College Reading

Reading Strategies

SQ3R Textbook Reading System

Step 1: SURVEY the chapter

  1. Read the introduction, learning goals, and summary.
  2. Scan the titles, figures, and tables.
  3. Identify the purpose of the reading assignment or chapter.


Create your notes from the reading in a TEST Format instead of a NOTES format. Do this by generating possible test questions from the headers, bold terms, and images.

Step 3: READ

Read with the question in mind. This is not a passive reading, but an active search for the answer.

Step 4: RECITE

  1. By answering those questions in your own three to five words, you will create a higher level of thinking that will give purpose and increase comprehension.
  2. Connect new information to previously known information.
  3. Practice test questions repeatedly until you feel confident.
  4. Recite the answers out loud to yourself and to others.

Step 5: REVIEW

Review your notes in short bursts over several days. Ask yourself big picture concepts that could be on the test.


The P2R System


Preview the chapter with the question in mind, “What is this chapter about?
Skim the introduction, learning objectives, and summary. Next, read the headings, charts, graphs, diagrams, and pictures. Finally, read the last paragraph.


Read and skim ten pages at a sitting. Plan to space out sessions over days. Hand write notes and test questions.


After reading ten pages, summarize what you have read. Close your book and notes and recall out loud the most important key points from your reading. Take a practice quiz from the end of the chapter. Generate 10 test questions you think will be on the test and answer them in bullet form.

The S-RUN System

 SURVEY:  First, survey the chapter. Read the title and the introduction, as well as all headings, charts, diagrams, and  graphs.

 READ:  Now read the section.

 UNDERLINE:  Underline material that explains the section’s heading.

 NOTE TAKING:  Generate your own notes on the material. Summarize the main points of the section.