The SOAR Reading Method


Survey! Organize! Anticipate! Recite! Review!

Before you read, Survey the chapter:

  • the title, headings, and subheadings

  • captions under pictures, charts, graphs or maps

  • review questions or teacher-made study guides

  • introductory and concluding paragraphs

  • summary

Organize while you are surveying:

  • Turn the title, headings, and/or subheadings into questions;

  • Read questions at the end of the chapters or after each subheading;

  • Ask yourself, "What did my instructor say about this chapter or subject when it was assigned?"

  • Ask yourself, "What do I already know about this subject?"

Anticipate Test Questions as you begin to Read:

  • Look for answers to the questions you first raised;

  • Answer questions at the beginning or end of chapters or study guides

  • Reread captions under pictures, graphs, etc.

  • Note all the inderlined, italicized, bold printed words or phrases

  • Study graphic aids

  • Reduce your speed for difficult passages

  • Stop and reread parts which are not clear

  • Read only a section at a time and recite after each section

Recite after you've read a section:

  • Orally ask yourself questions about what you have just read and/or summarize, in your own words, what you read

  • Take notes from the text but write the information in your own words

  • Underline/highlight important points you've just read

  • Use the method of recitation which best suits your particular learning style but remember, the more senses you use the more likely you are to remember what you read - i.e.,

TRIPLE STRENGTH LEARNING: Seeing, saying, hearing-
QUADRUPLE STRENGTH LEARNING: Seeing , saying , hearing, writing!!!

Review: an ongoing process.

  • Day One
    After you have read and recited the entire chapter, write questions for those points you have highlighted/underlined in the margins. If your method of recitation included note-taking in the left hand margins of your notebook, write questions for the notes you have taken.

  • Day Two
    Page through the text and/or your notebook to re-acquaint yourself with the important points. Cover the right hand column of your text/note-book and orally ask yourself the questions in the left hand margins. Orally recite or write the answers from memory. Make "flash cards" for those questions which give you difficulty. Develop mnemonic devices for material which need to be memorized.

  • Days Three, Four and Five
    Alternate between your flash cards and notes and test yourself (orally or in writing) on the questions you formulated. Make addtional flash cards if necessary.

  • Weekend
    Using the text and notebook, make a Table of Contents - list all the topics and sub-topics you need to know from the chapter. From the Table of Contents, make a Study Sheet/ Spatial Map. Recite the information orally and in your own words as you put the Study Sheet/Map together.

  • Now that you have consolidated all the information you need for that chapter, periodically review the Sheet/Map so that at test time you will not have to cram.