How this Firecracker “breezed” to a score of 268 on USMLE Step 1

Posted by on Aug 20, 2014 8:23:01 AM

Using Firecracker alongside your classes (and starting as soon as possible) are strong predictors of success on standardized exams like the MCAT and USMLE.

Victoria is a long-time Firecracker member who is a rising third year medical student at Florida Atlantic University Medical School. We asked her to share her experience using Firecracker, so here it is!

"Hi! I am honored that you have contacted me and I would love to submit my testimonial! Please use whichever parts of it you like.

I started using Firecracker halfway through my M1 year. It took me a while to adjust to studying in medical school, considering the volume of material we have to learn and the speed at which we move through it. At the time, I found that I was having a hard time retaining information that I had learned at the beginning of the year. Since many concepts build off of the basic material (and I could already feel the pressure of Step 1 looming in the future), I knew that I needed to find a way to review the information I had already learned while keeping up in my current studies. Firecracker was the perfect solution to this issue. By focusing on high-yield material and adjusting my review questions according to my strengths and weaknesses, Firecracker allowed me to maintain a strong knowledge base all the way through my M2 year. When the Step study period arrived, reviewing was a breeze since I had been keeping up all along. I never would have scored my 268 without Firecracker!

A piece of advice for new Firecracker users: I highly recommend flagging topics as you study them in school, keep them flagged as you move forward (do not unflag old topics), and find the time to log on every day. This way you will see everything regularly and can avoid cramming before tests (not to mention the confidence boost from being able to answer that neuro question that the tough professor throws at the class during your renal unit). I like to do Firecracker at the beginning of a study session since it’s a nice warm-up before studying new material. After I finish studying for the day, I flag whatever new topics I went over so that I can review what I just learned. Everyone has different preferences, but this strategy has worked well for me.

Firecracker helped me ace my basic science and organ system classes and Step 1, and I plan on using it for my shelf exams and for Step 2. My only regret is not starting it sooner; I wish I had started Firecracker on Day 1!"

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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