1. I test really bad, so before I even start talking about the PGRE does anyone know any books that help you test better?
Barrons book is tested by millions of us. And it tests sweet after the test. So try this. And Nova's quantitative section.
2. I also need to get my mathematics up to speed for my GRE quantitative, so where are some good sources on that? While we are on the topic on mathematics, my calculus needs alot of work. I am really good at single derivative and integral stuff, but I start sucking bad at triple integrals and polar coordinates, etc. I need to know what books I can read.
There is no calculus involved in the GRE quantitative just simple high school mathematics. And if you want to build up calculus for your physics preparation then try Jerrold Marsden series.
3. How can I retain what I learn? My brain is like a really crappy hard drive going bad, it just dumps information.
* Install a 1000 GB hard drive, get formatted. just kidding.
* Oom you have to develop a schedule to study, and make it a strict a habit to study at particular time. So your brain will train you in that way, and the memory game will improve. Study when you feel like studying.
* Do some Yoga, Mild exercises, and pursue your hobbies.
* Take breaks for 5-10 mins after a session of 30-40 mins of study. Don't study the same thing over a long period of time. Change your topics.
4. I test poorly. What can I do to be a better test taker? Make fun of me all I want, I don't care, I do need to know how I can take tests better. Studying and working hard is not the problem. Maybe the saying "Work smarter, not harder" is true and necessary for me. So please give advice.
Nothing can be said here just practice makes every body perfect. Time yourself strictly, Practice previous problems sets with real exam like spirit. And feel confident no matter what your mind constantly buzzing in the core. Just ignore the fearful voice of your mind and train it to speak affirmations.
And the most important thing is that don't take yourself too seriously. Every thing will be fine.
That said, I wish all the very best to your future and to you.