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The SQ4R strategy offers a more effective way to get more out of your reading than, say, highlighting large portions of text. Highlighting is a common strategy used by students as they read. However, when revising, they may have to reread the highlighted sections again to recall what the paragraph or text is about.

Highlighting ties you to the structural order of the words in the sentences; in other words, you may be trying to memorise the sentences or paragraph instead of the ideas. Practise being an APE reader using the SQ4R strategy.

Practising SQ4R with shorter texts


For several decades, psychologists have been doing extensive research on a subject that affects millions of people:  hobbies. According to their findings, people's choice of hobby can be as revealing as their reaction to an inkblot.

Investigators have found that a clearly distinguishable pattern exists between hobby preferences and personality. Scientists now say that they are in a position to study a person’s hobby and produce a fairly accurate estimate of that person's emotional maturity, level of intelligence, and distinguishing personality traits. This is because people generally pick a hobby of their own free will. As a parallel, a person choosing a life partner or mate employs a method of selection that reflects his or her intellectual and emotional maturity; the same process is at work in choosing a hobby.

A hobby is never a task, but a form of living expression that augments one’s own personality.

(Adapted from: Mahnke, M.K., & Duffy, C.B. (1996). The Heinemann TOEFL preparation course. UK: Heinemann English Language Teaching.)

[S] Survey the text (5 seconds)
1.What is the main idea of the text?

[Q] Question the text (10 seconds)
2. Choose three questions that might be relevant to ask to guide your reading.

[R] Read the text (3-5 minutes)
3. According to the passage, a person’s choice of hobby can tell scientists about all of the following EXCEPT

Use context cues and your understanding of logical connections to answer the next four questions.
4. It can be determined from the passage that a reaction to an inkblot

5. The word findings” (bolded in the text) is closest in meaning to

6. The word augments (bolded in the text) is closest in meaning to

7. The pronoun this (bolded in the text) refers to

[R] Recite the text.
8. Which of the following best summarises the passage?

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