The PQRST method of reading

This is a method of reading a textbook so that the information you read really does enter your long term memory. It is based on work by Thomas and H. A. Robinson, Spache and Berg and R. P .Robinson. Its sometimes cryptically known as SQ3R. This information is provided courtesy of Dr Yow Kin Choong from his copy of the book "Psychology" by Atkinson et. al.

So what can it do?

The method has been shown to improve a readers understanding, and his/her ability to recall information. In other words, the reader is more likely to learn, and to learn more, of the material he/she is reading. If you use this method, reading won't be a waste of your time.

How does it work?

In this method you follow five steps - Preview, Question, Read, Self-recite and Test (PQRST). The middle three steps apply to every section within a chapter whilst the first and last steps apply to the chapter itself. You may find that many textbooks are compiled in a way which makes this method easy to apply, using an introductory passage, and questions at the end.

The diagram below illustrates the method:

What must I do?

Researchers have tested this method, and found it really does work. Self-recitation is particularly effective if done properly, as is the questioning step. After all, this makes sense because it is putting your brain into gear and warming it up before you start.