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SQR3: A Reading and Study Method

A very popular five-step study system to help students become successful learners, abbreviated SQR3, reminds learners to survey, question, read, recite and review when they are reading from textbooks. Each of these steps is described below.
Just as a road map helps you plan a trip across the country by car, the survey step of SQR3 allows you to plan your study sessions. Before you begin to read an assignment, take five minutes or so to survey the assignment. Surveying simply means to skim over the pages of the assignment and to pay attention to special features.

Step 1: Survey

Step 2: Question

While surveying your assignment and later when you are reading, ask yourself questions about the information being presented and then try to answer those questions. The question stage of SQR3 will be even more effective if you take the time to write down your questions and, later as you are reading, their answers.

Step 3: Read

Active reading - which means that you actively participate in learning the material instead of daydreaming or reading without understanding - takes place when you interact with the information on the page. After you have surveyed the assignment and have converted topic headings into some initial questions about the text material, begin reading. As you read: • Find answers for your initial questions. • Read the margin learning objectives each time you come across one so you can focus on what to learn in the section you are reading. • Continue asking and answering your own questions as if you were talking with the authors concerning the information you are covering.

To recite means to repeat something from memory. It is a form of rehearsal, something like rehearsing lines for a play. But for our purpose, we want you to put things into your own words. It is recommended that you recite at the end of each main topic.

Step 4: Recite

The review step of SQR3 encourages you to double-check your understanding and the accuracy of your memory about the material you have studied. With this step, try to pull together key terms, concepts and subtopics within a chapter so you have a complete organized understanding about the chapter.

Step 5: Review