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:
Joseph is a student at the University of Arizona-Tucson College of Medicine in the Class of 2018 who was interested in optimizing study efficiency from the beginning of medical school. He began using Firecracker to review basic sciences material during his first year and increased his Firecracker use significantly as he entered his second year in preparation for his Step 1 board exam. Joseph used Firecracker to supplement his coursework and to ensure that he was learning all of the materials necessary for the Step 1, including topics he felt were lacking in some of his classes. He found that Firecracker offered substantial content for the most high yield topics tested on the Step 1, but also improved knowledge of the less high yield topics still required to score very well on the exam. Thanks to his determined effort, belief in the efficacy of spaced repetition (one of Firecracker's core learning principles) and the comprehensive content offered on Firecracker, Joseph was able to achieve a stellar score on his Step 1. We checked in with him to learn a bit about how he utilized Firecracker during his Step 1 preparation process. Here is some of what we learned:
Like most people we've been following the aftermath of the storm in Texas. Here are a couple organizations that are working on the recovery in Houston:
We get it: Sometimes the traditional way just seems easier. Use exactly what students have been using for years, don’t take a risk by trying something cutting edge, and trust the safe path to get you where you want to go. If only that path didn’t cost nearly $1000 each year, am I right? Well now, it doesn’t. Say hello to Firecracker’s new Step 1 & COMLEX L1 Board Bundles, more effective – cost and otherwise – alternatives to the traditional UFAP + Sketchy approach to board preparation. For 75% less than you’ll pay for UFAP + Sketchy, you can get the equivalent content in Firecracker, plus all of the features, functionality, and service that more than 150,000 medical students have trusted to improve their board scores by 16 points.
Topics: How to Use Firecracker
Today we are thrilled to announce the launch of a huge new addition to Firecracker: YouTube videos, PubMed articles, and Wikipedia entries, all dynamically pulled and automatically associated with all of the concepts within Firecracker. For every paying Firecracker student (womp - sorry temporary trialers), you can now access these immediately by clicking the new Resource icon (next to citations and notes) whenever you encounter a concept in Firecracker, whether that’s during a review session or while reading through Study Something Specific.
Group study can help students keep themselves on track by limiting procrastination, forcing a schedule and leveraging the perspectives and knowledge of other students. Like maybe Biochemistry isn’t your best subject, but another student may have tips and tactics that shore up your knowledge.
There’s a method to this. Medical school is a marathon rather than a sprint. If you’re taking your Step 1 exam this spring you know you need to begin serious study now so that you will be prepared when you start your dedicated prep period in a few months.
We've been tracking the Step 1 scores of Firecracker and non-Firecracker users for three years. Every year Firecracker users outperform non-users, and by an increasing margin. No other learning tool can claim this. Our most recent data shows Firecracker can raise Step 1 scores by 16 points - that can make all the difference in terms of the residency placement you’re able to achieve.
Each month, students answer millions of questions in Firecracker..but which school has the fiercest Firecrackers? That’s what we want to find out with Med School Madness, a tournament-style contest to see which school can answer the most flashcard questions in Firecracker over the next 7 weeks - to October 3rd.
Topics: Med School Madness
If you're a medical students your time is valuable, and limited.
Medical students we surveyed last year said they spent 30 hours a week, or more, studying. With classes, labs, and self-directed study all demanding their own time, it makes sense that medical students are at their maximum working capacity for most of medical school.
Firecracker can help you learn more with less studying.
We've made an analysis of Firecracker's effect on Family Medicine NBME shelf scores.1 We compared the Family Medicine NBME shelf scores of these Firecracker users against the nation average and found Firecracker users score an average of 7 points higher.
Distribution of Scores: