Improve reading compression: SQ3R model


When we face a reading, whether by study (oppositions, university, work, etc …) or leisure, not only serves to read fast, but also we must understand what is read comprehensively. In a previous article some techniques were explained to read faster but it does not help if it is not with a good reading comprehension.

Reading any type of text implies knowing how to correctly divide the information that presents us in a conscious way and so that we can relate what has been read with our previous knowledge to achieve the objective we have with reading.

>> Related article: Rapid reading techniques.

The general skills to achieve a good reading comprehension are as follows:

  • Ability to use a variable pace depending on the purpose and difficulty
  • Ability to understand main ideas or central thoughts of reading material
  • Ability to understand and retain detail.
  • Good general retention.
  • Ability to appreciate the organization of the material.
  • Ability to read critically and evaluatively.

How to improve reading comprehension. Method SQ3R.

A classic method to help us achieve better reading comprehension is the SQ3R (Survey, Question, Read, Repeat, Review). This method consists of the realization of 5 phases:

Survey. It is about making a first overview of the whole text. Without stopping in the details the examination must be quick looking only the general ideas according to the necessity of the reading of the text (examination, presentation in public, preparation of lesson …).

Question. We have to find out what we are looking for by reading the text. The purpose of reading and for this we will ask questions about it. Questions favor learning because they convert what we read into something with a special meaning for us. How can this text help me for the exam? Do I know the vocabulary?

Read. The reading phase has to be already active, facilitating both the understanding of the subject and the memory. Important terms, new terms, underlined terms, referenced terms, etc. must be differentiated. You need to read everything: text, quotes, boxes, graphics, tables, illustrations, etc.

Repeat. About 50% of the reading is forgotten after finishing (or more) and over the course of time we are losing information. Repeat with your own words Read material helps with retention.

Review: It must be verified that all the material of interest has been understood and assimilated. It is necessary to reread and take advantage of the notes, diagrams or summaries that have. The elaboration of diagrams, summaries or personal notes favors the retention and facilitates the review. Keep in mind that you will always understand your own words better than others.

Critical reading of the text.

Apart from these phases we have to take into account the importance of performing the critical reading of the text. Being critical of what you are reading helps you understand it better and remember it later. It is about drawing your own conclusions and contrasting this with your own thoughts about it. Read, think, read, think. This way you will be able to fix the information in memory and not only that, but it will help you to later retrieve the information.

>> Related article: The best songs to study.

Iván Pico

Graduado en Psicología (UNED). Nº Colegiado G-5480. Diplomado en Ciencias Empresariales (USC). Máster Universitario Oficial en Orientación Profesional (UNED) Máster en Psicología del Trabajo y las Organizaciones(INESEM). Posgrado en Neuromarketing (Universidad Camilo José Cela). Técnico Deportivo Nivel II, fútbol sala (RFEF). Posgrado en Psicología Deportiva para el Desarrollo de Atletas (FC Barcelona), etc.
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