A Study of Studying

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Cindy Muchnick.  If you have children in school, this is a name you will want to know.

For the past decade when hundreds of Newport Beach kids opened their college acceptance letters and experienced the thrill of seeing the word “Congratulations”  they in large part, had Cindy Muchnick to thank.

Cindy Muchnick

Muchnick, a name synonymous with school success, has arguably been the most sought after educational consultant in the area. She helps her clients establish a tool box filled with the essentials to succeed in and out of the classroom.

Now all of her best wisdom is contained in one book, “The Everything Guide to Study Skills: Strategies, Tips and Tools You Need to Succeed in School!”

From learning and applying valuable study strategies, to managing time, and becoming a more effective listener, Muchnick believes, every student has the ability to raise their grades, become more involved in school and life, and ultimately get accepted to the college of their choice.

You can meet Newport Beach resident Muchnick and have her sign a copy of her book on Sunday, Sept. 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Martha’s Bookstore on Balboa Island.  “The Everything Guide to Study Skills” is the most important thing on your back-to-school supply list.

In addition to the in depth knowledge she gained as an educational consultant, “The Everything Guide to Study Skills” also contains Muchnick’s experiences while earning two degrees from Stanford University, and insight she gained while serving as the assistant director of admission for the Illinois Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago, where she read and evaluated more than 3,000 applications for college admission.  She also brings the perspective of a teacher from her experience teaching high school and SAT preparation classes for the Princeton Review.

Muchnick, who  has cut back her private educational consulting business in order to write and promotethis book, says she has been busy with public speaking engagements. She now speaks publicly and presents workshops fulltime for PTO groups, middle and high school students and other parent groups.

Muchnick is also the mother of four so she empathizes with the plight of parents’ desire to impart advice to their often unreceptive children.

“I bridge the gap between parents and children. I have learned as both parent and educator that it is much easier for students to listen to and believe an outsider’s perspective verses words and advice coming from their parents’ mouths . . . even if the advice is exactly the same!”  she says.

Muchnick says it is typical that parents and teens clash when it comes to doling out and accepting advice on how to be a better student, a more productive person.

She also shares her view of a typical class of students being broken down this way:  “Ten percent of kids are naturally at the top of their class. They know what to do in and out of school, how to do it, and they do it well. Those top 10 percent are pre-wired to succeed (or just work incredibly hard to be high achievers) Then there is the bottom 10 percent of every class who struggle to stay afloat and often need a learning environment that is less traditional or caters more to specific needs, learning styles or impairments. But the 80 percent in the middle – those are the students this book serves best, The content teaches them what the top 10% are doing and how to approach school more like those high achievers are.”

“The Everything Guide to Study Skills” is easy to read, yet every page has a wow factor.  Golden nuggets of wisdom that can immensely change a student’s path abound. Everything is broken down into digestible and easy to apply pieces.  Muchnick’s conversational style is one that teens will appreciate.  She writes as though she is talking to her readers one on one, rather than talking down to them. There is no need for confusing educational statistics or in depth research. This is a common sense, no nonsense approach to success.

Perhaps one of the most relevant lessons teens (and parents) will glean from this book is that becoming a more successful student does not necessarily mean spending more time studying; but instead, studying smarter. Tips such as creating a To-Do list, prioritizing a schedule, knowing how to study, or becoming an effective listener will save time and energy while improving grades.

The last two chapters “Extracurricular Activities, Jobs, Volunteering, and Summer Plans” and “Find and Pursue Your Passion” help teens understand the importance of becoming involved something they enjoy and gain experience outside of school.

Muchnick believes that “school is a student’s job.  If they approach it that way and learn how to please the boss, work well with co-workers, and apply methodical steps to succeeding in this working world, they will ultimately find more success  and job gratification. Every student deserves to learn what steps to take to find personal success.”

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