As is always the case in the aftermath of the exam season, the last weeks have seen much public debate about the utility of examinations as a means of measuring both the intelligence of students and the things that they know. Universities are increasingly recognizing the rigour of the IB as a means of putting students’ ability to apply knowledge to the test, but when it comes to the learning process it is important to acknowledge that examinations are only a means to a wider end. As such, although much can be achieved in terms of exam-oriented learning (and Elite IB runs very successful revision courses to that purpose), the most successful learners are those who value their subjects in and of themselves. Knowledge sticks with those who have a genuine interest in its acquisition, and is applied best by those who appreciate it for its own sake. Those entering the new academic year this month and returning from their summer breaks will likely want to ease themselves back in gently. However, now is the time to set the best possible starting pace in a learning process which is most successful when treated as a marathon rather than a sprint, and valued as an end in itself.