SQ3R reading technique description



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SQ3R reading technique description
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*Read, recite, review

This may take 5 to 10 minutes.

Go through and survey the headings & sub-headings, and write them out:

Are the headings bold, larger? Italicised? This guides you in recognising the major headings, the minor headings, and the minor, minor heading.

You can also use flashcards, and you can put the bold heading on each card. This gets your brain prepared for when you do the reading.


Get another piece of paper, then create questions around each of these headings.

Go to your heading, and write down a question. For example, ask yourself   Why? Where? What? Who? Etc. Then write down your question.

NOTE: the main focus of study skills is to pass the information into your brain in as many ways as possible. This gives you the chance to “hear” the info in many different ways.

Just by doing the above steps in the SQ3R technique, you have put the information into your brain in a hierarchical way, 6 times.

This is a great feedback loop for you, as it helps you to see if you are understanding the material.


Even if you did the SQ, and then went to the lecture, it would be so much better than no preparation. NB: this technique shows you why you should read the topic documents before the lecture, as it helps you understand the information much more. That’s why we do the flipped classroom!!


Talking it through with someone else can be so helpful. You can take your questions and talk with your partner, and having to answer the questions shows you how much you understand, and where the gaps are. Explaining things puts it into your brain more, and helps you to keep it in your brain. When you find you can’t explain something, it shows you that you need to go back and revise that part of the work.


Keep reviewing it. Continually reviewing it will place the information into the brain in  many different ways. This is necessary, as our brain has very small recall ability and it is therefore easy to forget something. If you continue to review it, the information will remain active. Even with boring stuff, this is a very active technique!


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