Why Firecracker Works, Part 1: Solving the Forgetting Problem

Posted by chat@firecracker.me on Apr 16, 2013 5:05:53 PM

"If you can not measure it, you can not improve it." -- Lord Kelvin

"Anything that can be measured can be improved" -- Michael Dell

As you may have noticed, we've been working on our algorithms. It's a good sized project since it involves crunching through 26 million data points. This is the first post in a series to share with you some of the insights that we have gleaned during this process.

This chart shows the distribution of recall scores from all the Study quizzes Firecrackers have ever taken. (You take Study quizzes after you flag a Topic for the first time.)

We've monitored this over the years and it hasn't changed much. Year after year, medical students from all around the U.S. and the world can't recall 32% of what they have just studied. This number is probably a lot higher than most of us would normally credit ourselves with -- after all, every single one of us has passed a lot of very difficult classes and exams in the past.

So why is this number so high? We can't say for sure, but we believe it's because you have to study a massive volume of knowledge, because some of the stuff we have to know is really, really specific, and because "cramming" (i.e. one-time review in the hopes of retaining knowledge) is just not an effective study strategy.

One thing we do know is that it's numbers like this that motivate us at Firecracker. In the next post we'll look at exactly how effective our STAT platform is at improving your mastery of material.

If you’re new to Firecracker, sign up today and get 1 month FREE on us! Pre-meds who want to study like the top med students (and crush the MCAT), click here. Med students and International Medical Grads, click here.

As always, let us know what you think and how we can improve.

- Firecracker

Topics: Learning & Memory Science, Spaced Learning

Welcome to Firecracker

Firecracker is an adaptive learning platform that uses amazing content coupled with spaced repetition to help medical students crush their exams. We offer programs for both individual students, and entire medical schools. If you'd like to learn more contact us at chat@firecracker.me.

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