Street Smarts vs. Book Smarts: The End! (+Quiz)

Updated On: December 29, 2022

This post will finally end the controversy of street smarts vs. book smarts and help you choose the best option for yourself!


Street Smarts vs. Book Smarts

Street smarts vs. book smarts have always been a hot topic on social media and the internet. People spend a lot of their time arguing about which personality is better among both.

From all the discussions, you can easily observe that “street smarts try to make book smarts feel inferior” and “book smarts try to make street smarts feel inferior.”

After a bunch of cursing, there’s no conclusion, and the conversation goes on and on!

Finally, the time has arrived that we end this topic and get back to actual work!

So, without any further ado, let’s jump directly to the post where I’ll finally end the war of street smarts vs. book smarts and help you decide the best option for yourself! 

Who are the Street Smarts?

We all have that one friend who always has some “magical hacks” to get things done.

What if they don’t have a solution to the problem? 
No worries! They will find a workaround anyway.

You know that even if you leave them in a new city without a penny in their hand, they will be able to survive for their whole life.

“That one” friend of yours is none other than street smart!

In simple words, street smarts are those people who have faced the adversities of life, learned from their experiences, and figured out the way to get things done. 
They are the ones who are never afraid to fail or try new things. Further, they can thrive in the toughest life situations, even when there’s no hope.

Street smarts may not score well in school, but they score well in life. They really have common sense (which is extremely rare nowadays). Their philosophy is to learn through implementation and experiences instead of simply cramming up books. 

Who Are the Book Smarts?

Remember the “nerd” from your class who wore big black spectacles, submitted all the assignments before the deadline and lifted his head only to look at the whiteboard.

Yeah, I am talking about the same student who cracked a mind-blowing package at MNC and shook the whole university!

You can now call him a book smart.

So, Here comes the exact definition.
Book smarts are the people who opt to learn from bookish knowledge rather than practical experiences. They are the ones who spend most of their time reading books, watching lectures, and acing the school exams.

Street Smarts vs. Book Smarts: The Differences You Need To Know 

You’ve now got an idea of who are street smarts and book smarts. 

Let’s take a closer look at both personas!

So, here are the five major differences between book smarts and street smarts:-

1. If someone has been street smart since an early age, the chances are that his life and destiny trained him to become one.
On the other hand, If someone has always been book smart, the chances are that society and their parents convinced them to become one.

2. Street smarts break, create, and manipulate societal rules.
However, Book smarts prefer to be in sync with society. Thus, they choose to follow societal rules.

3. If a difficult situation arises, street smarts prefer to head on the situation and improvise while they learn.
On the other hand, Book smarts might even struggle in easy situations.

4. Street smarts don’t lose confidence even in the tough times. They have complete faith in themselves.
However, Book smarts might lose confidence and faith when the times get tough.

5. Street smarts might be considered underqualified for prestigious job roles because of a lack of higher degrees.
On the other hand, Book smarts might be qualified for most of the prestigious job roles. 

NOTE: These are some general differences. They may vary from person to person.

Street Smart vs. Book Smart Quiz: Which One Are You? 

Do you still have the question – “Are you street smart or book smart?”

No worries!

This street smart vs. book smart quiz will make it clear:-

Street Smart vs. Book Smart quiz

Street Smart vs. Book Smart Quiz

1 / 7

1. Do you enjoy attending classes and lectures?

2 / 7

2. Do you love spending time with people or books?

3 / 7

3. How do you make decisions?

4 / 7

4. Are you able to mold yourself according to the situation?

5 / 7

5. How are your social skills?

6 / 7

6. Does your life knowledge overpower bookish knowledge?

7 / 7

7. Do you require too much time for making decisions?

The Pros and Cons of Being Street Smart vs. Book Smart

5 Advantages of Being Book Smart

5 Advantages of being book smart

1. You won’t struggle academically as well as for job placements.

2. Society (especially your teachers) would love you.

3. You’re constantly learning new things.

4. You become an ocean of knowledge.

5. Your life would be relatively more straightforward and smoother.

5 Disadvantages of Being Book Smart

1. It isn’t easy for most people to vibe with book smarts. Thus, you might struggle to find companionship and feel lonely.

2. Solving daily life problems might become a headache for you because of a lack of practical experience.

3. There would be some days when you might feel overburdened and suffocated.

4. You might lose your true identity after constantly following societal directions and regulations.

5. You might hesitate to try new things (especially those you are unaware of).

5 Advantages of Being Street Smart

5 Advantages of being street smart

1. You’ll figure out the best way to live your life.

2. You’ll find it extremely easy to connect with others.

3. Your conversational skills would become exceptional.

4. People would love being around you.

5. You’ll have a strong personality made up of unique experiences.

5 Disadvantages of Being Street Smart

1. People ask you for a hell lot of favors because they know you can get things done. If you can’t say no, you might get exploited.

2. Your qualifications might become a hurdle in landing your dream job.

3. You would want everything to happen “your way,” because of which, you might become narrow-minded.

4. If you’re too concerned about society, you might struggle to fit in because you won’t work under societal norms.

5. Academics might turn into a nightmare for you.

Street Smart vs. Book Smart: Who Should You Become?

After reaching this far in the post, I am pretty sure you would’ve made up your mind to become street smart.

I’ll give you a better idea!

So, if you ask me to choose one from street smart or book smart, I would undoubtedly go for street smart.

But, the best part is, nobody is actually forcing you to become one in life! You can become a blend of both “street smart” and “book smart.”

I believe it would be the deadliest combination for you.

