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PQRST...a study skill that helps students concentrate from the general to the specific

This is how I have successfully explained and taught students to use the PQRST study technique... Preview, Question, Read, Study/Summarize, Test.

The student should work through a chapter or study section of a text book such as a Science or Social Studies using the five steps of PQRST.

Preview~ look at every picture, chart, map, and all headlines and caption reading each out loud and seeing what details the student can find in the visual aids. S/He is not to read the text paragraphs... just look at all the big stuff, and concentrate on what is the main idea and what are the visuals telling the reader~maps, graphs, pictures, captions, pull-out boxes with short explanations/definitions, etc. Really look at the details in each picture~note the setting, season, people, activity, etc. Look at the graphs and charts~note what the numbers are saying and the relationships between the parts may be. Look especially at maps and note the movements of people and events, especially if there is also a timeline or timelines to consider.

Next, Question~read the summary questions and figure out what the teacher or text wants the student to know... later, other situations may dictate s/he develop his own questions, but often all that is needed are the text questions, especially at the beginning of using this technique.

Third, Read~with the questions in mind, now read the material. If the student finds an answer, write it down.

Fourth~Study or Summarize~depending on the situation, s/he can now go through her/his notes and study guide answers, review the visual aids and work on memorizing/internalizing the information, or s/he can do much the same but concentrate on summarizing the main ideas and supporting details of the unit, being able to tell the "story" of the material in his own words.

Fifth~the test... have someone ask various questions over the material either in a comfortable and non-graded setting or in a formal testing situation.

This technique works from grade school through graduate school... students, have fun with it!