10 Pros And Cons of SQ3R For Students

Last Updated on May 16, 2024

sq3r method

Every student wants a shortcut (but a shortcut is not good) to learn something new or someone who needs to learn new information in any field, it is important to have a good study and note-taking method that works 100% for you.

We tell you one of the most popular studying strategies that are SQ3R, which stands for Survey, Question, Reading, Recite, and Review. In this article, we cover this topic in detail that and also tell you the pros and cons of sq3r, so you can decide if it’s the right study method for you in any of your specific fields.

The sq3r technique is a popular method invented by Francis P. Robinson that has advantages and may have some disadvantages.

But we recommend students follow this method, we will tell you how this method can be beneficial and which students should follow it to improve their knowledge and academic success.

So lets get started!

What Is The Purpose Of Sq3r?

The main purpose of using the SQ3R reading strategy is to help students focus on critical thinking while reading, and this is the teacher’s responsibility to teach the importance of SQ3R because many students use a simple method to gain fewer results.

At any student level like a high school student, college student, or university student, By following the technique, any student easily understand any content and if the exams in near, this amazing effective study method can get good grades and students can learn to identify the main ideas, get a better understanding and key details of a text, ask themselves questions to deepen their understanding, take notes to aid in retention, and review the material to reinforce their learning. The SQ3R strategy is an effective tool for students to improve their reading skills and develop a deeper understanding of the material. 

SQ3R Methodology:

As I said earlier sq3r means to survey, question, read, recite and review. It is also known as the sq3r reading strategy. It is a five-step process that gives you the best study skills with a concept map to read and learn anything. Psychology teachers and students always use this strategy to improve their learning and reading skills.

1. Survey 

A  “survey” in SQ3R is the 1st step means looking at the material you will be reading before you start, to get a general idea of what it’s about. You can look at headings and subheadings, main points, and pictures, and quickly read some parts to understand the main topics and summary paragraphs as well. This helps you understand the material better when you start reading it more carefully later on.

2. Question

In SQ3R, “Q” means “Question“. This step is about asking yourself questions and asking questions yourself is always like as right as rain any questions you read and give answers according to them. The information you get and the information you have,if you check is always better with the help of SQ3R.

3. Read

The “R1” in SQ3R means “Read” which is the first step in 3R. This is about reading the textbook and finding the most important information and taking notes and gaining knowledge of anything in the book or anything that you want to read. with the based of experience, if you read loudly, you can easily memorize anything you want no doubt read with loud is like a slice of bread and the main goal is to read and understand the material. We give you the advice that you should also read the content chapter list that is on the first page.

4. Recite

The second R2 of 3R means, “recite” to recall and summarize the information you just read in the 1st R step. After reading and recalling, students should close the book or turn away from the screen and try to remember what they just read and force it on their brain. if gaps and confusion appear before the recite, this will help you to understand areas of confusion or gaps.

5. Review 

In “Review” in SQ3R means going over what you learned again to make sure you remember it well. It’s like practicing or studying what you read so that you can understand and remember it better. You can do this by taking notes, reading and reciting, or making flashcards. This is the last step Of 3R that is very effective for your reading and learning experience.

Pro Tip: The best practice of review is you should recall again after 24 hours.

10 Pros and Cons of SQ3R

Now, we describe the main topic which is “advantages of sq3r method of reading” Students and teachers and even such persons that belong to any field, especially both and all must read before working on this method to avoid forgetting:

Pros of SQ3R:

1. Better understanding

The first advantage of SQ3R is that it makes it easier to understand and easy to remember. If you feel under the weather of understanding, sq3r gives you a better understanding For students or anyone who wants to read any textbook and memorize anything, this method is important because it makes your learning process easier and easier to understand.

2. Helps you focus

The second pro of sq3r is that it makes you more focused while studying. Focus is the main ingredient to learn anything and when you realize what is important in the material you read, you can focus on that and skip over the less important parts. This really helps you to stay always focused because the focus plays a major role in a student’s success.

