, or travel agent.
Your Learning Style: Intrapersonal
You have a good understanding of your own feelings, thoughts and motives. You might be a loner because of your strong opinions, and you don't particularly enjoy shared activities. You are an independent self-starter and have a deep sense of self worth. You learn best through indirect support, preferring to learn by experience rather than through the words of others. You may end up as a creative writer, entrepreneur, philosopher, psychologist, researcher, or leadership trainer.
Your Learning Style: Naturalist
You are sensitive to the world of nature-living things. You pick up on subtle differences in meanings and have an ability to recognize and classify elements of the natural world. You might be employed as an animal handler, anthropologist, astronomer, biologist, chef, and veterinarian, weather tracking specialist, or navigator.
Everyone has some of all these intelligences, and most of us have strength in two or more. We all have something valuable to contribute, regardless of what your learning style is.