Fool Proof Method of Study – SQ3R

The SQ3R is a very useful study method for all students. SQ3R is a fool-proof method to study, and it is an abbreviation for the words: Survey, Question, Reading Reciting and Reviewing.

College and high school can be very challenging for a student, especially if they are bombarded with lots of new information or if their reading materials become overloaded. The SQ3R study method enables students to memorize information found in notes and textbooks, and most importantly, it provides a strong foundation for learning. This method has been used for several years to help students or anyone in general looking to retain huge amounts of information. This article provides a comprehensive review of the steps involved in this study system:

SQ3R Study Method – Steps


The first step in this study method is survey. Surveying entails becoming familiar with your textbook. You ought to read the title or topic first and try to think what it means. For instance, if the topic of your notes is “binominal nomenclature,” ask yourself what you know about this topic and whether you are familiar with the concept. Read the introduction of your text and its subheadings to give yourself an idea of what the topic is all about.

If your text contains visuals and captions, carefully read and study them. The last step in surveying is reading the conclusion, which is found at the end of your notes or chapter of your book. Concentrate with each chapter at a time. For students, do not spend a lot of time reading chapters which were not assigned or are not part of the syllabus. Your lecturer/instructor will point out the necessary components of a book and other relevant texts and notes that you will be required to study.


The next step of this study method is Question. When working on your assignments, change your topics into questions. This may be as simple as adding why, where, when, what, how and who to your titles. Alternatively, you may also change all your subheadings into questions. Once this is done, write these questions down and use them as study examples. In addition, while in a meeting or classroom, it is always good to write down any questions that the teacher/speaker brings up.

3Rs – Reading, Reciting and Reviewing

Reading is the first step of the 3Rs. Reading is a very important step in the process of acquiring knowledge. More often than not, it is not possible to find answers for all questions just by using student’s textbooks or by notes provided by the lecturer. Thus, it is imperative for the student to conduct additional research in other textbooks, for them to find the best possible answers to questions. While conducting your extra research, remember to focus on the information at hand. Do not delve too much into unrelated topics.

As you read, it is also important to formulate questions in your note taking process. Additionally, scan your text and look out for key side bars and highlighted terms. Most school text books either italicize or bold important terms and concepts. More so, look out for the summary at the end of each chapter of the text-book. These will give you a quick review of the material before going into details.

The second step is reciting. Reciting and reading out loud may sound silly, but it has proven to be a very effective learning tool for ages. The main advantage of this technique is that it can be practiced at home, in the car, or with a group of friends. Another technique of reciting is by using an audio recording device and playing it back as many times as possible; as you cook, before going to bed and when driving to school or work. When working in a group of four people, for instance, repeat this technique of reciting four times for every question and answer that you and your group wants to memorize. Reciting is closely related two other well-known learning steps – rehearsing and repetition.

The last step is reviewing. Of the three steps, the reviewing process is the most important. This is because reviewing is the only way you will verify that the material was learned and well memorized. The reviewing process should go on until the information you learned is needed for application or testing.

The skill of remembering

The skill or remembering goes well with the SQ3R anagram. If a person does not have this skill, it would be difficult for them to learn any new thing. To learn it faster, only select the pieces of information you wish to memorize and leave out any unnecessary information.

Another effective way of remembering new information is by visualization. This technique involves the creation of one or more mental illustrations or images to recall any piece of information. The mental images and illustrations serve the purpose of holding and collecting the facts you would like to remember. This technique is applicable in most subject areas, but is particularly productive when working with clusters of information; for instance, the parts of the digestive system in the human body, the physical features of a given landscape or the parts of a machine. In such cases, student will find this technique very useful.

The Application Process

Application helps in making the information you memorized stick. Students make use of this skill frequently when working out mathematic problems. By applying a math formula they learned, the information is cemented into their brains for good. The application process may also involve activities such as making book outlines and drawing of diagrams.


For you to succeed, either at school or at the workplace, you will have to use all the skills, strategies or tools that are available to you. The SQ3R is a combination of skills, strategies and tools that are available to everyone, and they all can be implemented quite easily. Learning can be challenging task, but with the right amount of diligence, dedication and effort, everyone can be successful at the home, office or any other social setting.