Survey-Question-Read-Recite-Review

These steps are a study/reading method that promotes an active attitude toward learning. When you clear your mind for the task of studying, you are alert and centered. You make yourself ready to learn and remember. Begin with:

1. SURVEY – gather the information necessary to focus and formulate goals.

  • State your purpose for reading the material.
  • Read the title – help your mind prepare to receive the subject at hand.
  • Read the introduction and/or summary – pick out the chapter’s main points.
  • Notice each boldface heading and subheadings – organize your mind before you begin to read and build a structure for the thoughts and details to come.
  • Skim over graphs, tables, charts, etc. to see how they support and explain the text.

2. QUESTION – help your mind engage and concentrate

  • Frame questions – perhaps variations of the headings, sub-headings, or topic sentences, which you make into your personal questions.

3. READ – read actively to answer your questions and to fulfill your purpose

  • Set realistic time goals and number of pages to be read.
  • Try to read in intervals – for example, read for six minutes straight, then take a one minute break, then read for another six minutes.
  • Divide chapter into small sections, rather than trying to read the whole chapter non-stop.
  • Ask yourself a question before each paragraph or section, and then locate the answer in the text.
  • Take breaks when you feel unable to stay with the material due to daydreaming, drowsiness, boredom, hunger, etc.
  • Use your hand and marking pen to pull your eyes down the page, marking only the essential words and phrases.
  • Think, interpret, and analyze the first time you read to avoid unnecessary re-reading.

4. RECITE – retain your mind to concentrate and learn as it reads

  • After each section – stop, look away from the book, recall your questions, and see if you can answer them from memory.
  • If not, look back again, but do not go on to the next section until you can recite the answers.
  • Also, try to visualize what you have just read.
  • Make separate notes or outlines of what you have read.

5. REVIEW – refine your mental organization and begin building memory

Once you have completed the whole chapter:

  • Reread your outline, look away, and recite the outline from memory.
  • Go back over all your questions.
  • Continue this process until you feel that you understand and know the material.
  • Take a short break and reward your success.
  • Decide when you are ready to work again, center your thoughts, take a few minutes to review the information you just learned, and go on to the next chapter or another subject.