Become a more effective student

IFSE Institute is a distance learning educational institution and, as such, you (the student) are in control of your own studying. Our course material covers a variety of complex investment, insurance and compliance concepts. We implement testing that is beyond simply recalling the material; rather, the objective is to evaluate an individual’s ability to apply knowledge. This higher level of thinking means you need full comprehension of the subject matter to succeed on your exam.

What can you do to become a more effective student?

One of the methods that you can consider is the SQ3R method (or SQRRR). SQ3R was originally devised by Francis Robinson, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University, as a way to help army personnel optimize their learning during World War II. It was crucial for personnel to acquire critical skills quickly so they could be deployed to help the war effort. Now, you can use those lessons to improve your reading comprehension.

How does it work?

SQ3R is an acronym that represents: Survey, Question, Read, Recite/Recall, and Review. Let’s have a closer look at each component.

Survey – Before launching into the chapter or unit, scan over the material to familiarize yourself with the subject matter. Look through the titles and subtitles, introductions and conclusions, and any diagrams and graphs.

Question – By asking yourself questions throughout the studying process, you can trigger active learning. Some of the questions to consider: What is this material about? How will this be tested? How does this content relate to me in the real world? What do I already know about the topic? Do I really understand this concept? What are my gaps and how do I fill them?

Read – Deliberate reading requires focus and concentration. Set aside time in your schedule to accommodate this task and choose a quiet place to minimize distractions. While you’re reading the passages, think about the questions you had noted above. After completing a section, take a moment to reflect on what you have just read. Some topics are more complex and will require you to reread those segments or to look up terminology. Jot down notes to improve your learning.

Recite/Recall – Without looking at the material or your notes, try to remember the key concepts of what you just read. Can you answer the questions you had asked yourself? Are you able to recall the information? Reciting or writing down what you remember will help with the process. Then compare your recollections with the text to see how you did.

Review – Now, hit repeat. The more you can review the study material, the more it becomes ingrained in your understanding. But avoid trying to only memorize the material. Stimulate active learning by evolving your questions and answers. This helps you to look at the concepts in different ways, which, in turn, deepens your comprehension.

Want to learn about other ways to become a more effective student? Check out IFSE’s blogs.

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