SQ3R

Studying More Effectively

Learn how to understand and retain written information better.

Nowadays, it's easy to access new reading material. You can read on a smartphone, tablet, or e-book reader, and you can order traditional media such as books and magazines for next-day (or same-day) delivery.

However, it's not so easy to remember everything that you've read. SQ3R helps you do this. It helps you think about what you want to get from a document, study it in an appropriate level of detail, and remember information well. As such, it makes your reading both more efficient and more effective.

In this article, we'll look at how to use the tool, and we'll see how you can make it a routine part of the way you learn.

Overview

Francis Pleasant Robinson developed SQ3R*, and published it in his 1946 book, "Effective Study." He created the technique for college students, but, even now, it's suitable for learning in almost every situation, including at work.

SQ3R is an acronym that stands for five steps that you should use when reading something that you want to remember. These five steps are:

  1. Survey.
  2. Question.
  3. Read.
  4. Recall.
  5. Review.

By following these steps, you ensure that you spend your time reading the most appropriate document, you study the right parts of that document in the right level of detail, you integrate new knowledge with existing knowledge, and you fix information in your mind, so that you can remember it in the long term.

Applying the Tool

To use SQ3R, follow the five steps below.

Step 1: Survey

Start by...

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