This study investigated how students' level of motivation and use of specific cognitive and self-regulatory strategies changed over time, and how these motivational and cognitive components in turn predicted students' course performance in chemistry. Participants were 458 students enrolled in introductory college chemistry classes. Participants' motivation and strategy use were assessed at three time points over the course of one semester using self-report instruments. Results showed an overall decline in students' motivational levels over time. There was also a decline in students' use of rehearsal and elaboration strategies over time; students' use of organizational and self-regulatory strategies increased over time. These trends, however, were found to vary by students' achievement levels. In terms of the relations of motivation and cognition to achievement, the motivational components of self-efficacy and task value were found to be the best predictors of final course performance even after controlling for prior achievement.