Usually a course of philosophy at the University consists of two parts: the history of philosophy and theory of philosophy. The first study in the first semester, pass it off and "safely" forget it. Second, respectively, studied in the second semester, the exam on both parts. History of philosophy, usually does not cause problems - it can just memorize. With the theory of harder - to be able to present it in the exam, it should at least have some understanding. Especially if the teacher is meticulous and loves his subject - these are gladly ready to talk with you for an hour about the problems of true knowledge.
A disciplined student can do to avoid examination in philosophy, if you will attend all or almost all pairs and answer seminars: at the end of the year, he is likely to get "automatic". Willpower, of course, this requires a lot, especially closer to the summer, when the sun outside the window categorically bothers to talk about the role of social revolution in the development of civilizations. But perhaps "automatic" in philosophy is worth it. Moreover, the web is full of essays and papers on philosophy, and you can always find something interesting on the subject, to read and speak in class.
What about those who are "automatic" does not Shine? It is hardly necessary to immediately run to the store for Cribs, and not always can be blamed. Crib better to write themselves, and then...leave them at home, as you will all remember. A very good at recognizing when I write, and that is writing, not typing on a computer.
With the history of philosophy to get easily. Just divide the whole history of philosophy into periods - antiquity, middle ages, Renaissance, etc. Draw a diagram just to remember what comes after what and what is the representative refers to time and the current. It will be "skeleton", which then easily attach large and small details: ideas, concepts, theories. It is best to take a large sheet of paper, e.g. A3 size and to portray the entire history of philosophy on this sheet. Would a brief visual outline.
As for the theory of philosophy, then it's easier to write for each issue a relatively detailed cheat sheet with the most easy to understand tutorial. Reading complex and detailed manuals will not help you, you only spend time on their comprehension, in addition to the exam, nobody expects you to remember every detail. Each crib can be accompanied by diagrams, drawings, ie everything that can help you. The evening before the exam or in the morning if you get up early, scan your eyes on all Cribs. The main you will remember for sure.
Philosophy teachers - people are usually difficult. Better not to spoil relations with them, not to argue once again, not to show their dislike to the philosopher or to the theory that the teacher especially appreciates. Establishing good relations with the teacher can easily transfer your answer to the exam in the category of casual conversation. So without "perfect" or at least "good" you will not stay.