Do You Want to Be Productive in Classes? Try SQ3R (SQRRR) Method

Imagine yourself reading a textbook and suddenly realizing that you start to forget what you’ve read a few minutes ago. Does it sound familiar? If you’ve experienced such a situation, you’re not alone — it’s a quite common problem among students. This is a reason why we often need to read something a few times before we actually memorize it.

We all understand that such problems prevent us from preparing for classes effectively. Most often, students cannot memorize text because they have problems with concentration. Sometimes, students also need more time to understand some concepts. No matter what your problem is, SQ3R method can help you.

SQ3R —What Is It?

SQ3R is an acronym used when referring to an effective method of reading and note-taking. This method will help you boost your productivity. The most common problem when dealing with new topics is that students understand a few important points but forget this information soon.

The reason is that it’s not enough to just read your text. SQ3R allows you to understand it so that you can even explain it to somebody. Let’s figure out how this method works.

How to Use SQ3R

Every letter in this acronym stands for a certain stage of the reading process. Most students think that the first step is, actually, reading, but there’s a more effective approach. First, you should skim through your material.


Skim through your source and focus on subheadings, diagrams, illustrations, etc. That’s how you get the general understanding of what your text is about. Even if you know nothing about the topic, it will be easier for you to understand the background.


When you see some terms or tables, note what questions this text answers. This list of questions will help you even if your text is very boring.


Check the list of your questions and start searching for the answers. When you have a goal, you can focus on reading. This approach is much more effective than passive reading.


Imagine that you’re talking to your friend about the book you’ve recently read. Try to describe the text in your own words. It will help you understand it better. If you get stuck at some point, check the text.


Read your notes and highlight key points. You may also want to take additional notes. You may share some information with your friends, it will help you better remember the important points in the future. Talk to someone and you’ll be surprised by how well you’ve memorized your text.

SQ3R Example

Let’s see how this method works. For example, check out an article about human development on Wikipedia.

After skimming through the article, you will memorize the main physical stages of development, some terms, and figures. Now you know the general idea of this article. If you remember something you’ve heard from your biology teacher, you will have a background even before you get to reading.

The next stage is Q — Questions. Here are some examples.

  • What is the main topic of this article?
  • What do terms like reproduction, embryo, zygote mean?
  • What are the main stages of human development?

Read the article and find the answers. After this, you can try to recite it and review it again to clarify some details.

Does It Work?

If you try this method and follow our simple tips, you’ll see whether or not this method works for you. Many students agree that SQ3R improves the effectiveness of reading and boosts productivity so you will certainly benefit from trying this approach.

Productivity in Classes | SQ3R Method
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