How this Firecracker scored a 255 on USMLE Step 1

Posted by David Guertin on Feb 20, 2015 6:27:07 AM

Firecracker’s over 15,000 members come from various backgrounds, including international medical graduates, post-bacc students, students in MD/PhD and MD/MBA programs, premedical and medical students from the USA, Caribbean, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and the UK. Most of our students who crush their standardized exams also use Firecracker to supplement what they’re learning in classes and clerkships. This fourth-year medical student from the University of California-Irvine shares the experiences that led to the following score report arriving in the mail:UCI 255

“I started really using Firecracker (at the time Gunner Training) during the start of my second year of medical school. I was nervous about Step 1 and I wanted to do well. It was recommended to me by students a year above me at UC Irvine. I wanted to constantly review material to make sure I did not forget it throughout second year. I also wanted to start reviewing first year material, and Firecracker made me put it on a schedule.

I used Firecracker alongside my courses as a supplement to the traditional lectures and books. For some classes, I did not even read the books and solely relied on Firecracker. I made sure to master all the cards for the corresponding Shelf before the exam.

I used Firecracker throughout second year as a constant prep and review for Step 1. As Step 1 came closer and I had dedicated study time (classes were finished), I switched to using the light version of Firecracker so that I could concentrate on the review books. I used Firecracker at night before I slept to review material on the light mode and keep things fresh. As time went on, I solely used Firecracker for quick recall material such as microbiology and pharmacology.

I believe Firecracker was a large part of my success in doing well on Step 1. It really did keep everything fresh in my mind. I am a current MD/MBA student and am currently in my year off for MBA. I am using Firecracker again to refresh my memory before I go back to working in the hospital. My advice for those using Firecracker is to use it early, use it often, and be consistent with it. It will pay off in the end when you realize how much knowledge you retained as Step 1 approaches.”

Doing direct recall questions in Firecracker keeps the material you need to know at the forefront of your attention, and Firecracker’s USMLE-style questions will prepare you with the practical knowledge necessary to succeed in your career in medicine. Now is the best time to get crackin, and AMSA members can save hundreds on subscriptions of various lengths with our special AMSA member discount pricing. We hope to see you at the AMSA National Convention next weekend in Washington, DC! Stop by the Firecracker booth for a quiz challenge, free caricature, t-shirt, and other great prizes. Happy crackin!

Topics: Medical Education

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