What is the SQ4R reading method and how can it help you read textbooks more effectively?

Comprehensive reading is easy— if you have the right tools to go with it. It’s very important you know how to read through, in between and around any material. This says a lot about how you can pass or fail an exam.

One of the best comprehensive reading tools is SQ4R, which stands for: Survey, Question, Read, Recite, Relate & Review. Learn more about its basics and benefits below.


1. Survey

When you survey, you try to skim what the reading material is about. Check the headings, titles, summary, image captions and the like, without reading word per word the entire content.

2. Question

Once you’ve had an overview of the content, you can now question. Is the topic familiar to you? Are there any special instructions your teacher gave to you regarding this chapter? Do you find some things you’ve browsed unfamiliar?

3. Read

Now’s the time you read through and through the content. Remember to read slowly the difficult passages and reread those that you may have not understood instantly. This is a critical part of the entire process so take as much time as you need.

4. Recite

Orally recite what you understood from what you read. Orally ask yourself questions from what you learned about the material.

5. Relate

See how you can relate what you learned with personal mnemonics. This makes it a lot easier for you to remember what you read.

6. Review

It wouldn’t hurt going back and through the material you read. So take a few minutes to review yourself with what you read.


Here’s what you can get out of practicing SQ4R method.

1. You have better studying habits.

With this method, you become more organized and systematic. This way, your study habits improve a lot more.

2. You get higher grades.

Of course with better habits come better results. With this method, you’re able to get higher grades which entitle you to well, a better future.

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