How to Get Better Grades
Get a good idea of what you'll be studying this term. It is essential indeed to have a sheet of your course outline, and study it carefully. Do you see anything that you sense will make you have difficulty in your studies? If so, do a little research on it, and it would be a good idea to try to do an advanced reading.
Also, calculate the percentage of the grade you wish to achieve, and set a goal.
Keep your undivided attention to your teacher, especially when they give you hints about giving you a pop quiz or something relevant to that. It's important to keep yourself free of distractions. If you find something that truly bothers you and prevents you from fixating your whole attention to the lessons, you might want to talk to your teacher about so your teacher can move your seat or something that truly resolves your problem.
When unclear about a homework, project, or whatnot, always feel free to ask your teacher about it. You may be too shy to ask during class, but don't let that stop you. If you're not particularly comfortable asking in front of your whole class, ask after school or during lunch. Nothing gladdens your teacher but an inquisitive, interested and determined student.
When assigned a homework and/or project, get started on it right away. Don't let work pile up, and definitely NEVER should you let procrastination overcome. You should keep yourself determined, and try to gather enough willpower in yourself to stray away from indulgent temptations. It's better to work on your homework/ project earlier than letting it burden you at the last minute.
Stay organized. We all know having a neat and tidy room will keep you free from hindrance or delay on doing your homework and studies. The more organized you stay, the better the chance you'll get your work finished earlier.
Study the pointers your teacher gives you before a dated test. Think to yourself, maybe reading from pages 1-45 of your textbook wouldn't do you any good. Try to find the main points of every sentence, and try to judge where the REAL important fact lies in each sentence. If you have enough time, maybe it's a good idea to condense what you've learned and turn them into words that you understand better.
Don't be discouraged by those big words you don't understand, get a dictionary or search for an understandable definition online.
Try to reward yourself with something enjoyable after a long period of study session doing homework. It makes all your grueling hard work worthwhile.