Firecracker members reported outstanding performance on the USMLE Step 1 in 2014, and we can't wait to receive score reports for the 2015 exams! This third-year UC medical student used Firecracker to stay on top of learned material from first and second years, simultaneously preparing for Step 1. After finishing with the first Step of the USMLE, he decided to share his experience. We all hope you'll find this helpful!
"I started using Firecracker (Gunner Training back then) several months into 1st year. Several of my classmates had been using the program for awhile and introduced me. I initially used it for subjects like anatomy which required a lot of rote memorization. As time went on, I used it for other basic science and organ system courses as well.
My goal in using Firecracker was to find an alternative studying method that played more to my strengths. Prior to Firecracker, I often found myself easily distracted when I attempted to read text books or even syllabi. The nice thing about this program is that I can do Firecracker for a short amount of time then browse the internet, get food, or play games before returning to Firecracker. I didn't have to dedicate long blocks of time to studying. Instead, studying came in shorter bursts, which was personally more tolerable. In retrospect, I think I was studying less yet much more effectively than with the traditional method of studying.
For basic science and organ system classes, I found Firecracker particularly useful for subjects that required remembering a lot of minutiae and a bit less useful for subjects that required learning processes. Because the material that Firecracker uses is very much catered towards Step 1, I found the standardized questions on shelf exams very straight forward.
Firecracker helped me retain important things that I learned in past blocks, which was particularly useful when I began Step 1 prep. Even now in 3rd year, when I'm being pimped I can recall particular facts on particular cards I saw them so many times during 1st and 2nd year. My advice to other students is to start early and treat the process as a marathon. Use Firecracker to do a little at a time and build up a strong foundation."
If you'd like to read more advice and long-form testimonial blog posts from medical students, check out the links below:
The following medical students reported using Firecracker alongside their classes en route to success:
We know you will see similar success in your endeavors, and we hope to hear back from you! If you have not yet started Firecracker and are wondering when to get crackin, then read what our members have to say about when they recommend picking up this program! We hope you have a really happy New Year, and as always, Happy Crackin!