Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

The SQ3R method

SQ3R stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review. It is a proven method that can help you improve your comprehension when reading a textbook chapter.

  • Survey – skim through all the headings in the chapter and read the chapter summary if there is one. This helps you get a sense of the main themes and ideas.
  • Question – turn each of the headings in the chapter into questions by adding words such as “who”, “what” or “how”.
  • Read – read the paragraph or section to search for the answers to your questions.
  • Recite – use your own words to express your thoughts on the material. See if you can answer your questions without looking at the material.
  • Review – after you finished reciting the chapter, review all of the questions and answers you created. The purpose of this review is to put together all the separate questions and answers like the parts of a puzzle and understand the chapter as a whole.