Dallin, a third-year medical student at Des Moines University, used Firecracker throughout year two of medical school to accomplish a few goals simultaneously; retaining information learned in class, preparing for USMLE, and shoring up osteopathic manipulative medicine knowledge that is emphasized on COMLEX. The Firecracker DO program includes comprehensive content and practice questions for every concept and fact that is fair game to be tested on both COMLEX and USMLE combined. The content is all originally authored, and indexed neatly to leave no doubt which materials are relevant for which exam(s) and classes/Clerkships. Dallin accounts how supplementing coursework with Firecracker, Uworld, and Combank was the perfect recipe for two tremendous board scores in one week:
Want to study like the most successful medical students do? Of course you do! We've compiled here a set of video tutorials recorded by medical students, for medical students, which delve into exam preparation skills and recommendations for successful studying. If you'd like to read some guides authored by students, we went ahead and put together this collection of winter break studying champions' experiences.
Vacation study strategies! Over the years, winter break has been one of the most popular times for students to start consistently practicing a daily routine of doing questions. Sticking to a regular review routine during the vacation helps you refresh on materials you've learned this past semester, and/or older content you learned last year. These healthy study habits will carry into the New Year, helping you to cruise right into your coursework, and for second- or third-year medical students, into boards with confidence in your comprehension.
As stated in this USMLE announcement, the recommended Step 1 minimum passing score will change from 192 to 194. This change will affect examinees who take a Step 1 examination that begins on or after January 1, 2018.
With a lot of dedication and the help of Firecracker, a member at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston recently scored a 263 on their USMLE Step 1 exam. The student began using Firecracker as a primary source of flashcard and Q bank-style question review during the beginning of their second year of medical school, and attribute their great score to the detail-oriented nature of Firecracker's content. During their first year, they began their studying by creating personal flashcards from materials found in First Aid and other study resources, but once they stumbled upon Firecracker, they dedicated most of their board preparation to the platform. Check out how this user went about their board preparation:
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.