Here are some academic tips that have helped me in my studies:
1. Find your Purpose and Passion - When you feel you have a purpose to doing something or are passionate about reaching a certain goal, it changes everything. For me, I found God later on in my life and he was the one who gave purpose in my life. Regardless, finding something you are passionate about will make a difference in your life in all aspects, including academics.
2. Try and make the material interesting, make it a game, challenge someone else to help you remember it, use your imagination. The more you connect the material with outrageously ridiculous things, the more you'll remember. Furthermore, the more you connect the new material with old things you already know the easier it will be to remember and recall at a later date.
3. Read lectures (if possible) ahead of time. I always try and do this by reading the assigned chapter or lectures ahead of time so that instead of the material being brand new, it merely clarifies things when my professor goes over things.
4. Find some place comfortable to study at. I use my bed or sometimes I'll review in the shower...it works for me. Find what works for you.
5. Make a study guide. I started doing this recently and it has helped out tremendously. I type out my own questions as I read through the lecture power points or chapters. This way, I'll cover all of the material and it will be condensed in a form that I understand it.
6. Tell someone or play fake teacher (I pretend I'm teaching someone) and try and explain what you've learned. This method helps you grasp concepts better and makes you aware of what material you really know and what material you need to spend more time on.
7. Take notes using the Cornell method which is where you have a main page where you take your notes, a margin on the left where you write questions, and the bottom margin where you write a summary of what was written.