3. Can be used for any subject

The 3rd pro of SQ3R is that it can be used for any subject, from math to history to science, etc. The method is very good in a psychological way and can be applied to any type of material you want. This makes it a useful study method for students of all disciplines.

4. Helps you prepare for exams

The 4th pro of SQ3R is that it helps you learn and remember information, which can help you prepare for exams for school or university. For example, the exam is near in your head, the best every strartegy is sq3r because this reading strategy is good When you see the exam time is near, this method is working to give you the best results. 

5. Improves critical thinking

Last but not least, benefit of using and implementing this strategy is that you ask questions about the material for a teacher or in your mind, then this will improve your critical thinking skills. The biggest purpose of this technique is to help us to understand the material better and develop our critical thinking skills and make us smart.

Cons of SQ3R:

The disadvantages of the sq3r method of reading are less but we give you 5 cons with the based of our experience.

6. Required practice

SQ3R is useful but it has cons that this method requires a lot of practice. Students can benefit from practicing the method consistently to develop proficiency and integrate it into their learning habits. That’s why this method is 100% work when you practice again and again.

7. Not work for online classes

The SQ3R method is a way of studying that requires students to do certain things with their physical textbooks or printed materials, like marking them up and taking notes. However, in an online class, students might not have access to physical textbooks, which can make it difficult or impossible to use the SQ3R method effectively.

8. Difficult for non-native speakers

Non-native speakers may struggle with the language used in the text, meaning English, Arabic, German, etc which can affect their ability to understand the material and apply the SQ3R method effectively.  

The technique requires strong reading skills, including the ability to identify main ideas, which may be challenging for non-native speakers who are still developing their reading skills in any language. That why, it is important for non-native speakers to practice the SQ3R method and work with a tutor or language exchange partner, to improve their reading and language skills .

So the ball is in your court if you read any books that are nonnative.

9. Difficult for group study

Group study involves interacting and sharing ideas with your classmates, but group study and SQ3R is difficult when they are combined this is why that may not fit easily into the structured steps of the SQ3R method because the SQ3R method is primarily for individual use, and without it Adapting collaboratively can be difficult, compromising its effectiveness. This can make it difficult to incorporate the SQ3R method into group study sessions.

10. Takes time

The reason why it takes time is that each step requires careful attention readers and focus but when sq3r makes a habit, this will not take our time to implementing it.  Surveying the material involves previewing it to get an overview, generating questions requires critical thinking, reading involves active engagement and note-taking, reciting involves summarizing, and reviewing involves reinforcing your learning.

While SQ3R may take some time to complete, it can ultimately save time by improving comprehension and retention of the material.


In conclusion, the SQ3R method of studying is a very popular study method that has more pros and fewer cons(For such students who never want deep learning). We know you see eye to eye for sq3r in a positive way because it can help you understand the material, help to focus, can be used for any subject, help you prepare for exams, and improve critical thinking is the biggest reason.

However, it can also be required practice, note work for online classes, difficult for non-native speakers, difficult for group study, and takes time. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if SQ3R is the right study method for you.

Feel free to ask questions about sq3r or comment if you have any strategy that helps students in their work!

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Sq3r method is the method of active reading which can improve critical thinking, it means the mind has the ability to tackle any problem it faces in reading and much more benefits how this helps critically because this method is directly focused on deep learning is like unlock a treasure chest for critical readers. Our students always prefer this method because they know this method is the key to getting good marks and some students who are in the average category see that and know how they get good marks.

The two coins we know are the same, as it is PQ4R and SQ3R are the same. While PQ4R stands for “Preview, Question, Read, Reflect, Recite, Review. This means that this is much the same but sq3r is very popular and very effective. keep this in mind PQ4R leans towards retention, while SQ3R favors a broader understanding.

The answer is very simple, when you open the book, you must see all the table of contents and think it critically, then read the book and reasons why the author wrote this book, then read it completely with 2R as well which means Recite and recall.

Our experience using sq3r method in math is not beneficial becuase math needs its own approach.

The main difference between Short-term memory and long-term memory is that short-term memory can recall any information in a very short period of time while long-term memory can recall anything in a very long time.

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