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SQ3R Reading method

SQ3R is a reading framework to help you read more efficiently. If you get bored with reading, could not understand any points after reading for a few hours. This methodology would be worth to try.

SQ3R is standing for Survey, Questions, Read, Recite and Review. The main purpose of its practice is to let you emphasize the right point of any issues you are going to study. Many students always focus on useless paragraphs and/or get confuse in the current paragraph without realizing that the answer is just sitting in the next section.

S - Survey

If you racing in a rally competition without survey the road you are going to drive, you will move very slowly, get mad at every parting, and end up with wrong direction.

Reading is applied to the same conception. You are required to know what you are going to read. When you get main issue to study, you may not able to demonstrate the sub-issues that you should know. You may spend almost of your energy to the first chapter but you may too tire to read the rest. Quickly survey through each sections of your document, will help you identify the priority of any points and let you know what is need to emphasize. Here is what you should weight on when you do a quick survey through your document.

  • Title and heading – title and heading always carry the main concept in short. The entire paragraph that you are going to read will point to title and heading.
  • Illustration and graph – picture speak thousand words. One picture may shorten your study curve of the whole page.
  • Introduction and conclusion – Introduction section will tell you what you are going to learn and conclusion will tell you what you have learn.
  • Noticable text – any italic, underline or bold text always carry some important meaning that the author try to emphasize.

Q – Questions

After survey the whole chapter, you would get a brief idea of what will go on along your study. Now, it is a time to setup your milestone. Try to write down any questions you can think about on the paper. If you ever did an open book exam, you may notice that when you read the question and then try to get the answer by scanning through document, you will be able to get the whole ideas of the exam within a limited time. The best way to identify the questions is to use WH questions like “what”, “where”, “when”, “why”, and “how”. Here are the parts that you should put your questions on.

  • Title and Heading – again, title and heading always hold the most important meaning
  • Introduction and summary – you have to understand introduction and summary, then ask yourself why it work like that? how it work that way? etc
  • practice questions – if your document contains the practice questions, why not use them as one of your milestone

R1 – Read

The game is starting now. You have to go through the milestone you have created. Try to answer all the questions as much as possible. Keep in mind that, each question wills indicates how close between you and your goal. At this stage, do not enjoy the view along the way. Try to reach each question as soon as possible, ignore any unrelated and confused issues while you are reading. We will come back to do that later.

R2 – Recite

Now you should get the background and most concept of your study. However, there may have some issue that you think it is also important. Recite your questions and answers. Identify the addition questions and answers that you might overlook in the previous process. Reorganize the concept you already got, again, into the logical way. You may draw your own picture, create your own words or use concept diagrams like mind map or directory tree to express the ideas. After this stage, you should familiar with all issues and almost ready finish your study.

R3 – Review

Unbelievably, you will likely to forget any topic you have studied by the next couple of days and completely wash out in a few months or year. However, as we already create the concept diagram in the recite process, we can use it as a revision references. Review your study frequently at the very beginning and then, you can do it once a month or once a week. In the first week, you may revise your diagram everyday by just have a quick look. In the next couple of week, you may revise it only once a week. After that, you may revise it only once a month to make sure that you still remember understand everything. Please note that you are not required to take much time for the revision. This probably take only 5 – 10 minutes for each revision.