David Guertin

Recent Posts

How this D.O. student used Firecracker en route to board scores of 252 on Step 1 and 800 on COMLEX!

Posted by David Guertin on Jul 21, 2017 10:57:43 AM

Firecracker D.O. is built for osteopathic medical students who want to kill two birds with one stone and crush every major challenge in sight; COMLEX and USMLE, COMATs, classes, and clinical Clerkships. We've recently rebuilt our osteopathy materials to address the most up to date COMLEX standards with comprehensive OMM content for the Shelf, and tons of newly published questions. More D.O. students than ever before are now taking USMLE as well, and balancing both board exams is easier than ever in Firecracker. Matthew, a third-year at PCOM, describes here how he was able to leverage the Firecracker D.O. platform in preparation for some stupendous success:

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Topics: Students, Tales from the front line, USMLE Step 1, COMLEX

Enhancing your Efficiency to Ramp up Retention

Posted by David Guertin on Jun 23, 2017 4:52:45 PM

Although Firecracker is a very comprehensive resource offering thousands of all-original board-style practice clinical vignettes, tens of thousands of direct recall questions and in-depth topics with citations for everything you need to know, most students actually report saving time when they use Firecracker for their studies. We've optimized our mobile app for speed, and recently implemented some new features on the web, including the ever-popular Shot Clock, to help you crush questions quickly. Here, we'll break down best practices for studying efficiently with Firecracker, which is available at an excellent sale price this month:

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Topics: USMLE, Big Data, How to Use Firecracker, Clinical Rotations, Mobile Apps, Customer Support, Content

How this Firecracker member scored a 526 on MCAT

Posted by David Guertin on May 23, 2017 12:45:31 PM

Firecracker has quickly become one of the most popular resources for medical students to use alongside coursework and to prepare for their major exams, and we've built out comprehensive content for Premedical years and MCAT into the same proven software. Not only do premedical students get full access to Firecracker via the mobile app and website to supplement their studies, the MCAT program is entirely free! When premedical students find out about this, they often respond by telling us we're "the best-kept secret in the test prep world." Oliver, whose voice is here in italics, is a premed at Baylor who wanted to crush his MCAT, and found Firecracker useful in achieving a near perfect score:

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Topics: Tales from the front line, MCAT, Firecracker, Testimonial

How this Firecracker scored a 247 on USMLE Step 1

Posted by David Guertin on May 10, 2017 4:21:37 PM

Lee is a medical student at Florida State University in the class of 2019 who was interested in optimizing study efficiency from the beginning of medical school. To stay on top of coursework through his preclinical years, Lee found Firecracker's content, questions, and related context links to be helpful in pushing him towards relevant materials for learning. Balancing coursework and developing a consistent routine of reviewing content from day one of medical school all the way through dedicated board prep, Lee leveraged Firecracker's spaced repetition-rooted recommendations and USMLE-style practice case questions en route to a stellar Step 1 score:

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Topics: Big Data, Learning & Memory Science, USMLE Step 1, Exams

Dedicated Test Prep Mode on Your iPhone

Posted by David Guertin on Mar 16, 2017 11:39:57 AM

Dedicated Test Prep mode (DTP) is now live in our iOS app for iPad and iPhone users. For anyone who hasn’t heard yet, DTP Mode is designed specifically for use during the final 30 to 90 days before your big board exam. It transitions your studying to better align with how the most successful students spend their final few weeks. In DTP Mode you’ll shift your focus to working through Firecracker’s Q-bank on a subject by subject basis, with follow up remediation tasks to fill in any weak areas. Plus, at the end of each week we’ll assign you a single practice block for your upcoming board exam, which you can take to get comfortable with the exam format and see how prepared you are relative to your peers.

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Topics: Mobile Apps, Dedicated Prep

Firecracker Daily Review Mobile App Review

Posted by David Guertin on Jan 7, 2017 4:51:01 PM

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 ModeHigh 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:

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Topics: Firecracker MD, Firecracker DO, Mobile Apps

'Tis the Season to Get Crackin'

Posted by David Guertin on Dec 23, 2016 1:00:45 PM

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:

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Topics: Students, USMLE Step 2 CK, USMLE Step 1, Clerkships, Anatomy, Q-bank

How this Firecracker scored a 267 on USMLE Step 1

Posted by David Guertin on Oct 24, 2016 3:27:58 PM

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:

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Topics: Medical Education, USMLE Step 1, Clinical Rotations

How this Firecracker scored a 269 Step 1 of the USMLE

Posted by David Guertin on Oct 14, 2016 9:57:25 AM

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:

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Topics: Students, USMLE, USMLE Step 1, Testimonial

How this Firecracker aced all the Shelfs and scored a 271 on USMLE Step 2 CK

Posted by David Guertin on Oct 6, 2016 4:36:29 PM

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:

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Topics: USMLE, USMLE Step 2 CK, Clinical Rotations

Welcome to Firecracker

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 chat@firecracker.me.

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