"I started using Firecracker a few months into my M1 year. A classmate of mine pointed it out to me and I liked the idea of having an online resource that I could work with and shape to my learning style. I used Firecracker in conjunction with First Aid (FA) and question banks. My goal was a Step 1 score that would allow me the option to match into any specialty.
I used Firecracker as my main study method for most of my pre-clinical time. I actually went to class rarely because I found that solo studying was much more efficient than listening to lectures from physicians who had never received any training on how to give a good lecture - I spent my time with Firecracker and FA. I annotated interesting points from Firecracker into FA because I liked the material of Firecracker but liked to also have it in physical and abbreviated form. By studying just from Firecracker and FA I was able to score well above my class average on my basic science and organ systems courses, even without going to class or looking at lecture materials. I believe this was a strong strategy because the material of Firecracker is focused and high-yield, while lecture material is generally pretty hit-or-miss. I also used it up until a few weeks before my Step 1 prep, after which I switched to question banks full-time.
The strength of Firecracker for me was the adaptive repetition that allowed me to have material stick. I was able to apply this memorized material to questions and vignettes and it earned me a strong Step 1 score. I would advise new users (as I advise my classmates) to make Firecracker their primary study tool, to supplement with FA, and to finish off Step 1 studying with question banks."