Academic Resource Center

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Survey - Question - Read - Reflect - Review (SQ3R)

SQ3R is a study system that promotes active reading, which in turn improves concentration and comprehension.

Survey
Provides an overview of the chapter to be read. Start by reading the title and asking yourself what you already know about the subject. Read the introduction or objectives to determine what will be covered in the chapter. Look carefully at all charts, diagrams, and pictures. Read the summary, if there is one, for a reiteration of the main ideas presented in the chapter.

Question
Develop questions from the title, major headings, and subheadings. Read to find the answers. Topic sentences can also be turned into questions. As you begin to read, try to predict the types of questions your instructor will be likely to ask.

Read
Read carefully, looking to find the answers to your questions. Pay attention to words printed in boldface or italics. After reading a section, go back to highlight or annotate important points.

Reflect
When you have finished reading a section or subheading, pause to reflect on what you have read. This step is key to retaining information. Re-read your margin notes or highlights, and repeat the main ideas. Do you understand what you’ve read? Have you answered your questions, or come up with any new ones?

Review
When you have finished reading the whole chapter, take a few minutes to look again at your highlights, annotations, the graphic aids, and the summary. This should be done periodically to aid retention and recall.