How This Firecracker Scored a 257 on USMLE Step 1

Posted by davidguertin on Nov 17, 2014 12:21:12 PM

Every day, we hear medical and premedical students express how they wish they had started Firecracker earlier, and the data suggests best results are very strongly correlated with longer-term membership. Here is the testimony of a Mayo Medical School student who used Firecracker alongside courses to crush med school and the USMLE. We hope to hear more great experiences like this one:

"I started using Firecracker at the start of my second year of medical school. I wish I had started earlier, because it would have been much easier to keep up on all the topics if I had been doing it from the start!

I started using Firecracker so I would not forget the material from one class as I started a different one. Our medical school runs on the Blocks system, so after 6 weeks of cardiology, we don’t see cardiology again until the Step exam! I wanted to make sure that information wasn’t lost, so I kept practicing with Firecracker throughout the other blocks, while adding the new material to my decks.

- Basic science classes: I wish I would have been using firecracker during my first year, but I didn’t know about it until second year, so I didn’t end up using it for basic science.
- Organ systems classes: I used Firecracker to keep up my skills from previous organ block classes while we moved ahead with new ones. It was a good refresher to see the questions come through even after I had taken the final exam for that class.
- Step 1 prep: I used Firecracker to study for Step 1 by building decks of questions to review the reading I had done during the day. If I read the Pulmonology section of BRS & First Aid and then watched Pathoma pulmonology, I would use Firecracker as a way to test myself on that material before doing the UWorld questions.

Firecracker helped me to maintain my medical knowledge long term, instead of just studying each subject while I was in that particular block. It was so important to maintain all of that information for the Step 1 exam, so I was glad I did it.

My advice for how a new user should use Firecracker is to get it right at the start of medical school and start adding cards to your active deck as you cover material in class. It was overwhelming to try to add all the cards from first year’s material when I got it at the start of second year, so I think this is much better used as a long-term investment throughout the first two didactic years of medical school."

If you haven't yet done so, start a free trial today! One thing we know for sure is it's certainly never too early to get crackin!

Topics: Medical Education

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Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at

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