How Street Smart Are You?

We’ve all heard the stories, the kid who couldn’t quite cut it in school but still found a way to beat the odds and become a success. Started from the bottom…well, you know the rest. Being “book smart” and excelling in the classroom is important, but it doesn’t paint the whole picture. Many successful people like Jay-Z, Mark Zuckerberg and even Katy Perry have reached their goals by making the most of the skills they have learned outside of the classroom, or what we commonly refer to as “street smarts”.

When we think of being “street smart” the assumption is that this pertains to someone who has learned how to adapt and survive in a tough neighborhood or has taken the code of the streets and applied it to the business world. Street smarts is actually a measure of one’s resilience, adaptability, resourcefulness, critical thinking and problem solving skills. All of which are key skills for the 21st century.

There are no rules that say you can only be book smart or street smart and not both. Street smarts also has nothing to do with the crime rate in your city and your ability to avoid danger. It is a measure of your ability to problem solve when presented with an unforeseen obstacle. Many jobs of the future will no longer come with instructions or training, computers will take care of most of the routine work. Jobs of the future will be based on one’s ability to react in the moment, think critically and solve problems that computers can’t. Street smarts have less to do with how well you know the streets, and more to do with adapting to change, overcoming obstacles and solving problems with limited resources.

Take the quiz below to test your street smarts and see if you’re ready to take on the world!


Some media may contain mature content. Discretion is advised when viewing with students.

Lesson Plan

Use this quiz and lesson to help students learn how to approach problems and analyze situations in ways that lead to practical solutions. Students will collaborate and discuss strategies to work towards effective solutions to real world problems. This quiz can also be used as a baseline activity for a project based lesson on problem solving.

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Lesson tags: 21st century skills, Assessments, Eleventh, Entrepreneurship, Featured, Life Skills, Ninth, Pop Culture, Quiz, Street smarts, Tenth, Twelfth

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The NuSkool Team The NuSkool editing team is made up of highly qualified educators, researchers and pop culture experts. The team works collaboratively to critically deconstruct pop culture and find the teachable moments in all forms of media and entertainment.