The best way to prepare for these exams is to keep up with the reading assignments and attend the class meetings during the semester. Before each exam, you should then review the material covered in the class, referring to the reading material whenever necessary. For each exam there will also be a set of practice questions (midterm, final). You should make sure you've looked at these questions so that you know what to expect in the exam. In general, the questions will test understanding of the main concepts: the motivation behind problems and techniques, analysis of their successes and shortcomings, etc.
Cheating is not tolerated and will be dealt with according to the university policy. The exams are closed book. If you are more than 30mins late, you won't be able to take the exam.