Study Methods

It is a known fact that study success and failure do not only depend on ability. In fact, it depends largely on the extent to which students possess or employ the correct learning and memorising skills.

The aim of this section is to help students understand and implement effective methods to achieve study success.

A tried and tested method of studying or reading to memorise, which has worked successfully for a number of students, is the SQ3R technique:

S - Survey / Scan
Q - Question
R - Read
R - Recite
R - Review / Revise

Survey/Scan

Here the idea is to skim-read through the work you have to read/study. The aim is to get a general idea or overview of how it fits into the whole.

  • Read the title of each chapter or unit
  • Take note of the headings, subheadings and bold print and their relationship to each other
  • Glance at diagrams, graphs or visuals
  • Briefly scan the introduction and conclusions of each chapter or unit
  • Take note of study questions or activities at the end of each chapter or unit

Read

  • Read carefully through the section, keeping the questions you developed in mind
  • Perhaps read it twice or three times
  • The second or third time you read it, underline or highlight the most important points (do not underline the first time you read the material)
  • Make notes of the main issues

Recite

  • Now close your book and recite or say out loud what you have read
  • Write brief study notes of what you have read; draw pictures or diagrams if necessary
  • Open your book and see whether you have remembered all the main points
  • If you are unable to do the above satisfactorily, re-read the section again and repeat this process
  • Do not attempt to memorise word-for-word

Review/Revise

  • Revision helps you to transfer your knowledge from your short-term to your long-term memory
  • Re-read the material slowly, making notes of any important points you may have missed
  • Review the main headings, underlined and highlighted sections
  • Answer the questions you formed for each question
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