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Version 3f

Home > Resources > Textbook Reading Strategies

Textbook Reading Strategies

"The 4 T's of Reading Your Textbook"


How many pages / chapters should you read in a day?
How many hours should you spend on a chapter?
How long will it take me to study my chapter?

The answer depends on B A G S.

What does B A G S stand for?

B = Background
A = Aptitude / Ability
G = Goals
S = Situation


(Sample A): What are we talking about?

The procedure is actually quite simple.

First you arrange items into different groups. Of course, one pile may be sufficient depending on how much there is to do. If you have to go somewhere else due to lack of facilities, that is the next step; otherwise, you are pretty well set. It is important not to overdo things. That is, it is better to do too few things at once than too many. In the short run this may not seem important but complications can easily arise.

A mistake can be expensive as well. At first, the whole procedure will seem complicated. Soon, however, it will become just another facet of life. It is difficult to foresee any end to the necessity for this task in the immediate future, but then, one never can tell.

After the procedure is completed, one arranges the materials into different groups again. Then they can be put into their appropriate places. Eventually they will be used once more and the whole cycle will then have to be repeated. However, that is part of life.

1. In the first sentence, what procedure is being referred to?

2. The passage states that after putting things into different groups, you might have to go somewhere else.  What place does "somewhere else" refer to?

3. The passage states that mistakes could be expensive. What does that mean?

4. Why is there no foreseeable end to this procedure?

5. What is the topic of the passage?

6. Would you be able to easily remember the detail in this paragraph?

Information comes from two sources. Text is an external source.  You, the learner, are the internal source. People comprehend and remember new things not by starting from scratch but by building on what they already remember.  You can read and remember more effectively if you are actively using what you already know.

You can also read and remember more easily when you have some organization in which to fit the material.

Knowing the topic of the paragraph above allows you to comprehend and remember because of your background knowledge and because you can organize the details around the central topic.

Learn to read your textbooks more efficiently and effectively using the SQ3R method of reading comprehension.

S = Survey
Q = Question
R = Read
R = Recite
R = Review

Short segment of the Video Study Skills: How to read a Textbook will be shown. Summary

What's the first thing you would do if you had to read a textbook?
If you said read, you've made your first mistake.


In time

In Technique


During SQ3R

During Trust

"I hate reading textbooks."

Find out the tools available to you to be more successful.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow said "If the only tool you have is a hammer, you will treat every problem like a nail".

Content developed for the the SOS Workshop: Textbook Reading Strategies by Dianne Ida with additional material added by SOS Coordinator.

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