The Robinson Method to Learn to Study

The Robinson method for learning to study is one of the best methods used worldwide. 
The Robinson Method to Learn to Study

Last update: 22 January, 2020

How do we teach children to study? What is the correct method? Does it depend on the subject? These are frequently asked questions among parents. That’s why we’ll explain one of the best techniques in the world to learn to study: the Robinson method.

What is the Robinson method?

The Robinson method is a very common study technique in the United States, also known as SQ3R, which stands for: survey, question, read, recite, and review In general, it consists of improving reading comprehension in an effective way.

Since it focuses on understanding content, the Robinson method can be ideal to study any subject. This is why it’s one of the best methods to learn to study, as others are not so versatile.

How does the Robinson method work?

The Robinson method consists of five phases that can adapt easily to the subject being studied. It’s a very intuitive process so it’s easy to assimilate.


It’s about taking a first look at the content we have to study. In this phase, you have to focus on the structure and general concepts. Additionally, in primary education, these concepts usually appear in bold to facilitate understanding.

This way, we’ll have a general idea and we’ll be more receptive to assimilate the content since we don’t start from scratch. Depending on the subject matter, a few minutes would be enough.

The Robinson Method to Learn to Study


It’s not about asking questions because we haven’t done any in-depth reading yet; the point is to question the content. Approaching the text actively is the key to the Robinson method.

“What’s it about?” “What is the purpose of the text?” “What is the author’s intention?” “Do I know the main concepts?” These types of questions develop critical thinking, a key skill for more advanced levels.


Now we’re ready to do an in-depth reading of all the text. This means everything: titles, text, references, formulas, notes, captions, graphics… Besides that, we have to answer the previous questions.

If we combine this with highlighting the most important content and making notes, we’ll proceed with an active and more effective study. Involving more senses and creating our own text from the original work will help retain more information for a longer period of time. 


Saying out loud our version of what we’re studying won’t take much effort, will it? If we’ve dedicated the necessary time and effort in the previous step, it shouldn’t take much time. However, memorizing something doesn’t work in the long run since we tend to forget it in a very short time span.

The key is to talk about it because, as with stories, the content has to make sense. If all the ideas are connected through logical association, it will be much easier to remember.

The best way to know if this step has been done correctly is to recite it in front of other people. If those people understand what you’re telling them, it means you did a good job. This step is the most important when you start teaching the Robinson method to children.


The previous steps should be enough, but the truth is that the next day, we’ll barely remember half of what we studied. Moreover, if we don’t review it within a week, almost all the work will be forgotten.

That’s why it’s so important to start studying on time. To learn the content, we have to review it several times on different days.

The Robinson Method to Learn to Study

Tips regarding the Robinson method

In addition to knowing the objective of each phase of the Robinson method, you should take into account that not all subjects or all levels of education have the same difficulty.

Hence, the more difficult the subject is to study, the more time and rest you’ll have to devote to it. It’s no use studying for hours when you’re distracted.

In this sense, organizing and concentrating play a fundamental role. Some factors, such as having a study habit, a specific schedule, and a place to study will also help improve the results of the Robinson method.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.