Learning to read, assimilate information, take notes and write essays is probably going to be the most difficult thing that you will have to do in your first year. A large part of the assessment at Part 1A consists of essay-type exam questions, so you will need to master these skills.
You are all reasonably proficient at writing, even if you haven’t had that much experience at writing essays. However, there are many common faults even at this level, and you should aim to eliminate them now. The good news is that with a little thought and practice you can each improve your writing very substantially and very quickly.
A quick note here about dyslexia. Some of you may have problems that stem from dyslexia, which affects many people, although in many ways and at many different levels of severity. Many students will not realise that they are dyslexic until they reach university, or will not realise the severity of the problem. If you think that you may suffer from dyslexia, contact your Director of Studies and your Tutor at the earliest opportunity. If necessary, you can be assessed professionally, through the Disability Resource Centre, and solutions and strategies proposed. Please note that much of the advice contained in the materials about reading and writing properly is not directed at individuals in this category; dyslexia is a distinct medical problem, not to be confused with carelessness, ignorance or foolishness.