School should be about learning, not examinations, but today's students seem to live to get high marks. If you asked me to repeat one of my tests from a former year, I would probably make many mistakes. This is because I learned only facts in order to pass the test and did not actually master any of the concepts which I could apply to other questions based upon similar principles. Why bother trying to learn anything if we forget as soon as we've take the quizzes? Learning to learn is difficult, so my teachers are helping us with a portfolio of assignments. These assignments count for 40 per cent of marks for regular homework and for English-related activities. It may seem a bit strict because marks count for every assignment, but it is interesting and useful when you are used to it. This gives us more opportunities for learning and it also increases our creativity. I may not get as much information by taking part in English activities, but instead of learning things by rote and without reason, I remember the facts and concepts, which is much more important and lasting. This method we are now using also makes us more eager to learn. In the past, we spent our time on tests and homework and seldom joined any activities. Now our homework involves thinking, not just doing a pile of grammar exercises. This helps us become effective thinkers with a high emotional quotient. Our school organises English activities such as English Day and English on Campus. We also make use of resources provided by the English Learning Centre. With the new scheme, students are learning. We do not feel shy even when interviewing tourists, and are confident enough to speak English during class. This approach to learning guides us along a path of learning and clears the mind for critical thinking. Angie Kong is a student at St Mary's Canossian College.