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SQ3R Reading Method

The SQ3R method has been developed to enable you to study a chapter from any textbook in an organized fashion.  The SQ3R method is a combination of reading and studying.  Once learned, it takes less time than working through the two processes separately.  It does call for effort, but it aids concentration and improves recall.  The SQ3R technique has five parts.

1. S - Survey

Get an overview of the chapter by:

a. Reading the chapter title

b. Reading the introduction

c. Reading the boldfaced headings

d. Looking at the pictures, diagrams, tables, etc.

e. Reading the summary

2. Q - Questions

For each section, change boldface heading into questions.  List them, leaving about three inches of space between them.  Two good types of questions are "Define..." and "Compare...".  Try to predict questions your instructor may ask.


a. Subheadings

b. Headings of pictures, diagrams, and tables

c. Phrases in italics

3. R1 - Read

Read to the end of the section, looking for answers to your questions.  Write the answers in your own words, using short phrases.

4. R2 - Recite

Ask yourself each question while covering the answer with a piece of paper.  Then check your answer.  If it was incorrect or incomplete, mark the question for extra study.  Now repeat Steps 2, 3, and 4 with the next section of your textbook.

5. R3 - Review

Go over the material within 24 hours, frequently after that, and just before your examination.  Pay special attention to questions you had trouble with on the first reading.  You can adapt the method to suit the type of textbook you are using, the course demands, and your own style.  Try varying the number of questions and the size of the section you read at one time.  Try writing your questions above the headings and the answers in the margins of your book.  If the material is easy, predict answers to your questions, then read to check your answers.