As usual, the verb without -ся is transitive (it takes an Accusative object), while the verb with -ся is intransitive (it cannot take an Accusative object). To prepare for something, use the -ся verb with к (which always takes the Dative case).
Ћн рљдко готћвится к урћку. He seldom prepares for the lesson.
Ћн рљдко готћвит урћки. He seldom prepares his lessons.
Ћн хорошћ подготћвился. He was well prepared.