One Answer

    1. If you approach the question as pragmatically as possible and assume that philosophy is not your specialty, then, first, find out what program you studied during the semester. It is likely that you had some kind of training manual containing the program of classes and a list of recommended literature. Do not be too lazy to take it – philosophy courses at different universities are quite different, so follow the recommendations of your teachers.

    2. Remember (or ask your classmates) what training materials were recommended by your teacher during lectures and / or seminars. Again, it is possible that the Department of Philosophy at your university has some of its own manuals for independent work of students (or, even better, your teacher wrote such a manual himself) – be sure to read them. There is nothing more joyful for a teacher during an exam than the realization that a student has read the text he has written.

    3. If you don't have your own lecture notes, get them from your classmates. Again, due to the fact that each teacher teaches a course with its own specifics. It doesn't matter that other people's notes will contain relatively little information, it is important to understand at least the general principle of presenting the material. At the same time, be careful not to mindlessly reproduce pieces of notes that you don't understand during the answer – this is a direct way to say something stupid, and it is very noticeable to the teacher. If you don't understand something in your notes (for example, there are incomprehensible words), arm yourself with the Internet and look for these incomprehensible moments.

    4. Think about why you took this course. Seriously. It is impossible to prepare for a subject if you don't understand why it is needed. I still give students the task of passing an essay on the topic for admission: “What did I learn from the philosophy course?” The results are roughly as follows. In any case, if you can link the course you took to your daily life and profession, this will be a big plus when answering. Just do not be disingenuous, if you can not think of where to adapt the philosophy, it is better not to say at all – fictional answers also usually catch your eye.

    5. After that, start preparing the answers to your questions. In general, it is better to use dictionaries or encyclopedias than textbooks. As practice shows, textbooks on the structure rarely exactly match the structure of questions, so the possibility of using them is limited. But encyclopedias and dictionaries work “with a bang”. Just do not use Wikipedia, there is a lot of nonsense and unnecessary details. Take any philosophical dictionary and look up names and unfamiliar concepts. You can take an electronic encyclopedia, for example, “Circumnavigation of the World” or “Great Russian Encyclopedia”. Go from one article to another, for example, if you come across a text in an article about Socrates like “Socrates polemicized with sophists”, but you don't know who sophists are – go to the article about sophists. In an electronic encyclopedia, this is easy to do with hyperlinks. If you don't do this before the exam, the teacher is more likely to do it during the exam: this is one of the classic techniques for inventing additional questions.

    6. If you still have time, you can watch videos like FilosoFAQ´┐Żor read philosophy in a popular presentation, for example, in Gusev's books.

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