Tuesday, January 16, 2007

SQ3R: An Effective strategy for reading textbooks

SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recall, and Review. This is a 4 step strategy is useful for processing large amount of information.

Lets discuss the technique in detail:

S - Survey: Before starting to read something, survey it. To survey a chapter, read the title, introduction, headings, and the summary or conclusion. Also, examine all visuals such as pictures, tables, maps, and graphs. Look for bold face prints, italics, end-of-chapter questions etc.

Q - Question: You need to have questions in your mind as you read. The questions will give you a purpose for reading and will help you in staying focussed. Turn the headings and sub-headings into as many questions as you can think of and write them down. This will stimulate your thinking. Also when you search for the answers to these questions, you are actively learning the subject rather than simply reading it.

R - Read: Read the information that follows each heading to find the answer to each question you formed. You may have to make up a lot of new questions as well and search for their answers too. This is active learning which is better than passive reading.

R - Recall: At the end of each section or sub-section, stop reading and recall your questions then try to answer them without looking at the textbook. See how many questions you can answer from memory. If you can't answer any question then look back into the section (as often as necessary). Dont proceed to the next section until you can answer all questions about this section from memory.

R - Review: After you have finished the entire chapter using the above given suggestions, go back over all the questions from all sections. Check out whether you can still answer them, if not look it up and refresh your memory.

This is the SQ3R strategy for studying any course material. You can add another two steps to this strategy and make it SQ3RWT strategy. The additional two steps are optional and they are as follows:

W - Write : After you finish a topic using SQ3R strategy, write down all questions you had developed while studying and their answers in your notebook. This way you will have notes on this particular topic for future reference. These notes can also provide you with good points for class discussions.

T - Teach : The final step is teaching what you have just learnt to somebody. By teaching it, you are re-inforcing in your mind what you have just studied and it will help you in remembering the information better. I had discussed this teach technique in detail in my previous post which you can read here :
Teach technique - Learn any subject better

Some Useful Resources for you:


2.Memory training for students

1 comment:

Mark Pennington said...

An update on SQ3R (with a better research base) is the easy-to-use PQRAR read-study method. Find this at PQRAR. The W and T are nice additions.