Table of Content

a LockCard project

What is the SQ3R method?

SQ3R (which stands for: Skim, Question, Read, Recite, Review) is a reading method that quickly improves your understanding of a text, and increases your long-term memory of it.

Many students started using SQ3R when they noticed they weren't actually thinking about what they read.

When following the SQ3R method, readers practice active recall which stimulates memory during the learning process. It contrasts with passive review, in which the learning material is processed passively (e.g. reading, watching, etc.). For example, reading a text about George Washington, with no further action, is passive review. Answering the question "Who was the first US President?", is active recall.

We are not affiliated with him, he makes good videos.

The 5 steps to SQ3R are:

  1. Skim: Go through and get a lay of the land. Look at headings, graphics, highlighted words etc. Get an overview; it should take 3-5 minutes.
  2. Question: Write down questions that you have about this text. These can be general, targeted at the content or related to how the knowledge might be useful for your purposes.
  3. Read: Start actually reading, and as you do, answer the questions that you generated above.
  4. Recite: Describe what you have just read. This could be done out loud or in written format, but try to recall everything in your own words.
  5. Review: Take a break to reflect on what you've learned. Come back to the material again to review, trying to answer the questions that you generated before.

Try it yourself with our quick SQ3R template below.

Online SQ3R form tool

Our SQ3R Template

Pick a chapter or passage from your reading, and start here:

1. Skim (SQRRR)

By the end of this first step, you should have a good idea of what the author is trying to say, and how they will build their thesis.
  • Skim through the title, headings, and subheadings
  • Notice the captions under pictures, charts, graphs or maps
  • Read the introductory and concluding paragraphs
  • Get an overview

2. Questions (SQRRR)

Write down questions that you have about this text. These can be general (e.g. What is this section about?), targeted at the content (e.g. What is AI?) or related to how the knowledge might be useful for your purposes (e.g. 'How does it connect to what I learned yesterday?)
Add Question

3. Read (SQRRR)

Start actually reading, and as you do, answer the questions that you generated above.
Add Question

4. Recite (SQRRR)

At the end of each chapter or passage, test yourself using our flashcards. They will also serve as your future notes. This really helps the knowledge sink into your long-term memory.
What is Machine Learning?
Click to reveal
Answer here
Click to hide
What is Machine Learning?
Click to reveal
Answer here
Click to hide

5. Review (SQRRR)

At the end of each chapter or passage, take a break to reflect on what you've learned.
  • Review the passage for anything you’ve skipped, or didn’t understand fully.
  • Take a break (e.g. walk outside) and think about what you’ve just learned. Even better, try to explain it to someone else; tweeting also works.
  • Come back to the questions and see if you can still answer them after your break, then 1 hour, 1 day later etc... (PRO TIP: Export your flashcards to Anki to get automatic future review sessions and benefit from Spaced Repetition)
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Sign up for our
future releases

We are on a mission to provide our experience and tools we use to all of you, be sure to sign for future releases and be the first, who can use the magic.

January 12, 2021
a LockCard project

Your SQ3R Output

What is Machine Learning?

Machine learning is the study of computer algorithms that can improve automatically through experience and by the use of data. It is seen as a part of artificial intelligence.