Over the past couple of years, Firecracker members from all walks of life have asked us to build out native app functionality for just about every device. Since our membership keeps us moving, we've taken a page out of The Who's songbook and decided that we're Going Mobile. You can now download the Firecracker Daily Review mobile app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as for Apple Watch, totally free! Firecracker Daily Review parallels our website's interface and feature set, allows you to make progress on your studies while offline, and synchronizes with our website. In addition to the offline functionality, our mobile app also features popular new functionalities including Night Mode, High Yield Mode and Read-to-Me. We have received some really rave reviews thus far, and I've chosen a few of my favorites from the App Store and Google Play to showcase here:
Winter break is upon us, and students are asking us how to maximize productivity while balancing leisure time with friends and family. This time of year tends to be one of the most popular times for medical students to diligently dive into Firecracker. Whether you can hardly believe you made it through your first semester of medical school, or you're seeing that board exam date looming on the horizon, there's no better New Year's resolution than a regular review routine:
The semester is coming to an end, and it probably feels like two days ago that you just began! Assuming finals aren’t also in two days, we have some advice for getting you where you need to be to succeed. If you don’t already have a Firecracker membership, sign up here.
Firecracker has embarked on a new project: creating new modules for all the major Clerkships. Last month we released the Family Medicine Clerkship, and today we’re excited to launch Pediatrics and Psychiatry Clerkships. In addition to getting these as part of any Step 2 CK Firecracker membership, you can also buy them separately for only $40 for a month of access. You can access these new modules from Study Something Specific by choosing them directly from the dropdown at the top of the page.
We know that about 65% of Firecracker users will take the NBME Shelf exam for Family Medicine. This Shelf exam is unique in its scope: it covers all organ systems, all age ranges, and every common pathology. That represents a lot of material to absorb and retain while you’re running around the wards, caring for patients, and trying to get through your third year of medical school.
Developing smart and consistent study habits separates successful med students from the rest of the pack. Sarah is a third-year at Rutgers-NJMS who began using Firecracker about a year ago. Through reviewing first-year materials alongside her second-year coursework, she stamped a very comprehensive knowledgebase into her long-term memory. Sarah's studies resulted in stupendous success on Step 1, and her study strategies are now second-nature for her clinical clerkships. She's written this summary of how she did it for you:
Every medical student learns in a unique way, and you may not yet know which study strategies will work best for you. We've found some super-consistent trends that correlate with success; for example, individuals who do more questions for practice acheive the best results on their board exams. Firecracker's comprehensive content and built-in spaced repetition will ensure that you have all of the knowledge you need to succeed not only in medical school and on your major exams, but also in your future as a physician. Here are some detailed tips from a Firecracker member who slayed Step 1 this year:
For years, Firecracker has proven extremely effective as a resource for preclinical classes and USMLE Step 1 preparation. Thousands of third-year medical students are now also using Firecracker alongside their clinical rotations, and to prepare for major exams including USMLE Step 2 CK, Shelfs, COMLEX Level 2, and COMATs. Suat, a fourth-year medical student who picked up Firecracker as a primary resource during clerkships, graciously shares some wise words of experience here:
- Firecracker is not just a flashcard app.
Many first year students ask us why they should buy Firecracker instead of one of many “other” flashcard apps. While we can understand the confusion (after all, Firecracker does believe in the power of active recall questions in ensuring long-term retention), we nevertheless view it akin to comparing apples and oranges. Firecracker contains a Q-Bank of thousands of board-style clinical vignettes, a dozen prebuilt practice exams,daily patient cases, readable summaries of all of the testable topic areas, a substantially more advanced algorithm, special modes for both High Yield-only studying and dedicated board prep period, integrated note taking capabilities, and automated remediation tasks to shore up any weak areas. That said, for those students who find success with straightforward flashcard apps, we recommend Anki as a great choice. But for students looking for a more comprehensive platform that can be used throughout medical school, Firecracker is a better choice.