The PQRST Method

Teenagers studying in library

PQRST Method

Preview: Look at the topic you have to learn by glancing over the major headings or the points in the syllabus.

Question: Formulate questions that you would like to be able to answer once you have finished the topic. It is important that you match as much as possible what you would like to know to your syllabus or course direction. This allows a certain flexibility to take in other topics that may aid your learning of the main point or if you are just interested. Make sure that your questions are neither more specific or more open-ended than they might be in an exam.

Read: Read through your reference material that relates to the topic you want to learn for your exam being mindful to pick out the information that best relates to the questions you wish to answer.

Summary: This is the most flexible part of the method and allows individual students to bring any ways that they used to summarize information into the process. This can include making written notes, spider diagrams, flow diagrams, labeled diagrams, mnemonics, making a voice recording of you summarizing the topic, or any method that feels most appropriate for what has to be learned. You can combine several methods as long as this doesn’t extend the process too long as you may lose sight that you are merely seeking to use the information in the most appropriate way.

Test: Use this step to assess whether you have focused on the important information and stayed on topic. Answer the questions that you set for yourself in the Question section as fully as you can as this using of the information is another way of using the information and remembering more of it. This section also reminds you to continually manipulate the information so that is focused on whatever form of assessment that it is needed for. It is sometimes easy to lose sight of the point of learning and see it as a task to be completed mundanely. Try to avoid adding questions that you didn’t formulate in the Q section.

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