David Guertin

Recent Posts

How this Firecracker scored 255 on USMLE Step 1 and 734 on COMLEX Level 1

Posted by David Guertin on Jan 18, 2018 12:20:17 PM

Dallin, a third-year medical student at Des Moines University, used Firecracker throughout year two of medical school to accomplish a few goals simultaneously; retaining information learned in class, preparing for USMLE, and shoring up osteopathic manipulative medicine knowledge that is emphasized on COMLEX. The Firecracker DO program includes comprehensive content and practice questions for every concept and fact that is fair game to be tested on both COMLEX and USMLE combined. The content is all originally authored, and indexed neatly to leave no doubt which materials are relevant for which exam(s) and classes/Clerkships. Dallin accounts how supplementing coursework with Firecracker, Uworld, and Combank was the perfect recipe for two tremendous board scores in one week:

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

Students' Pro Tips

Posted by David Guertin on Dec 27, 2017 4:18:34 PM

Want to study like the most successful medical students do? Of course you do! We've compiled here a set of video tutorials recorded by medical students, for medical students, which delve into exam preparation skills and recommendations for successful studying. If you'd like to read some guides authored by students, we went ahead and put together this collection of winter break studying champions' experiences.

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Topics: Students, USMLE, Tales from the front line, MCAT, USMLE Step 2 CK, USMLE Step 1, COMLEX

On the first day of winter break, Firecracker gave to me...

Posted by David Guertin on Dec 14, 2017 5:31:50 PM

Vacation study strategies! Over the years, winter break has been one of the most popular times for students to start consistently practicing a daily routine of doing questions. Sticking to a regular review routine during the vacation helps you refresh on materials you've learned this past semester, and/or older content you learned last year. These healthy study habits will carry into the New Year, helping you to cruise right into your coursework, and for second- or third-year medical students, into boards with confidence in your comprehension.

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Topics: Students, Tales from the front line, USMLE Step 2 CK, USMLE Step 1

USMLE Step 1 minimum passing score change

Posted by David Guertin on Dec 7, 2017 10:23:42 AM

As stated in this USMLE announcement, the recommended Step 1 minimum passing score will change from 192 to 194. This change will affect examinees who take a Step 1 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2018.

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Topics: USMLE, USMLE Step 1

Firecracker for your coursework

Posted by David Guertin on Nov 17, 2017 3:28:59 PM

The following is a guest-authored blog post from John, a second-year medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, one of Firecracker's more than twenty official partner institutions:

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Topics: USMLE, Tales from the front line, Learning & Memory Science, Spaced Learning, Practice Exams, Course Connect

A Virtual Guarantee

Posted by David Guertin on Sep 8, 2017 5:16:07 PM

Each fall around this, the team here at Firecracker commits a considerable amount of time to analyzing all of our students’ effort, progress, and performance in the platform over the previous year. Our goal: vigorously test, thoroughly validate, and openly publish our efficacy results to prove that Firecracker truly does work toward courses, boards, and wards. Today, we’re happy to announce that our 2017 Firecracker Efficacy Report is now live and available for your scrutinizing pleasure! A few quick highlights from this year’s report:

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Deals and Discounts this Season

Posted by David Guertin on Aug 7, 2017 7:40:26 PM

This year, we’re taking two approaches to offering Firecracker to students. First - the individual discounts. Second - the group discount. They can be used together. Here’s how it works.

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Topics: Firecracker

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

Ed: We're having one last sale on Firecracker before Back to School season starts in earnest. 1 year for $150, 2 years for $250. We hope you'll join us. Subscribe.

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

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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