SQ5R Study Technique
Much of the material in this chapter can be applied immediately as you study in school. A particularly good technique for organizing some of these principles of learning and memory is the SQ5R study technique, based on the SQ3R study technique originally developed by Francis Robinson (1970). As you learn to use this technique, you should find you are able to identify the parts of this chapter that apply to the various steps of the study formula. Here we describe the SQ5R study technique, which differs from the original SQ3R technique in the addition of two steps, record and reflect, that were suggested by Pauk (1997). SQ5R study technique stands for survey, question, read, record, recite, review, and reflect. The first step in studying is to survey. If you are reading a chapter of a textbook, you should quickly glance through the entire chapter, noting the headings, style, length, and general format. This step focuses your attention on the material and helps prepare you for effective studying. Question simply means to look at the chapter and ask yourself questions about it. What does a heading mean? What are the important points in the chapter? What does a word mean? You make up questions about the chapter by quickly looking through it. The questions are designed primarily to motivate you to study the material carefully. In this book, you could turn the chapter objectives into questions. Again, the question step prepares you for effectively studying the material. A critical step is to read. It's important that you actively read the material paragraph by paragraph. Read for a purpose, even if the purpose is just to find out what is in the chapter. Read to answer the questions you have developed. Carefully note important terms, including the italicized or underlined words and phrases. Your main job in reading is to obtain the main ideas and important details. Active reading is important for effectively remembering what you have studied. After actively reading a paragraph, you should record the main ideas. You can underline key words and phrases, write the main ideas in the margin, or write a brief summary in your notebook. Recording the main ideas of what you read forces you to read the textbook actively and provides you with a written outline to study later. The fifth step is to recite. Recitation means recalling what you have read. It is rehearsing the main ideas and important details in your memory. You can simply recall the information, but a better technique is to organize it and form associations to other ideas you have already remembered. Recitation is an excellent way to discover what you can remember about the chapter material. The next step of the study formula is to review. Reviewing the material helps to keep it fresh in your mind. Essentially you quickly reread the chapter to make sure you have covered it all. Then you recite the information to yourself and read over any notes you have taken. If you review regularly, you should have no problems when the big test comes. The last step of SQ5R is to reflect on the ideas you have learned. Here is a chance to think critically about the issues raised, the points presented, and the conclusions drawn. Take time to organize the information and develop associations with your existing knowledge. Reflect on examples and applications of the concepts encountered. Evaluate the ideas and decide which point of view is correct. This will help you remember and be able to use the information you learn from your book.