CANDIDATES for the HKCEE Chinese History subject need not memorise all the names and years of the emperors' reigns as the Hongkong Examinations Authority is considering providing the information at exams. A table listing the names and periods of the emperors will be given at the examination hall to lessen the pressure on students, according to the authority's secretary, Mr Choi Chee-cheong. ''The move is to avoid rote-learning of unnecessary facts and details. We do not encourage students to learn by memorising,'' he said. ''The Education Department has issued circulars and a guideline urging teachers of Chinese History and Chinese Language to reduce the workload of pupils. We are trying to do something on our part.'' Chinese History teachers have been asked in the guideline to avoid cramming materials for students to rote-learn. They are encouraged to stimulate inquisitiveness and critical thinking by flexible teaching and using varied activities, including role-playing exercises and group discussions. Mr Choi said some HKCEE and A-level subjects have already included information for candidates' reference in exams. For example, some basic principles and formulas are listed in Mathematics and Additional Mathematics question books; periodic tables are listed for Chemistry and Physics. Candidates in Religious Studies are allowed to bring their own Bible to the exam hall. A 26-page Buddhist booklet, prepared by the Examinations Authority, are given to candidates of Buddhist Studies. ''And now the subject committee is considering doing something similar for Chinese History. It might be a table listing all the names and years of the emperors' reign,'' he said. ''But we have yet to decide how it should be done, whether the table be included in the question book, or on a separate sheet.'' But Mr Choi said it was unlikely students could bring their own notes and tables to the exam hall for fear that this could create problems. Toi Shan Association College principal Mr Fung Chi-wah welcomed the move, saying it would encourage Arts students to learn through understanding. ''Arts students usually give the impression of learning by memorising. But now they will concentrate more on learning through understanding and training their analytical ability as they need not cram facts,'' he said. But Mr Yiu Kai-wing, principal of the Po Leung Kuk Yao Ling Sun College, insisted that students should memorise some basic information, such as the names of emperors. ''There is a close relationship between a king and the history of his empire. It would be ridiculous if a student cannot even name and write the kings who were important in the history of China,'' he said.