Useful Study Technique for Remembering What Is Read

Question: I substitute teach in high school, where so many of the students tell me that they read but do not remember the material. I suggest that they look for the answers to Who, What, When, Where, Why and How questions to help them recall what they have read. Do you have any other suggestions? - Substitute

Answer: To remember what they have read, students must interact with the material. By asking students to answer questions, you are forcing them to think as they read. Another very useful study technique is SQ3R. Students using SQ3R usually only need to read material once in order to master it. Each letter in SQ3R stands for a different step students need to take in their reading.

First, students need to survey (S) an entire reading assignment. This means reading all the headings and subheadings, and any summaries. After surveying the material, a question (Q) is written for the first heading. The question gives the students a purpose for learning the material in that section. After writing a question, the students read (R) the text carefully to find the answer. Charts, graphs and illustrations should also be studied. Students then recite (R) the answer to the question and also write the answer down. Students continue to follow these steps for each heading. The last step in SQ3R is for students to review (R) the material by looking over their questions and answers. This should be done several more times before students take a test covering the material.

Teachers need to go over the steps of SQ3R with students many times before this technique is mastered. Parents also can introduce this study technique to their children. It really helps students stay focused and interested in their reading.