Physiology: the art of the essay

I am taking Human Physiology and it is kicking my butt… I love the class… the material is incredible… I’m studying a lot… but we just got the first exam scores and they were horrible… mine included… just to give you an idea… the bottom rung for an A was an 80% that’s how bad they were… one of the girls in my class got a “2” on the exam… there were several scores under 10…
I got the equivalent of a C on it… and I am absolutely devastated. I’ve been in a funk all day… now I realize that there’s nothing I can do about it now (except try to bring up the grade)… The reality of it is that I KNOW the material… and my scores should reflect that… I’ve seen the key to the exam and my answers are very similar to what’s on there (from the professor) but my answers aren’t as technical as his are ( I don’t throw in “jargon” every other word)…Now i’m wondering if this is why my score was so low (I’m trying to get into the professor to find this out and his ideas for how I might improve etc)…
After all that… my question is… these exams are 100% essay. There is no multiple guess, fill in the blank, NOTHING…and I think this is probably what got me… I wrote beautiful essays… and I don’t BS… but what I’m wondering is… is there some art form to THESE essays that I’m missing… and how do I find it?
Is there anybody that would be willing to share their tips on writing science related essay answers.
I know the material… of that I’m fairly certain… I just don’t seem to be answering the questions in the way that he wants or as technical as he wants.

Thanks in advance!

Hi there,
Unfortunately, you are going to need to use the same “jargon” that the professor uses in answering your essay questions. First, you have to demonstrate that you know and can discuss the material. Second, you have to consider your audience (in this case the professor). If you wanted to explain the cardiac cycle to a layman, you would use different language that what you would use to explain the cardiac cycle to a cardilogist.
Answering essay questions is along the same format as writing any good essay. Thesis, evidence, evidence and conclusion. I had two days of essay questions for the written part of my qualifying exams in Biochemistry. I ended up with more than 100 typed pages of essays over the two eight hour days. It was grueling but I answered each question that was asked and supported my answers with very technical details.
You have to learn to speak and write the language of science. Shake off the first exam, upgrade your performance and do better on the next test. Good luck!