The tests revolve around the DSO's. Like.. most of them will be like: Identify this object. Now that you know what kind it is, answer these general questions about this type of variable star. So like... even if you know everything about variable stars, if you don't know the DSOs, you won't know what type of star the questions are asking about.
It's really not that hard to learn them. Google them, print out the pretty pictures and put them into the binder with a name on them. Look on Chandra or wikipedia or APOD and see what general info you can find about it (age, distance, type of star, location in the sky, stage in evolution are the most important), and then when you see a picture on the test, match them up.
Valparaiso, Indiana SO Alumnus
Ben Franklin MS
Harvard University 2012
Nationals: OSU '03, Juniata '04, Wichita State '07, George Washington '08 -- Team place: 22, 18, 11, 11