The SQ3R Reading Method: Effective Reading Comprehension

SQ3R Reading Method

SQ3R reading method is a reading comprehension method having its name after its five steps: survey, question, read, recite, and review. It also sometimes called SQR3 reading method.

Note to Remember: The information you gain from reading is important. If you just “do it,” without learning anything, you’re wasting your precious time. Train your mind to learn while reading with the help of SQ3R.

a girl with a book in her lap for SQ3R Reading Method

SQ3R reading method is 5-step method that students use to learn more effectively, and to increase their preservation of written information. It helps them to focus on what they require from a document, and to form a clear mental picture for the information in their mind.

Follow the below given steps to learn how to gather as much information as possible from the text:


Like a map helps you plan a trip across the country by road, the survey step of SQ3R reading method allows you to plan your studies specifically your reading task. Prior to reading your text or class assignment, take a short time of 5 minutes to survey the text. This act of surveying means to simply skim over the assignment pages and to focus your attention to its special and unique aspects and features.


While surveying the text assignment, and later when you are reading, test yourself by asking questions from yourself about the data and information presented in the there. Then make your best efforts to come up with answers to your questions. This question stage of SQ3R reading method can become even more effective and result-oriented if you take some time to jot down the questions and look for the answer while reading through the text.


Read your text actively. Active reading means you actively participate in learning the material rather than just day-dreaming which means reading without understanding. Active reading occurs when you interact with the material and information contained in the text. After you survey the text, and convert the topic headings into some preliminary or initial questions about the text, now it is time to begin your reading.

Alphabets showing sq3r reading strategy

While reading, remember to:

◘ Look for the answers to your asked questions in the beginning

◘ Make sure you read the learning objectives in the margins of the pages if they are given, so you can put your focus on what is supposed to be learnt in the given section

◘ Carry on with questioning and answering those questions as if you were talking with the authors of the text


To recite means to recollect and repeat information from your memory. It is sort of rehearsal, something like rehearsing lines form a play or character role.  But for your purpose, it is advised to put the information and data into your own words. It is suggested that you recite and repeat the information at the end of every main topic.


The review step of SQ3R reading method helps you to double-check your comprehension and accuracy of your memorized information and data you just studied. Using this step, make sure to pull together the key terms, ideas, concepts, and sub topics within a chapter so you have an organized and complete comprehension of the chapter.

The bottom line is that SQ3R is a comprehension strategy that helps students think about the text they are reading while they’re reading. Often categorized as a study strategySQ3R reading method helps students “get it” the first time they read a text by teaching students how to read and think like an effective reader.

If you have any suggestion regarding the topic, please feel free to leave your questions or suggestions in the comment section below. Thank You!

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