1.  It begins with good note-taking.  If I write something on the board, there is an excellent chance that it will be on the exam.  If you write something in your notes that you don't understand while reviewing them later, it's a good idea to look it up or ask the instructor.  

2.  Know the study guide.  If there is a term on the study guide like, oh, say, "positive feedback", there is a good chance that it will be on the exam.  

3.  Can't define a term using that term.  Example:  you can't define "exponential growth" by saying "growth at an exponential rate."  That still doesn't tell me you know what exponential means.  And it's not enough just to say "extremely rapid growth"; if it was, then they would call it "rapid growth" instead of "exponential growth".  

4.  Understand what the question is asking.  Answer the test question, not some other question.  Example: When I ask, "What are the two chief benefits of recycling?" and you answer "Earth is our only habitat".  This is not an answer to the question.  It is a true statement, I agree with it, but it doesn't mention a benefit of recycling.  It doesn't even explain how recycling benefits the Earth.  It assumes I can make that leap of logic.

 5.  Don't answer a question by rewording the question.  Example:  "How does rising population compound environmental problems" and you answer, "through overpopulation".

 6.  Assume the instructor/grader is ignorant.  Make your answer clear.  Don't assume I know the answer; convince me that you know the answer.

 7.  Give the answer we discussed in class.  This is your best chance for points, rather than making something up.

 8.  Don't expect the instructor to read your mind.  Give clear answers.  Don't be vague.  Example:  "What is a cause of soil erosion?"  Answer:  "People"  

9.  Don't make the instructor guess.  If I have to guess, there is a good chance I will guess wrongly.