Poor academic performance can be caused by a variety of factors, very few of which have to do with a moral or intellectual failing on the part of the student. Often, a combination of internal and external factors influence a student's academic performance. Getting to the root of these causes can increase academic performance dramatically.
Some external factors that can affect academic performance include the class in which the student is doing poorly and stressful situations that have nothing to do with the class. If the student is preoccupied by troubles at home or with friends, she may not be able to devote the necessary time and effort to the class.
On the other hand, if the student is not feeling challenged in the class or does not have the necessary background knowledge, she may suffer academically. Students who do not have the necessary knowledge may need to go back to study the subject at an earlier level, while students who are not feeling challenged may do better if they are moved forward to a more advanced level. Finally, very bright students who naturally excel in school without having to study may perform poorly in classes that demand more from them because they do not have the necessary study skills to get ahead.