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:
Every medical student learns in a unique way, and you may not yet know which study strategies will work best for you. We've found some super-consistent trends that correlate with success; for example, individuals who do more questions for practice acheive the best results on their board exams. Firecracker's comprehensive content and built-in spaced repetition will ensure that you have all of the knowledge you need to succeed not only in medical school and on your major exams, but also in your future as a physician. Here are some detailed tips from a Firecracker member who slayed Step 1 this year:
The author of this blog post is a medical student at UC-San Diego who developed a steady study routine, and stuck with it en route to a stupendous Step 1 score. While Firecracker members report phenomenal board scores all the time, one of the greatest benefits of our platform is the fact that it will help you save time and energy. In her own words, this student eloquently describes her experience of using Firecracker to parallel medical school coursework and simultaneously prepare for Step 1 here:
"How should I use Firecracker over the summer?"
It's a question we've started receiving quite a bit. Over time, we’ve compiled dozens of in-depth study plans, tens of thousands of verified score reports, and a few hundred million questions completed to provide accurate recommendations for best practices. Still, some of the most illustrative insights into effective study strategies are best directly provided by our valued users. Below are some personal experiences that some of the most successful Firecracker members have shared regarding how to use Firecracker over the summer:
It's a busy time here at Firecracker. Our product team is hard at work building new features for use during dedicated test prep, and our content team is focused on creating as many CVs and board-style practice exams as possible. But we're not just hiding in the office. We're also getting involved in as many community engagement activities as possible. In particular, we're making Study Jams a reality on the international stage. With the help of some of our most engaged medical students, these events combine free food and drinks with some of Firecracker's best integrative content in a peer-led environment.
It's that time of year...time for many M2 students to prepare to take the Step 1 exam this spring. Over the next few weeks we'll be publishing a series of guides by Firecracker editors about their experiences studying for the Step 1. This guide is by Jeff Cooney, an MD candidate at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio who scored > 240 on his Step 1. Remember, you can try Firecracker for free for 30 days: https://med.firecracker.me/signup
First off, congratulations to making it to the end of your MS2 year - that alone is a huge accomplishment. I believe that anyone smart enough to make it through 2 years of medical school has the potential to do very well on STEP 1. It’s important to remember that STEP 1 isn't an IQ test - the problem solving that you're required to do is fairly straightforward. The challenge lies almost entirely in learning (i.e. memorizing) the massive volume of testable information. In my opinion, there is a nearly linear relationship between the amount of time/effort you put into preparing for the test and your score. This is when the years/months of Firecracker questions that you’ve been doing will pay dividends.
This is a guest-post from Dave, a Robert Wood Johnson Medical School fourth-year who has done nearly 150000 questions in his Firecracker membership. He not only used Firecracker en route to crushing Step 1 of the USMLE; Dave makes the most of this software throughout medical school to slay Step 2 and all of his Shelf Exams too! Our data indicates that making a habit of doing Firecracker questions regularly is the most proven behavior that leads to success on the boards, and this student-author is an exemplary case in point. Here is Dave’s take on his experiences with Firecracker as his personal tutor: