Assessments are an integral part of the teaching learning process. They help the students, teachers and parents to assess the understanding of concepts taught in a particular level and give the confidence to go to the next level. They help students to focus on academics and teach the most valuable skill of their lifetime – Time Management. Students must prepare well for their assessments because even though there will innumerable tests throughout their student life, this particular one will not come again. They can write it only once in one attempt!
The SQ3R Reading Method is a way to read academic material such as textbooks that can increase your comprehension of what you are reading and improve your ability to recall it. The method was introduced by Francis P. Robinson, an American education philosopher in his book Effective Study. With the SQ3R method, your active involvement in the reading process is required – in fact, it is demanded! The SQ3R method can make studying less difficult and perhaps, even a little more interesting.
Steps in the SQ3R Method
The title for this new higher-level study skill is abbreviated to make it easier to remember and to make reference to it simpler. The acronym SQ3R stands for the steps that the student follows in using the method: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review.
Skim the following: the title of the chapter, the introduction, the table of contents and any illustrations, charts or graphs and the summary paragraph. Note any unknown vocabulary and find a definition. Most importantly, skim the section headings and the first sentences of each paragraph to find the main points that will be developed. This orientation should not take more than a few minutes (make a conscious effort to look only at the headings, etc.) but will help you to organize the ideas as you read them later.
Turn the first heading, or the first sentence of the first paragraph, into a question. This will arouse your curiosity and so increase your active involvement and comprehension, and the question will make important points stand out while explanatory detail is recognized as such.
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. Underline only key words, never whole paragraphs. Use a dictionary if necessary to look up unfamiliar vocabulary. The reader should definitely have in mind what he wants to learn.
Having read the first section, look away from the book and try briefly to recite in your own words the answer to your question (aloud, if possible). If you can do this you know what is in the section; if you can’t, skim the section again and repeat the exercise of reciting. An excellent way to do this reciting from memory is to jot down cue phrases in outline form on a sheet of paper. Make these notes very brief! Now repeat steps 2, 3, and 4 on each subsequent headed section. That is, turn the next heading into a question, read to answer that question, recite the answer and check your accuracy. Read in this way until the entire chapter is completed, taking very brief breaks between sections as needed.
When the chapter or selection has thus been completely read, look over your notes to get a bird’s-eye view of the points and their relationship to one another. Check your memory by reciting the major points under each heading and the sub points under each major point. You can do this by covering up the notes and trying to recall the information. Review daily during the period of time before your exam.
These five steps of the SQ3R Method, if applied and practiced, should result in an increase in reading comprehension, an improved ability to identify important points and better retention of the content. You should also discover one other worthwhile outcome which will make you happy, the test questions will seem familiar, because the headings you turned into questions are usually the points your teachers will emphasize in the exam!