Students learn study tips for mid-terms at Lunch and Learn workshop.

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Coordinator invites all students to use The Mexican-American Studies Center.

By Victoria Lee Zamora

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Instead of staying up late to study for an important exam, use a “time management” strategy, an administrative services specialist in the Mexican-American studies program told about 20 students Feb. 28 at a Lunch and Learn workshop in Chance Academic Center.

“Breakdown your study time,” Steven Maldonado said. “Find a method that works best for how your mind works.”

Dr. Lisa Ramos, history professor and Mexican-American studies coordinator, sponsored the Lunch and Learn workshop as the second in a series. The next one is not scheduled yet. The first was in December.

“Our goal is to have two to three each semester,” she said. “I want students to know they are not alone. They don’t have to tackle everything on their own. There are resources here and in the community.”

Maldonado covered study techniques.

“Leave your comfort zone. Staying in the same place for more than two hours can become dull,” Maldonado said.

He advised students to study at places that are aesthetically pleasing.

“The Japanese Tea Garden is a stress-free environment, and it’s free to the public,” Maldonado said.

The Japanese Tea Garden is at 853 N. St. Mary’s St. and is open 10 a.m.-8:30 p.m. daily.

Finding a peaceful location where students can focus is a key component to having better study habits, he said.

Always study the subject that is less challenging first to give the brain a warmup, he said.  

“I find it best to compartmentalize and space out different subjects you’re studying for,” Maldonado said. “For example, from 3-4 p.m. make it a point to only study for one subject. Even if it wasn’t productive, move on to the next subject.”

 Keeping the mind multitasking between study sessions helps retain more material, he said.

Take 10 minute breaks between studying for different subjects, he said. Students may want to clean their room or even exercise, he said. 

With midterm exams scheduled, finding out what type of study habits work best is important and the “initial goal” for the Lunch and Learn series, Ramos said.

Guest speaker James Woodworth, team lead for the tutor team in the student learning assistance center, briefly discussed note-taking.

“If you are someone who likes to quiz yourself then Cornell method is best,” Woodworth said.  

In this method, the student divides the paper into two columns. The left side is the cue column for formulating questions. The right side is for note-taking and gathering key points.

This type of note-taking is organized but it’s not for everyone, he said.

 “Clustering note-taking is better for visual learners,” he said.

In this method, the student writes the main topic of what they are studying in the middle and the supporting points around it. It’s also called “writers web.”

Biology sophomore Jamie Laba said she found information on Cornell note-taking beneficial.

“Learning how to set up Cornell notes and ways to quiz yourself is something I will definitely use when studying,” Laba said.

The Mexican-American studies center is a resource Ramos wants all students to know about. Students can come to Room 100 of Chance to study, write a paper or relax.

“If you need a space to relax and gather your thoughts, use our mindfulness room,” Ramos said. “We have a sofa you can lie down and meditate.”

For more information, visit Room 100 in Chance or call 210-486-0763.

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