Saturday, December 27, 2008

Study Skills: More on SQ3R - Q

So far, the study skills posts seem to be generating the best responses in my private email (though I would like to see some comments posted, too!)

So, remember I introduced SQ3R? Apparently I forgot to actually say what that all means! Survey (or Skim), Question, Read, Recite, Review. Some places are now calling it SQ4R, and no one can seem to agree on what the 4 R's stand for. When we get to those steps, I'll talk about it more.

Let's look at the Q - Question step.

It seems obvious at first, doesn't it? If you are reading a History chapter, there are questions at the end of every section and the end of the chapter, so you might think that you're supposed to answer those questions.

But, well, you're not.

Part of actively learning and thinking critically is ASKING questions.

So, what you do in this step is simple: form questions in your own mind about the chapter. Ask what keywords mean, ask why sub-sections are titled the way they are. WRITE these questions down!!

Then, when you are in the first R step - Read, your mind will be thinking about the questions you formed, and actively seeking the answers.

One of the things I hear from students is that doing this takes time, and therefore takes time away from doing their homework. Well, according to the Wikipedia entry on this method, the Survey/Skim step and the Question step should TOGETHER take only about 3 minutes. The longest thing is writing down the questions.

This method, or any study method, should not be looked at in addition to your regular homework, but should be a way for you to complete your homework while actually absorbing the material.

I hope everyone is having a good holiday break!


  1. Thank you for this. It is a method I will point out to my daughter. She's pretty good in Math, but can always use help.


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