This phrase bugs me when people talk about someone who is ‘smarter’ than they are, now I can see where they come from, if somebody gets an A in a test where you only achieve a C, then you may assume they are smarter than you. In some ways I suppose you are correct, the have more knowledge (or better Exam Technique!) than you, but it’s only been proved in that subject. The person achieved the A in Biology, may not get an A in History however, in fact he(or she!) may achieve a C, and the person who previously got a C then gets an A in that subject. Munch Role Reversal, Wow (I’m sorry I couldn’t resist). Now I also respect that there are those who just don’t ‘do’ tests whether that be due to poor exam technique or because they may not enjoy School. Many would, including themselves, see them as less clever than the people than people who were consistently achieving As and above, when they were struggling to get Ds and Cs.
I see the point and is at this point that I ramble about what being clever is, here are some definitions from Google:
Clever – quick to understand, learn, and devise or apply ideas; intelligent.
Smart – having or showing a quick-witted intelligence.
Intelligence – the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills.
To make this more simple imagine that the person who get’s constant A*s is called Anna and the person who doesn’t achieve so highly in school is called Josh. Anna is most likely interested in what she does, she enjoys learning about Tudors and th formation of the Universe and other school subjects.
Josh however is not interested in the things he is taught in school, he really doesn’t understand why are learning about people who have been dead for hundreds of years, why does it even matter that H2O has such different properties to H2O2? Josh however is interested in cars and gaming, he knows every single trick in the book on how to make sure zombies get destroyed on Call of Duty: Black Ops. He can also tell you how engines work, which is actually pretty advanced.
So from the outset you may think that Anna is more clever than Josh because she pasts test with flying colours and Josh may mess around in class and not care about school, but in reality they both demonstrate equal amounts of knowledge and intelligence (There is actually a degree of strategy in most Video Games) but in completely different areas.
So the next time you or someone you know doesn’t achieve well in school, don’t think them as ‘less clever’ just because they got a D on ‘Why hills look like Camels’. They could probably ‘outsmart’ the person who got top of the class in another field, for example an experienced sailor could probably beat a high majority of people .
TL;DR: There’s a reason why cleverer isn’t a word.