Before starting the preparation for MDCAT, you need to understand how to read your book and prepare from it. There is a method known as SQ-3R-T, by which you can not only read the whole book but understand each concept without forgetting anything. So, let’s understand it one by one:
The first part of this method is the survey. You can also call it framework or the roadmap.
What is survey?
Survey is like the road map that you’ll have to follow in order to reach your goal. It is like a framework in which you have to arrange every chapter of the book in the organizing manner. So, when you want to think about a specific answer in an examination hall, you can get it without getting confused with other topics.
Why do you need to survey?
When you’re reading the book for the preparation, you just collect all the information in the bulk. Due to this, you’ll waste a lot of time while finding the right answer in your head. This is why survey is important. It’s like organizing your memory just like a book shelf. You can find the specific answer without wasting any time.
Survey is the mindset that you should make before reading a new chapter. In order to understand each concept thoroughly, you should make a framework of the whole chapter in your mind so that you can gather all the information in the arranged manner.
How can you survey?
You can start the survey by reading the title of the chapter. Then, try to read the introductory paragraph of it. Usually, many authors introduce all the concepts in the start that you’ll read in the chapter. So, reading the introduction will give you the idea of all topics in the chapter. Then, read all the topic headings one by one.
While reading the headings, note that if there is an image or a graph related to some topic. Give it a quick read as well. In the end, read the summary at the end of chapter. It will give you the basic idea as well as key points of all topics. Don’t waste a lot of time on survey. You have to survey the whole chapter in 5 to 7 minutes.
The second part of the method is question. Questions are considered to be the “Half Knowledge”.
What is question?
Reading a chapter without having questions in mind is of no use. There is this big misconception among students that they can read and understand the whole chapter without reading any questions. It’s all wrong. A topic cannot be defined without a question. All the information will serve no purpose without any questions. Every topic must have a purpose behind it.
Why do we need to question?
Questions give a reason to find an answer for it. Without questions, you’ll store all the information in your mind with no reason. You just read the topic and memorize it without understanding the reason of the existence of that specific topic. Every question not only describes the topic but also the causes of it as well.
Questions give you the purpose of learning. You will strive to find the answer when you have a question in your mind. With questions, brain tries to find the suitable answer from all the topics. It is an important thing but students try to run away from it. They always have the fear of being unsuccessful in attempting these questions.
How can you question a topic?
If you want to give a good answer, you must need to understand a good question and you can do it by practicing with all the available questions. You should take a model paper or past papers, open that chapter and read all the questions that are written in it. It will give you the idea of the structure and the credibility of the question that will come in the paper.
After reading the questions, try to attempt them all by yourself. It’s okay if you do it correctly. It will be enough for you to keep the questions in your mind before reading the whole chapter. Once you reach that topic, your brain will start finding the suitable answer for the question that you attempted. So, try to attempt and read all the questions from various sources.
The third part of the method is reading. Reading is the time when you’ll actually start
Understanding the concept.
What is reading?
Reading simply means going through all the things that are written in the chapter. You must give the chapter a thorough reading so that you can familiarize with all the concepts. Reading is also necessary to understand the basic concept of the topic.
Why do we need to read?
Reading a topic gives you the basic understanding of the concept. Reading the whole topic and its detail will help you to find the answers of the questions that you tried to attempt before. This will solidify your concepts in the first time of reading.
Another important reason for reading is to understand the things you read. Reading the topics will be of no use if you don’t understand a single thing from it. You must read it thoroughly so that you can understand every bit of detail from it. This will not only clear your concepts but also help you to give answer to complicated questions.
How can we read?
For reading, you have to keep in mind that time management is very important. When you’re reading the chapter for the first time, give it a thorough read and try to understand the each and every topic with detail. Give each chapter a proper time for the first time and try to cover the same chapter in lesser time when you’ll be reading it for the second time.
While reading, highlight the unwanted topic so that you won’t waste your time on the things that are not important for the entry test. Also highlight the different topics with different symbols. Like mark the important paragraph with one symbol, mark the confusing topic with different symbol, use numbering for different info given in the paragraph and use a symbol for constant values as well. It will help the student to read the important concepts in short time.
Recall is the fourth step of the method. It is considered the most difficult step in the whole Reading method.
What is Recall?
Recall is simply the reading the whole chapter but the main purpose of reading is memorizing all the information that you understood before in the reading. Usually, it is a difficult thing to do but once you’re persistent to it and keep doing it, you’ll get used to it with time. You’ll find it really helpful once you get used to it.
Why do we need to recall?
Recalling the whole chapter will help your brain to create the memory for it. This will help you to remember all this information for a longer time. It helps you to remember the whole concept in your mind without having any doubts because you already understood every concept before. Now, you’re just memorizing it.
How can we recall?
You can recall the whole chapter by closing the book and revise it in your own mind. It will take a lot of your concentration but once you’ll start doing it, you’ll remember the basic details as well as the key points of every topic. Now, you’ll have all the important information on your fingertips.
You can also recall the chapter again by attempting all the questions that you read earlier, again. You can go back to each question and try to answer it. Since, you have all the concepts in your mind now. Then, you’ll be able to attempt every question successfully. It’ll show your flaws and mistakes that you made while reading and recalling.
This is the fifth step of this method. This is the second most important step after
question in the whole book reading method.
What is review?
Review is basically reading the whole chapter again in the very next day. It is an extremely important step to memorize the information for a longer time. Reading the chapter again is compulsory to set all the concepts in your mind.
Why we need to review?
Reviewing the whole chapter enables you to transfer all these concepts from short-term memory to the long-term memory. It helps you to consolidate all the important topics and concepts in your mind, which will be helpful to keep the information for a longer time.
It is scientifically proven that students who review the information after reading it can remember it for a longer time than other students. Many entry test toppers use this technique to get a solid grip on all the concepts.
How can you review?
You can review the whole chapter by reading it again in the span of 24 hours. You should read the chapter in one day and then review it after the very next day before starting the next chapter. It’s been proven that if a brain reads the same information thoroughly in 24 hours, then this information gets transferred into long-term memory.
The last step of this method is teach. It is more beneficial than reading the concepts again and again.
What is teach?
Teaching is sharing the concepts that you understood while reading and reviewing. It proves to be beneficial as you can share your knowledge as well as get to know the new thing from the fellow student that you didn’t know before.
Why do we need to teach?
Teaching someone helps you to broaden the spectrum of your understanding and learning. You can share your concepts with other fellow student and he will share his own knowledge as well. This exchange of knowledge will help both students with understanding the concepts more deeply.
How can you teach? You can make a group of fellow students and share your concepts with them. You can try to give a brief discussion about the chapter in 5 to 10 minutes and ask the other student to do the same. This step will help you to learn new things about your concept as well.