Firecracker has quickly become one of the most popular resources for medical students to use alongside coursework and to prepare for their major exams, and we've built out comprehensive content for Premedical years and MCAT into the same proven software. Not only do premedical students get full access to Firecracker via the mobile app and website to supplement their studies, the MCAT program is entirely free! When premedical students find out about this, they often respond by telling us we're "the best-kept secret in the test prep world." Oliver, whose voice is here in italics, is a premed at Baylor who wanted to crush his MCAT, and found Firecracker useful in achieving a near perfect score:
The semester is coming to an end, and it probably feels like two days ago that you just began! Assuming finals aren’t also in two days, we have some advice for getting you where you need to be to succeed. If you don’t already have a Firecracker membership, sign up here. We're also having a webinar demo covering how to use Firecracker for Finals this Thursday May 11 at 2:00 p.m. EDT, please join us!
We recently launchedFirecracker High Yield for Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1, new additions to both Firecracker MD and DO that allow students to focus on a smaller subsection of the most important content. Since then, we’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the number of requests for a similar High Yield option for Step 2, so we decided to put a rush on it, and today we’re excited to announce the release of High Yield Step 2.
We launched Firecracker MD and DO in August of last year. Since then, the breadth of features, quality of content, and accuracy of the algorithm-driven recommendation engine have expanded substantially, all without an increase to our price. Starting in September, though, we are going to be slightly increasing the permanent price of Firecracker (a bit more on that below). But before we do that, we want to give as many students as possible the chance to get Firecracker at a lower price. So, for the final days of August, we’re dropping our base price to the lowest it has ever been: $180 for 1 year for all M1's & M2's.
Firecracker members have consistently crushed their boards since day one, and in recent years we have made huge strides in developing world-class content for clinical rotations, USMLE Step 2, and Shelf exams. You can use the same Firecracker account to conveniently transition into your clinical year studies after completing Step 1, and here's how:
1. Go to your Account and Settings page via the navigation panel on the left side of Firecracker's webpage. Scroll down to the "Path to Success" section, and select the new Test you are preparing for from the dropdown menu. Adjust your Goal score and Exam date as needed, and make sure you click the "Save Study Plan Changes" button:
2. Firecracker will automatically adjust your Today's To-Do's recommendations according to whichever Test you are preparing for. When browsing content on the Study Something Specific page, you'll find that Step 2 materials are now the default there as well. You can still easily access our pre-clinical content for review.
3. On the Take an Exam page, you'll find timed practice exams in our board-style exam interface to help you prepare for your Shelf Exams and USMLE Step 2:
4. Firecracker's authors and editors wrote up this guide on how to make the most of our platform during your clinical rotations, and I recorded this in-depth video demonstration for clinical year success strategies.
5. In the last 30-90 days before your Step 2 test date, activate Dedicated Test Prep Mode in Firecracker. We released this upgrade only two months ago, and about 500 medical students are currently using our Dedicated Test Prep Mode for USMLE Step 2.
I hope you found this guide helpful for transitioning to your clinical years with Firecracker, and as always, please don't be shy to ask us any questions you have. All the best,
David J. Guertin
Firecracker is a platform to help medical students keep up with classwork and excel on boards - it's free to try for 7 days, you can sign up here.
Historically, many of Firecracker's highest-performing members have used our platform for the long-term, staring in their first year of medical school. Our product is designed to help you kill two birds with one stone, simultaneously mastering the concepts and facts you need to know for your classes, as well as what you'll ultimately be tested on for your board licensing exams. First-year medical students ask us all the time when they should get crackin for best results, so I've written up this brief checklist for incoming M1 students:
Earlier this week we released Dedicated Test Prep Mode on Firecracker, for users who are < 90 days away from a board exam. As of this writing, over 600 students are using Dedicated Test Prep Mode and here are the Step 1 topics they are studying:
Today, we’re finally able to announce the launch of the ‘Firecracker Daily Review’ Android app, a companion app for use alongside the core Firecracker MD and Firecracker DO desktop experiences. You can download it for free straight from the Play store. Just search ‘Firecracker Daily Review’. Or click here.
Over the last ten years, residency placements have become increasingly more competitive, due in large part to the progressive rise in the number of students entering medical school without an equally appreciable increase in the number of residency slots. In 2015, for example, roughly 41,000 applicants vied for only 30,000 positions. In response, residency programs are universally raising the bar on the level of student competency they’re requiring for admission, resulting in a greater emphasis on objective board scores as a way to screen candidates.
Thousands of medical students in the Caribbean have signed up for Firecracker recently, and we love to see our members engaging on this platform en route to stupendous success on the Step! Scoring well on Step 1 of the USMLE is critical for medical students everywhere, particularly for those at Caribbean schools who wish to practice medicine in the US. A third-year medical student at Ross University in the Caribbean who scored a 258 on Step 1 this year wrote the following to help guide you to use Firecracker effectively in your pursuit of a fantastic score on the USMLE: