Some people are academic naturals but some of us have to work extraordinarily hard to accomplish even the measliest of tasks. Sadly I'm one of the second type. For me, computers come naturally but ask me to write a paper and I'm totally screwed. The difference is that I'm quite different from other people. I have a learning disability as well as ADD and can't tell you that trying incredibly hard without a real result really sucks but don't let it get you down.
Step 1: Do Your Homework
This is one of the most important tasks. Doing your homework is a must because it takes what you learn in class and gives you a platform to build on the following day. If you do not complete your homework, you will not have the same platform to build on and, over time, your metaphorical bridge will collapse because you do not have the needed building blocks in which to reference from. Homework isn't just given to students by teachers because they feel like it (well in some cases it is :) ) but rather to help you later on in your learning.
If you have a problem with a specific task, try asking for help in the end of class or in an email. Many times your teacher can help you a lot more than a parent could because the teacher knows exactly where the class is and what some common problems are. A parent, although trying to be helpful, may not be very good at helping because they are at a much different education level and therefore know things that will really mess you up.
One of the tricks to completing homework is dynamic time management. This means that instead of doing exactly what the teacher tells you to do, only do the stuff you have a problem with. An great example of this is math homework because quite often you will receive a large number of questions that may be deterring. What helps is to only do the things that you have a problem actually doing rather then every single question. This is a much more effective homework strategy because it gives you the time needed to work on everything else that you may have a problem with.
Step 2: Ask for Help!
This is the single most important step! You can't meet a let alone exceed a challenge if you don't understand it. School is meant to trick your brain into a false sense of security where one day you feel like king of the class and the other feels like "*ugh* I don't know how I ever understood this". How you overcome this is by talking with your teacher or instructor about what material will be covered and how to accomplish it. This will allow you to better compensate when the material actually does come around. This will allow you to spend your time more wisely on the things that really do confuse you.
Step 3: Self Esteem
Self esteem plays a huge part in peoples lives whether they like it or not. Self esteem can prohibit you from accomplishing tasks because you are either too sad or don't think you are good enough. Self esteem can either be your downfall or your greatest strength.
A high self esteem is not really a good thing because if you cannot preform to that set standard 100% of the time you become let down and disappointed. A low self esteem on the other hand is not a good thing either because it makes your brain put up barriers where there are none. Take a university application as an example. A person with a high self esteem may only apply to the top school in the area because they are sure no matter what that they will get in. A person with a low self esteem may only apply to the schools where they are guaranteed in because they don't think they are good enough for the better schools. A person with an esteem somewhere in the middle would apply to all the schools in the realm of possibility to make sure no matter what that they would get in but also to see if they can to better as well.
Step 4: Join an Community
A great way to do better in school is to join a community. In my case I found that I liked online communities a lot better then real life communities because they are a lot more specialized but it's really your taste. Having another community to rely on works wonders with doing better in school because it gives out an outlet when you are down because of school. A community also helps with school by making you set goals on academic work in order to complete it faster. This allows you to spend more time with the community.
Step 5: Proper Sleep
It's quite simple, to achieve success you need sleep. In order to get sleep you can't just stay up until 4am (wouldn't know anything about that :P) and then the next day go to bed at 6pm. You need a regular schedule. Something you can count on. A defined constant that you do every day no matter the reason.
Step 6: Work With a Partner
Working with a partner is a great way to get things done. What I mean is to work by your self but constantly compare your work to your partners work. If your work is less then you will work even harder to get ahead, even for a short while. For example my friend and I had a big programming summative assignment just recently. My friend fought each other to have a better summative every step of the way until the very end. Thus working against a partner is a great strategy to complete work quickly unless it starts to become personal or there is sabotage.
Step 7: Learning Disabilities
Learning Disabilities are a big problem for many people. As a person with ADD, a Learning Disability, and Aspergers Syndrome I sympathize but the thing is that you can't let that get you down. If you have a large struggle with something and not with anything else then talk to your teacher about accommodating around these types of things. If they don't respond then talk to your resource teacher. These types of things tend to go unnoticed unless you identify them yourself or go through $1000s in testing. For me, writing in lengths is a real struggle which I am combating and that's why you don't see me posting very often on instructables.
Step 8: Final Notes
1. This is my first real instructable so be nice :)
2. This instructable was done quickly as my math homework is yet to be done :P
3. I am really bad at writing at length so tell me if it doesn't fit together well