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:
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.
Firecracker D.O. is built for osteopathic medical students who want to kill two birds with one stone and crush every major challenge in sight; COMLEX and USMLE, COMATs, classes, and clinical Clerkships. We've recently rebuilt our osteopathy materials to address the most up to date COMLEX standards with comprehensive OMM content for the Shelf, and tons of newly published questions. More D.O. students than ever before are now taking USMLE as well, and balancing both board exams is easier than ever in Firecracker. Matthew, a third-year at PCOM, describes here how he was able to leverage the Firecracker D.O. platform in preparation for some stupendous success:
Lee is a medical student at Florida State University in the class of 2019 who was interested in optimizing study efficiency from the beginning of medical school. To stay on top of coursework through his preclinical years, Lee found Firecracker's content, questions, and related context links to be helpful in pushing him towards relevant materials for learning. Balancing coursework and developing a consistent routine of reviewing content from day one of medical school all the way through dedicated board prep, Lee leveraged Firecracker's spaced repetition-rooted recommendations and USMLE-style practice case questions en route to a stellar Step 1 score:
Our editorial team has spent the last few weeks going through First Aid 2017 and mapping its content to Firecracker. Now, our content for Step 1 is cited to the relevant page and page position in First Aid 2017. These citations join previously included citations for First Aid 2015, First Aid 2016, and Pathoma. All are intended to help you connect your Step 1 study materials so that your (limited!) prep time can be as efficient as possible.
Dedicated Test Prep mode is the Q-bank based mode that Firecracker recommends for students who are 30 to 90 days away from one of their big board exams. Today David Guertin lead a webinar demonstration and Q&A for Dedicated Test Prep mode:
Winter break is upon us, and students are asking us how to maximize productivity while balancing leisure time with friends and family. This time of year tends to be one of the most popular times for medical students to diligently dive into Firecracker. Whether you can hardly believe you made it through your first semester of medical school, or you're seeing that board exam date looming on the horizon, there's no better New Year's resolution than a regular review routine:
Developing smart and consistent study habits separates successful med students from the rest of the pack. Sarah is a third-year at Rutgers-NJMS who began using Firecracker about a year ago. Through reviewing first-year materials alongside her second-year coursework, she stamped a very comprehensive knowledgebase into her long-term memory. Sarah's studies resulted in stupendous success on Step 1, and her study strategies are now second-nature for her clinical clerkships. She's written this summary of how she did it for you:
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:
Since August 2014, we’ve surveyed medical students annually about their Step 1 scores. We've gathered score reports from both Firecracker users and non-Firecracker users and used these reports and our own data to determine if Firecracker usage creates better Step 1 outcomes. Today we’re releasing the updated performance analysis based on this student data. This most recent data set includes 228 Firecracker users and 499 non-Firecracker users. We wanted to focus our analysis on users who have been active on Firecracker in past year because of the significant changes we have made to the platform since summer 2015 - the launch of Firecracker MD and Firecracker DO.