Is Academic Intelligence Equal To Being Smart?

Many people believe that a smart person is someone with an academic degree, but is this true? 

Academic education and intelligence are somehow related to each other. But education does not determine someone being also smart. When an individual is good at school, studies, and scores well, we consider that person smart.
But it doesn’t mean that person is intelligent as well. 

Because intelligent people might not get great scores at school, but they are very good at finding the solution to problems, they easily learn, and they are able to deal with difficult situations. 

Keep reading to find out the answer if you are interested in this topic.

What is the definition of academic intelligence?

Academic intelligence generally means being able to learn from your past and not make the same mistakes, being able to think properly, having problem-solving ability, and get easily adapted to new changes and new situations.

When someone is considered intelligent, it means that person mostly thinks before speaking, is great at managing emotions, and is very flexible under pressure or in new circumstances.

5 Characteristics of an intelligent person:

  • They are curious and ask proper questions.
  • They mostly think before doing anything.
  • They care about others’ emotions.
  • They are logical.
  • They are usually an optimist.

Moreover, according to recent research, there are some other signs that an intelligent person has, including good memory, the ability to problem-solving, and decision-making, and they are also very logical and good at reasoning.

What is the definition of being smart?

Smart people can solve difficult and different problems and feel satisfied by doing this. These people have the high conversational ability and can win most negotiations with their intelligence and logic. Smart people are thirsty for learning and very curious to discover new issues!

Even though these people are smart and have the power to solve various problems, if they do not know about a subject, they are openly saying they don’t know the answer, but it doesn’t mean they will not try to solve that problem.

Here we listed 8 ways to consider if someone is smart:

  1. They are very curious. 
  2. They have great memory.
  3. They are trustworthy. 
  4. They easily control their emotions.
  5. They are mostly introverted. 
  6. They are interested in learning. 
  7. They have high logical abilities.
  8. They are open to new experiences.

The items mentioned above are 8 easy ways to consider whether someone is smart. And as you can see, some of them are the same as the features of an intelligent person. This brings us to check the differences and similarities between these two interesting subjects.

Differences and Similarities

The difference between being smart and academic intelligence:

Academic intelligence is what helps you to understand the world around you and distinguish the basic issues. On the other hand, being smart enables you to expand your intelligence, and it also helps you to increase your knowledge, skills, and creativity. Being smart helps you to build your character and also enables you to decide how to use your intelligence.

But what is the main difference between being smart and academic intelligence?
– Academic intelligence or education is the process of learning while being smart is defined as the capacity for learning and planning as well.
– Education is something people use to improve their knowledge, whereas intelligence or being smart is what you have been born with.

These are the two major differences between being smart and academic intelligence, but according to the research, you can assume that smart people are also well-educated.

The relationship between intelligence and education:

Are they similar? The answer to this question is what researchers have been working on for several years. These two have a relationship, but we can not say they are exactly alike. A well-educated person is considered to be a smart person, but we can not confirm it in every situation because the way a smart person and an educated person deal with difficulties or different circumstances is not the same.
On the other hand, intelligence or being smart refers to evaluating an individual’s knowledge and understanding.

When we say someone is intelligent, we give more credit to that person than when we tell them they are smart!

In other words, people mostly consider well-educated people to be smart, and when they say someone is smart, they usually think they should have an academic degree!

Are they really equal?

There is no exact answer to this question. But according to the studies, the higher the education degree, the more smart someone is.

Suppose an individual is born with not perfect intelligence but studies hard at school and university to get high scores and get successful. In that case, we can consider that person to be a well-educated person who has academic intelligence, which does not mean that person is smart as well! Because an educated person with only academic intelligence may not necessarily be good at problem-solving, critical thinking, and reasoning.

They might be only good at solving mathematical problems or being good at discovering new things. As well as, a smart person who was born with great consciousness is not necessarily able to get good scores at school or university!

Being smart means, you can control your thoughts better than others. You have better logical abilities. Therefore, there are not exactly the same or even different! But they are correlated to and can influence each other.

There are also different ways to become smarter and more intelligent, including reading more books, learning new languages, trying meditation, following your dreams and letting your imagination be creative, traveling more, and discovering new things in your life.
These habits will flourish your hidden talents and intelligence and may help you think and act smartly!


Although there are differences and similarities between someone considered intelligent based on academic degrees and someone born naturally smart, people can be smart and intelligent at the same time, only with different levels of intelligence. But as we mentioned earlier, there is no fair way to find out the exact answer!

We hope this blog helps you find the answer you were looking for, and don’t forget to take the steps we mentioned above to improve your intelligence!

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