Today we’re excited to announce the release of the first of many significant updates to Firecracker MD and Firecracker DO centered around testing your mastery. Now, you can take one of several carefully created standardized exams to help prepare you for your classes, wards, and boards.
First up is Anatomy, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and a 4-block Step 1 practice exam. All of these are mapped to the official NBME content outline so you know you’re being tested on exactly what you’ll see on game day. You can access these exams by going to Study Something Specific and selecting the new 'Take an Exam' sub-tab. By default, these exams are taken in timed mode only, although tutor mode will be accessible post-exam as a way for you to review your performance in depth. You can also pause an exam and revisit it later if - for any reason - you’re unable to complete the exam.
Once you complete an exam, you can review your performance and see a breakdown of each individual question. In the next few weeks we will add comparative performance data so that you can see how your performance compares to that of your peers (both at your school and at other schools), as well as list each question’s associated Firecracker topics. And while all of this is great in better helping you prepare for your exams, we’ll be going even farther in the next few months.
Unlike standalone flashcard apps or standalone question banks which focus on just one aspect of the learning process, the future of Firecracker is all about closing the loop between review and test. This all starts with knowing exactly when to assign you practice tests, based on your marking progress, performance on your daily review tasks, and proximity to your upcoming exam dates. Then, based on your performance on these objective tests of your current content mastery, your recommended daily review questions will adjust in order to address those uncovered weaker areas.
This is our vision for Firecracker over the next few months. During that time, we’ll be making frequent updates to the core experience, as well as adding more clinical vignettes and long-form exams to best prepare you for your classes, wards, and boards. As always, if you want to see something specific or want to see updates in a particular order, all you have to do is let us know. I’m always available to chat - firstname.lastname@example.org.