What is the sq3r study method?

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"SQ3R is a five-step reading strategy similar to PQRST and KWL table. The name is an abbreviation of the five steps of the strategy: Survey (or Skim), Question, Read, Recite (or Recall) and Review.

  1. Survey (2 minute): Before beginning reading look through the whole chapter. See what the headings are-the major ones and the subheadings; hierarchical structures seem to be particularly easy for our brains to latch onto-check for introductory and summary paragraphs, references, etc. Resist reading at this point, but see if you can identify 3 to 6 major ideas in the chapter.
  2. Question (usually less than 30 seconds): Ask yourself what this chapter is about: What is the question that this chapter is trying to answer? Or-along the curiosity lines-What question do I have that this chapter might help answer? Repeat this process with each subsection of the chapter, as well, turning each heading into a question. (As a variation of this technique, you can write the important question down; this is called SQW3R)
  3. Read (at your own pace): Read one section at a time looking for the answer to the question proposed by the heading. This is active reading and requires concentration so find yourself a place and time where you can concentrate.
  4. Recite/write (about a minute): Say to yourself out loud or write down a key phrase that sums up the major point of the section and answers the question. It is important to use your own words, not just copy a phrase from the book. Research shows that we remember our own (active) connections better than ones given to us (passive), indeed that our own hierarchies are generally better than the best prefab hierarchies.
  5. Review (less than 5 minutes): After repeating steps 2-4 for each section you have a list of key phrases that provides a sort of outline for the chapter. Test yourself by covering up the key phrases and seeing if you can recall them. Do this right after you finish reading the chapter. If you can't recall one of your major points, that's a section you need to reread.

The Review part is usually meant to be an ongoing process. Flash cards, notes or other material made during one of the above 5 steps, can be used to review for a few minutes every day for several days.

The SQ3R method is a comprehension method originally created as a study skill strategy for college students. However, with direct teaching and practice, the SQ3R method works with students starting in the early elementary levels as well. Early elementary teachers can introduce the SQ3R method to students by teaching students to survey the material they are going to read, make predictions based on the survey, and read to answer questions they have created prior to reading. The students demonstrate the recitation process when they respond and react to the predictions and questions posed. Once the students enter the upper elementary grades, approximately 4th grade, and have begun to read longer and more complex texts, all of the steps for the SQ3R method can be introduced and practiced. Consistently using the SQ3R method will become an effective study strategy for students.

In order to fully develop an understanding of the SQ3R method, students need to have an understanding of text structures and be able to generate main ideas. When teaching the SQ3R method teachers need to take time to carefully introduce, teach, model, and provide practice of each step. After an ample amount of time teaching and practicing the steps of the SQ3R method, students should practice applying the SQ3R skills to various types and lengths of texts. "