Discipline. Accountability. Passion.
Discipline: Get Organized
Studying daily is proven to be a more efficient way of learning (i.e. less total study time needed). For those that cringe at the thought of studying O-Chem every day, remember that there are brilliant people out there. You cannot afford to be inconsistent; make success a habit.
Accountability: Find a Community
People thrive when they keep each other accountable. Additionally, studying tips or hints on test material will diffuse to you much faster if you join the community of chemistry nerds. I recommend going to office hours and seeing which students’ studying style you gel with. Then ask them if they’d like to study with you (I personally recommend doing this when you understand the current material so that they won’t resent you as a needy partner). If that makes you uncomfortable, remember that I believe in you!
Passion: Love it
A lot of people, especially pre-med students, suffer from the restrictive perspective that chemistry is an unpleasant stepping stone to bigger and better things. Disliking a subject never helped anyone’s grade, and reflects the student’s laziness. I know that sounds harsh, but I stand by it. It is the student’s responsibility to connect her new material to subjects that excite her. There is always one major takeaway from any class she enrolls in.