Good Study Habits Can Be Learned part 3

Study Skills for the Real World: SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review)

SQ3R represents the study concept of: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, and Review,9 a deceivingly simple methodology that can help you improve effectiveness and efficiency of your time spent studying.

The SQ3R technique was developed in 1940 by Ohio State University psychology professor Francis Robinson as part of the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) during WWII. Robinson headed the Learning and Study Skills program that was tasked to teach military personnel to become better readers—and better able to master quickly a demanding curriculum.10

The College Board ( has done a good job explaining this technique. It goes as follows:


Let’s say your assignment is to read one chapter. Don’t read it through like a novel. First, get an idea of what the chapter is about by reviewing the highlights:

  • Read the title, headings and subheadings.
  • Notice words that are italicized or bold.
  • Look at charts, graphs, pictures, maps and other visual material.
  • Read captions.
  • Read the very beginning and end of the chapter.

As you survey the text, ask a question for each section. Ask what, why, how, when, who and where questions as they relate to the content. Here's how you can create questions:

  • Turn the title, headings or subheadings into questions.
  • Rewrite the questions at the end of the chapter or after each subheading in your own words.

Read one section of the chapter at a time, actively looking for an answer to your question for that section. Pay attention to bold and italicized text that authors use to make important points. Be sure to review everything in the section, including tables, graphs and illustrations — these features can communicate an idea more powerfully than written text.


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. Then write down your answer. Be sure to provide examples that support it.


After completing the chapter, review your notes. Identify the main points by looking for the most important idea in each section. Recite, or write, a brief summary of the assignment.

Review your study notes every week to help you remember the information. When it's time to prepare for your tests, you'll find you've created an invaluable study guide.11

Yes, You Can

Don’t let fear prevent you from pursuing your educational goals. A college degree is within reach, even if you struggled within the rigid educational systems of the past. Online education and a greater awareness of differing study styles offers flexibility to those who need it. As a nontraditional student, you can learn to effectively manage your time and develop the study skills needed to successfully complete your degree. Allow your motivation to propel your forward, and remember, though you are unique, you are not alone.

9 College Board, SQ3R: A Great Reading and Studying Technique: Improve your Study Skills

10 Troy University, Brandes, J., SQR: An Effective Study Strategy, p. 1

11 College Board, SQ3R: A Great Reading and Studying Technique: Improve your Study Skills

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