The relations among school ability, self-efficacy, learning approach, and metacognition were examined in a path model. Questionnaires measuring these constructs were administered to 194 Filipino college students. Path analysis was used to determine the effects of school ability on self-efficacy and learning approaches, and in turn, the effects of self-efficacy and learning approach on metacognition. The path model tested showed adequate goodness of fit (x2 /df=2.77, GFI=.98, AGFI=.92, RMSEA=.05). In previous studies, deep approach but not surface approach to learning facilitates performance as outcome variable. However, a different pattern emerged in the results of the present study. When school ability was used as a predictor, surface approach increased and deep approach decreased as outcomes. When they were used as predictors together with self-efficacy, both increased the use of metacognition. Surface approach among Asians is seen as a useful approach to learning that is facilitated by prior school ability, and results to awareness of one’s learning. Further implications on surface and deep approach to learning are discussed.