So far in this book I have dealt with the fundamental aspects of study. The first five chapters have focused on approach and basic fact: how the mind works, finding the right attitude and working method, trusting your own instincts, and so on. By concentrating on how to start, how to adopt a working rhythm that is natural and pleasant, and how to keep in touch with your past work, I have tried to give you a sense of the overall shape of study. This feeling is essential to real efficiency and success. I hope by now you have an idea of how good your mind can be, and how much you are capable of. Above all, I hope I have convinced you that a sense of fun is not only possible but desirable: whatever your reasons for doing the course, you will do much better if you enjoy yourself. A proper sense of vanity is conducive to all successful study!
It is now time to look in detail at specific skills. The next chapters offer advice on techniques that are, unfortunately, rarely taught in schools or colleges. I would guess that few of you have received any systematic advice on how to take notes, how to plan essays, how to read quickly and efficiently, or even how best to prepare yourself for exams. But remember that, as with everything in this book, my ideas are advice, not orders. They are designed to help you, to give you something to think about and experiment with. They are not tablets of stone, so if you find that some of them don't work for you, don't worry: use that discovery, and find something else that does. Remember:
You are in charge.