Just imagine:-
If you choose to be a book smart and a street smart, you’ll become someone who learns through experiences and books. It would help you boost your learning journey, and you’ll be truly doing “smart work” instead of “hard work.” 
Further, you would become an all-rounder with a lot more opportunities than ever.

You’ll be living your life in beast mode achieving everything you want.

How Can Street Smart Acquire Values of Book Smart? (5 Valuable Tips)

How to Be Book Smart

If you count yourself as a street smart who wants to add a pinch of book smart to your personality, these five tips will help you out:-

  • Choose a subject of your interest and start reading one page a day. Further, increase the number of pages with time.
  • Get rid of the mentality that being street smart is enough! Realize you must strive for progress that lies in becoming “book smart + street smart.”
  • Learn to listen to other people’s opinions rather than only being stuck on yours. It isn’t true that you’re always right.
  • Become disciplined.
  • Be “mentally present” in lectures. Maybe, you’ll actually like a few of them.  

How Can Book Smart Acquire Values of Street Smart? (5 Valuable Tips)

If you count yourself as a book smart who wants to add a pinch of street smart to your personality, these five tips will help you out:-

  • Whatever you learn from the books, try to implement it in your life instead of only keeping it in your mind.
  • At least once a day, get your head out of your books and interact with people around you.
  • Want to gather some first-hand experiences? Ask your family about the challenges they’re going through. Further, try to figure out the solutions by yourself.
  • Stop being a coward! Face situations rather than throwing them onto others.
  • Get out of your comfort zone and push your limits.

Who Are Well-Known Street Smarts and Book Smarts?

It’s time to break all stereotypes that only one among “street smarts” and “book smarts” can become successful. Supporting this fact, I’ll share some extremely famous and successful examples of street smart and book smart people.

3 Globally Famous Street Smarts Examples

1. Eminem

The world-famous rapper Eminem struggled massively throughout his childhood. 

Literally, students in his school bullied him, beat him so bad that he went into a coma, and his mother abused him. He was even kicked from the house many times!

Eminem started rapping with his friend at the age of 14, and both of them often missed classes to compete in rap battles. After failing the ninth grade three times, Eminem dropped out of his school.

After dropping out, he had to clean cars and work in restaurants to earn a living.

Finally, after a tremendous struggle and hard work, Eminem became a global rapping sensation.

As you can conclude from Eminem’s story, he had no academic degree. Still, he became the “rap god” because of his experiences, passion, and hard work. Thus, you can consider him an example of street smart. 

If you are curious, you can even check out the full inspiring success story of Eminem.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo

The world-famous footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo, was born into a family that didn’t even have a proper place to live. You’ll be shocked to know that his home didn’t even have an electricity connection!

Ronaldo’s football journey started on the streets of Portugal. At 14 years of age, he decided to drop out of school to pursue a career as a professional footballer.

There was an instance in Ronaldo’s life when he was diagnosed with heart disease. Doctors gave him two options: Either he could choose heart surgery which had life risks, or quit football.

Still, he chose football. The operation went well, and Ronaldo came back onto the football pitch.

Since then, Ronaldo didn’t look back and became a world-class footballer even though he didn’t have any degree.

If you are curious, you can even check out the full inspiring success story of Cristiano Ronaldo.

3. Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani, founder of the multi-billion dollar company “Reliance Industries Pvt. Ltd.” was born in an ordinary village in India.

Since childhood, Dhirubhai had to work so that his family could earn bread and better. He sold eatables on a stall at the age of 15. 

Dhirubhai didn’t receive good grades because he didn’t enjoy rote learning. After matriculation exams, he dropped out of school to support his family.

However, Dhirubhai’s life experiences helped him develop exceptional business acumen. Because of this, he made a billion-dollar company despite having no degree.

If you are curious, you can even check out the full inspiring success story of Dhirubhai Ambani.

3 Globally Famous Book Smarts Examples

1. Stephen Hawking

One of the best examples of book smarts is none other than Stephen Hawking.

One of the world’s most renowned researchers, Stephen William Hawking, was a cosmologist, physicist, and author. Some of his most remarkable contributions include the physics of black holes, general relativity, and quantum gravity.

Stephen completed BA from University College (Oxford) and Ph.D. from Trinity Hall (Cambridge).

2. Tim Cook

Timothy Donaldo Cook, better known as Tim Cook, has been the CEO of Apple since 2011.

He completed BSc from Auburn University and his MBA from Duke University.

Cook joined Apple in 1998 as senior vice president. He kept climbing the ladder to success and gradually became the chief executive officer of Apple. 

3. Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai became the CEO of Alphabet and Google was phenomenal at academics.

He became the CEO of Google in August 2015, where he first joined as a leader in product management and innovation.

Pichai completed his BTech from IIT Kharagpur, MS from Stanford University, and MBA from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

End of the Line

In the end, your success achievement in life depends on who you are. 

If you feel that you’re giving your best, terms like “book smart” and “street smart” don’t even matter.
However, if you feel that you aren’t giving your best and need to improve change for good, becoming a “street smart with book smart” would be the wisest choice.

Remember the fact that becoming street smart, book smart, or both would be totally useless if you don’t take action and travel on the right path.

For instance, any book smart who’s always into books is much better than a street smart who robs people for a living and often visits the jail.
Likewise, an average street smart with just a few life experiences is much better than a book smart who keeps reading comics.

Success will not ask you whether you were a street smart or book smart. So, just go ahead and grab it.

I am waiting for your triumph!



Varun Pahwa

Varun Pahwa

Hi! I am Varun. I created Uprisehigh for you to share your life story & get answers to all your life problems. As your best friend, I'm committed to inspire you, simplify your life, and help you grow. Let's stick together on this beautiful life journey, mate!


One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *