Studying a Textbook
(SQ3R - Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)
The SQ3R method of studying is a systematic method devised for studying a textbook. By following these five steps, you should notice a difference in retention of information which will lead to better test results:
Step 1 Survey
Glance over the headings in the chapter to see the few big points that will be developed. Also read the final summary paragraph if the chapter has one. This survey should not take more than a minute and will show the three to six core ideas around which the discussion will cluster. This orientation will help you organize the ideas as you read them later.
Step 2 Question
Now begin to work. Turn the first heading into a question. This will arouse your curiosity and thereby increase comprehension. It will bring to mind information already known, thus helping you understand that section more quickly. The question also will make important points stand out at the same time that explanatory detail is recognized as such. Turning a heading into a question can be done at the instant of reading the heading, but it demands a conscious effort on your part.
Step 3 Read
Read to answer that question, i.e., to the end of the first headed section. This is not a passive plodding along each line, but an active search for the answer. You may find that you need to change the question so that it better covers the material you need.
Step 4 Recite
Having read the first section, look away from the book and try briefly to recite the answer to your question. Use your own words and cite an example. If you can do this you know what is in the book; if you cannot, glance over the section again. An excellent way to do this reciting from memory is to jot down brief phrases in outline form on a sheet of paper.
Now repeat QUESTION, READ, RECITE with each successive headed section; that is, turn the next heading into a question, read to answer that question and recite the answer by jotting down brief phrases in your outline. Read in this way until the entire lesson is completed.
Step 5 Review
When the lesson has been read through in this way, look over your notes to get a bird’s eye view of the points and their relationship and check your memory of the content by reciting the major sub-points under each heading. This checking of memory can be done by covering up notes and trying to recall the main points, trying to answer your question for each section. Then expose each major point and try to recall the sub-points listed under it.