SQ3R – An All-in-One Reading Comprehension/Study System


SQ3R - An All-in-One Note Taking/Reading Comprehension/Study Skills System. Study smarter, not harder!


SQRRR or SQ3R is an all-in-one reading comprehension/study skills system that stands for Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review. Many students fall into the trap of passively scanning their texts, which research has proven pitifully ineffective. SQ3R helps students actively read while also giving them a framework in which to study.


  • Read the introduction/summary.
  • If there is no intro or summary for your reading, read the first and last paragraph of the reading.
  • Notice each heading and subheading.
  • Notice reading aids, graphics, and figures.


Turn each heading and subheading into as many questions as you think will be answerable in that section. I usually recommend that students write these questions down. If one of your headings is “Dividing Berlin into East and West,” your questions might look like, “why was Berlin divided into two parts?”, “who controlled the two sections?”, and “how was the city divided?”


Read only the heading or subheading for which you have formulated a question. Keep your questions in mind and try to find the answers while reading.


Answer the questions you created either by writing the answers or by saying them out loud. I typically suggest that students try both, or at least just write the answer so that they can study from it later.

If you find that you don’t remember enough of the reading to answer the question, go back to the reading and try again. Don’t move on to the next section until you can successfully answer the question.


Once you have finished reading your text, go through all of your questions and answer them. If you can’t answer a particular question, go back to the reading to find it and try again. Once you can answer all the questions, move on.

If you have a written record of questions and answers, then you can study from these notes at a later time to really get the material into your long term memory.

If you find that you’re still having trouble with reading comprehension, there are other resources available to help. Hodis Learning & Music has expert English and Language Arts tutors who are experienced in helping students improve their reading comprehension skills. Our tutors can tailor a reading comprehension plan to your specific needs to help you or your student flourish in their understanding of the material. Contact us today to reserve your spot!