The SQ4R Study Method: Read

The "SQ4R" study method is an evidence-based strategy to maximize the gains you get from studying. The name is an abbreviation, with each letter describing one step of the process. (And yes, SQ4R is an upgrade to SQ3R.) This is the third of a series of posts (collect 'em all!) that describe all six steps. So far, you've surveyed a chapter in your textbook and asked yourself some questions. This installment: R (the first).

This first "R" stands for read. Yup, it's OK to go ahead and read the--no, wait! Hold on just a second. Let me elaborate just a bit on that.

You should be reading to try and answer the questions you just finished asking yourself. This makes reading a more active process, as opposed to a passive one. But that's not all: you should also consider your reading environment.

Your textbook is open in front of you, you're checking your text messages, one of your iPod's earbuds is tucked into one ear, and the TV is on--is this you? If so, you're not reading. I don't know what the heck you're doing, but you're not reading. Your eyes may be moving across the page, but you're not letting your brain absorb the material because your attention is elsewhere. It's the myth of multitasking. So, turn off your gadgets, get away from distractions and interruptions, and find a quiet place where you can concentrate on what you need to learn. This is what's called "studying."

Why aren't you studying? reading?


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