The SQ3R method of reading comprehension is named after its five steps. The five steps of the SQ3R study technique are survey, question, read, recite, and review. Follow the steps below to learn how to glean as much information as possible from any class’s text requirements.
Remember that the knowledge you gain from reading is valuable. You’re wasting a lot of time if you just “do it” without learning anything. With SQ3R, you can train your mind to learn while reading.
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S FOR SURVEY
Gather the information needed to focus and set goals.
Read the title – This will help your mind prepare for the subject at hand.
Take a look at the introduction and/or summary – Orient yourself to how each chapter fits the author’s goals, and pay attention to the author’s summary of the most important points. Take note of every boldface heading and subheading – Before you begin reading, organize your thoughts and create a structure for the thoughts and details that will follow. Take note of any graphics – Charts, maps, diagrams, and so on are used to make a point. Don’t pass them up.
Reading aids include italics, bold face print, chapter objectives, and end-of-chapter questions to help you sort, comprehend, and remember.
Q FOR QUESTION
Assist your mind in engaging and concentrating.
Make as many questions out of the boldface headings for each section as you believe will be answered in that section. The better the questions, the better your understanding will be. You can always add more questions as you go. When your mind actively seeks answers to questions, it is engaged in learning.
R FOR READ
Fill in the blanks around the mental structures you’ve been constructing.
Read one section at a time while keeping your questions in mind and looking for answers. Recognize when it is necessary to create new questions.
R FOR RECITE
Retrain your mind to focus and learn while reading.
Stop after each section and go over your questions again, seeing if you can answer them from memory. If not, go over the text again (as many times as necessary), but don’t move on to the next section until you can recite the previous one’s answers.
R FOR REVIEW
Improve your mental organization and start building your memory.
After you’ve completed the entire chapter using the preceding steps, go over the questions you created for each heading again. Check to see if you can still respond to them. If not, go back and refresh your memory before proceeding.