SQ3R Method

SQ3R: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review


Survey: Glance through all the headings in the chapter, and read the beginning and final summary paragraphs. Do not spend more than a few minutes on this process. You should be able to find three to six main ideas that the chapter is discussing.

Question: Begin to work. Turn the first heading into a question. For example, 'Quadratic Formula,' you might ask what is the quadratic formula, how is it used or how is it derived. If your heading reads 'Mason Dixon Line,' you might ask what is it, why was it a compromise, or what were the results of this. Asking questions will arouse your curiosity and thus increase your comprehension. Questions will also make important points stand out.

R1 Read: Read to answer the question, but read only to the end of each section. Search for the answer as you read. This is not passive, but active reading.

R2 Recite: Having read the first section, look away from the book and try to briefly answer your question. Use your own words, and cite an example. If you can do this, you know what is in the text. If you cannot, glance over the section again. An excellent way to do this reciting from memory is to write down short cue phrases. This process involves more senses that will help you remember the material better. Repeat this process with each section until the entire assignment is finished.

R3 Review: When you have finished reading the entire assignment in this way, go over your notes to get a quick look at the points and their relationship to each other. Check your memory by reciting the major sub points under each heading. Try covering up your notes and reciting them, then expose the main points and try to list the sub points.

Adapted from How to Study in College by Walter Pauk