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The SQ3R strategy is a widely recognized study system that is easily adapted to reading assignments. This method provides concrete steps for interacting with information that results in high levels of comprehension.

SQ3R (Vacca and Vacca, 1989) stands for

  • Survey: The reader previews the material to develop a general outline for organizing information.

  • Question: The reader raises questions with the expectation of finding answers in the material to be studied.

  • Read: The reader next attempts to answer the questions formulated in the previous step.

  • Recite: The reader then deliberately attempts to answer out loud or in writing the questions formulated in the second step.

  • Review: The reader finally reviews the material by rereading portions of the assignment in order to verify the answers given during the previous step.

Steps to the SQ3R Method:

  1. Lead students in a survey of a reading selection. Pay special attention to headings, subheadings, topic sentences, and highlighted words.

  2. Build a question for each heading and subheading in the text selection. These questions will be answered during the close reading of the text.

  3. Ask students to read the selection carefully, keeping the questions in mind as they read.

  4. Have students "recite" the answers to the questions by verbalizing them in a group discussion or writing them down. This act of "restating" thought in spoken or written form reinforces learning.

  5. Repeat this process for all of the questions.

  6. Finally, have students review all of their spoken or written answers.

Once SQ3R has been modeled several times to students, the teacher can provide students with the SQ3R Guide Sheet. This worksheet contains the cues to be used at each step.

Click here to download the worksheet.

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