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Five techniques to improve reading and studying skills

SQ3R: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Review

Reading a chapter correctly takes a lot more time than you probably spend now, but try this SQ3R method for just once. Be patient and give this method 2 weeks to make a difference.

Study time rule: 1 hour of class = 2 hours of study time!

This reading method will seem slow at first, but the benefits will soon be clear: You will remember more of what you read, and you won’t waste time repeating work you’ve already done!

Survey the chapter

Do not read the chapter yet! Do these steps first:

1.Read the title - prepare your mind to study the subject.

2.Read the introduction and/or summary - think about how this chapter fits the author’s purposes, and focus on the author’s statement of most important points.

3.Quickly look over each boldface heading and subheading - organize your mind before you begin to read - build a structure for the thoughts and details to come.

4.Look over any graphics, charts, maps, diagrams, etc. They are there to make a point - don’t miss them.

5.Notice the reading aids - italics, and boldface print show that something is important

6.Also, the chapter objective and the end-of-chapter questions are all included to help you sort, understand and remember the information.

Question

Create questions from your reading to help your mind think about the material. Look at each section at a time and turn the boldface headings into as many questions as you think will be answered in that section.

The better the questions, the better your understanding will be. You may always add more questions as you continue.

When your mind is actively searching for answers to questions, it is learning! This is also the best way to predict test questions - where do you think your teachers think up questions?!

Here’s an example: if a heading says “Parts of the Flower,” you can make a question like: “What are the parts of a flower?” “Historic People” can be a question like “Name some historic people.” Make up as many questions as you possibly can.

Read

Now it is time to read the chapter, but follow these steps:

As you read, look for the answers to the questions you wrote, and write the answers in your notes!

Read each section of the chapter with your questions in mind. Look for the answers, and take note of questions you didn’t think of that were answered in that section.

Recite - As you read the chapter, you should recite your notes

Reciting means practising out loud what you’ve written down. Yes, that’s right - talk to yourself!

After each section of reading, stop, think about your questions, and see if you can answer them from memory. If not, look back again (as often as necessary) but don’t go on to the next section until you can say what you have learned!

Review - Spend 15 minutes every day reviewing your notes

Once you’ve finished the entire chapter using the steps above, go back over all the questions that you made. See if you can still answer them. If you cannot, read the chapter again, being careful to answer your own questions.

- english-zone.com
 

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