PQRST Method of Reading



  • Look over the material.
  • Preview introductions, summaries, images, headings, sub-headings (or the first sentence of paragraphs if no headings exist), and anything else that stands out.
  • Make a mind map of the headings and subheadings. For example, pages 462-463 of Weiten (2007) could be mapped as follows:




  • Ask “What do I already know about the subject?”and ask “What do I need to find out?”
    In the above example, the reader might know and understand observational learning, self socializations and sources of gender-role socialization, but needs to learn about operant conditioning.
  • Turn headings into questions, for example “what is operant conditioning?” or “What role do schools play in gender-role socialization?”
  • Predict the answer to your question, for example “I think operant conditioning might be...."



  • Read the text looking for answers to your questions.
  • Stop frequently to think and link new information to your existing knowledge or experience. This helps new information transfer into your long term memory.



  • Use whatever format suits you to summarise and make notes. Be creative in making notes to make your study time more enjoyable and keep your mind engaged, therefore increasing the effectiveness of the reading session. You might:
    • Write answers to your questions
    • Make a structured list of your key points
    • Make a mind map or the key points
    • Put the main points into your own words
  • Remember to record the reference and page numbers of the source material in your notes for future reference.


  • Use a variety of methods to test yourself on the new material
    • Write summaries
    • Recall keywords
    • Add notes to skeleton outlines
    • Re-draw mind maps
    • Use review questions
    • Visualise your notes or the application of the material to your experiences
    • Test and teach other students




Weiten, W. (2007). Psychology: Themes and variations (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.



Material adapted from the following source

How to study using the preview, question, read, summary, test or PQRST method. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.wikihow.com/Study-Using-the-Preview,-Question,-Read,-Summary,-Test-or-PQRST-Method