The SQ3R method was developed by Francis Pleasant Robinson in 1941. Robinson originally used the method with college-age students after he found that it increased students’ reading comprehension and reading rate in testing situations. Students still use the method today from elementary school through high school and college.

How SQ3R Works

SQ3R stands for survey, question, read, recite and review. Survey means looking at the title, introduction, headings and subheadings, and visuals and read the first and last paragraphs. Question means to develop questions for the article based on the headings and subheading. The first R means to read the text from one heading or subheading to the next to find the answers to your questions. The second R means recite the answers to your questions and the final R means to review notes and summaries daily.

High School English

The SQ3R strategy is helpful for high school students preparing for college-level reading. Many English classes assign reading and summarizing as part of the coursework, and students can use SQ3R to help focus reading and improve comprehension. The strategy also works well for reading textbooks, articles and handouts from teachers. SQ3R is a helpful strategy in preparing for tests since students use their questions and notes to study.

Other High School Classes

SQ3R can also be used in other high school classes, including history, science, psychology, foreign languages, technology and any class that has reading as part of the coursework. SQ3R is a helpful technique for classes that require notetaking, as the questions students develop and answer can be used for written notes. Students can then take these notes into the next class, leaving space to add more notes as the teacher reviews the material in class.

Elementary and Middle School

Many elementary and middle schools have adopted the SQ3R strategy. Younger students start using SQ3R for short paragraphs. Older students may apply SQ3R to several paragraphs in a story, an Internet article or a chapter from a textbook. Other strategies similar to SQ3R already in place in elementary schools include the KWL chart -- what a student knows already, what a student wants to learn and what the student has learned -- and PQRST, which stands for preview, question, read, state and test.