This study aimed at clarifying the evaluation method used in the philosophy test for the French baccalaureate. Our approach did not consist of tackling the national curriculum, but in focusing on effective strategies used by students on a relatively lower level, through self-learning books, which allow the students to prepare for the test in a "pragmatic" way. The purpose for these students is simply to achieve a good score in the test. These books teach them what is important in composing copy for essays. The examination of these works has revealed the constituent elements of good copy: it is not about creativity or about philosophic originality, but a respect for the fixed argument form which the student has to assimilate during the year, as well as exact quotations from philosophic works, which means that memorization of such material is a key to success. The philosophy test in the French baccalaureate is thus an exercise which demands the art of memory, more than simple philosophic reasoning.