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SQ3R- A Reading Technique

SQ3R is an acronym for Survey, Question, Read, Recite and Review. SQ3R helps to make reading more meaningful and purposeful so that your time is used most efficiently.

When reading a chapter in your textbook, you want to:

  • Read the title, headings and subheadings
  • Take note of italicized or bolded words
  • Look at charts, graphs, pictures and maps
  • Read captions
  • Read the very beginning and end of the chapter
  • Ask a question for each section- ask what, why, how, when, who and where
  • Turn the title, headings, or subheadings into questions
  • Rewrite the questions at the end of the chapter or after each subheading into your own words
  • Read one section of a chapter at a time
  • Pay attention to the bold and italicized text
  • Review tables, graphs, and illustrations as these features can emphasize important points
  • Try to answer your questions you have developed
  • At the end of each section, look up from the text and in your own words recite an answer to your question for that section. Write your answer down and provide examples to support it
  • At the end of each chapter or reading assignment, review your notes
  • Identify the main points of the reading by looking for the most important idea in each section
  • Write a brief summary of the chapter
  • Review your study notes every week to help remember the information

Adapted from the article “SQ3R.”   2006  Reprinted with permission.  Visit to read the full text.

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