Ultimate Guide on SQ3R Method to Improve Students’ Reading Comprehension

Last updated on January 18, 2023 by

Studies have shown that learners who used the SQ3R method performed reading tasks better than those who did not. Moreover, they are able to better comprehend what they are reading using this strategy. It also encourages focus and concentration in your reading. On top of that, using SQRR can increase your chance to get higher grades. So, if you are one of those who want to improve their reading comprehension, then this method is for you. Keep browsing this article to get started.

What is SQ3R Method?

SQ3R, which stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review, is Francis Robinson’s 5-steps reading comprehension technique. In his 1946 book Effective Study, he describes how it can improve academic reading. Also, this technique is said to be efficient in increasing the understanding of the readers of the book’s content. 

sq3r study method
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Furthermore, the SQ3R study method develops active reading. This makes readers focus on what they are reading throughout the process. With that, you need to understand that utilizing this strategy needs concentration and time management. Students, for example, need to invest time and effort to improve their comprehension and academic skills. Doing so can help them achieve higher grades.

How to Use SQ3R Reading Strategy?

Now that you have a brief background of SQRRR, let’s move forward with the process. Let’s discuss what happens to every step and how each can be beneficial to your reading comprehension.

  3. READ


The first step of the sq3r reading strategy is Survey. Here, you can pay attention to the basic details of the material including the title, headings, bolded texts, and summary. You can also examine illustrations and graphs if there are any. Moreover, this process should only take 5 to 10 minutes. After that, you can have some initial knowledge that you need to understand the other contents of the material. 


sq3r method question guide
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You need to remember that your reading should be guided by questions. Before continuing in reading the paragraphs, you may list the questions that are related to the topic or title. For instance, you can start asking “What’s the main theme of the material?” or “How the content can be beneficial?”. During this stage, you can take note of your questions or label some sections that needed answers. This second step of the sq3r study method can give you a purpose for reading as well as finding answers to your queries. Additionally, it can also increase your concentration and stimulate your interest in the topic.


Now that you are actively engaged in reading the material, you can start looking for the answers to your queries. Even if you don’t discover all the answers, it’s important that you read for a purpose and you understand what you read. You just continue to look for a specific piece of knowledge and get the details that you need. Implementing the third step of the sq3r method can result in maintaining their attention throughout the reading process. 

You can use some of these techniques and advice to find answers to the questions that you have formulated earlier. 

  1. As you read, take down notes about the main key points and ideas.
  2. Write in your own words and don’t copy the same text from the book.
  3. Most of the time, the main idea is typically stated in the opening sentence of each paragraph. 
  4. To make it easier for you to understand the author’s point, look for transitional terms like next, for instance, in contrast, and additionally. 
  5. Just draw attention to the most important details. Bookmarking all the essential details can prevent you from too many annotations and highlights. 


sq3r method question recite
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Recite, also known as Retrieve or Recall, is the fourth stage of the sq3r study method. It is where you answer the questions you came up with or those at the end of each chapter. So spend some time reciting or remembering what you can before proceeding to this step. You can also describe important passages or identify key points in the text in your own words. By means of this, you can test yourself if you can recall key ideas from the material that you read. This stage can be done either orally or in writing, so choose which one is more efficient for you. 


For best comprehension and memorization, it is vital to revisit everything you learned the day after you first learned it. If you don’t study the material the next day, you risk losing much percentage of what you’ve learned. After finishing the task, you can reflect on the text’s main ideas using the last stage of the sq3r reading strategy. However, do not only do this towards the end of your reading. It’s unlikely that you would recall the details of what you read very well if you never looked at the book again. The following day, you can try to summarize the text’s main ideas. The next day, revisit your reading by thinking back on the key ideas from each passage.  Doing it can help you retain important information in your long-term memory. It is not necessary to memorize entire phrases word for word; rather, you should study the key ideas so that you can express them clearly.


As mentioned above, the SQ3R method is an efficient technique to help you understand difficult reading materials. Each part of the process is helpful by itself and will surely increase your reading comprehension. We hope that this strategy works for you. And for more interesting and informative blogs, don’t forget to follow GitMind.

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on January 18, 2023

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