Coming Soon: Dedicated Test Prep Mode in Firecracker

Posted by Keith Frankel on Mar 23, 2016 12:03:47 PM
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For years, Firecracker was designed primarily for long-term board prep, allowing you to score a standard deviation higher than your peers given consistent usage over time. Then in August, we released a new version of Firecracker featuring an updated marking system (Urgent, Current, and Past). This evolved Firecracker from just a long-term board prep tool into a course companion, as well, making it possible to simultaneously prepare for and prioritize your current course or clerkship material while still keeping past material fresh in your mind.

Today we’re announcing the next major addition to Firecracker that will be coming soon: Dedicated Test Prep Mode.

Next week, we will begin releasing features that will allow you to continue – and even start – using Firecracker during that last bit of time leading up to your boards (i.e. right before and during your dedicated prep). Typically, students stop using Firecracker during this period for the industry standard UFAP (U-World, First Aid, Pathoma). And while our goal is not necessarily to replace any or all of UFAP, we do want to provide students with the option to use features that can’t be found anywhere else, whether that’s independently or alongside other resources.

So what will Dedicated Test Prep Mode include?

Our first wave of Dedicated Test Prep (DTP) features will launch next week and will allow you to access all 1500 of our new patient case CVs directly from Study Something Specific (with 30-40 more being added each week), as well as view more in depth progress & performance tracking across all content areas.


Around late April, we will then release the true DTP Mode, including a massive new set of features. The mode will rely on short diagnostic tests throughout your dedicated prep to model your mastery across subject areas, showing you at any point in time exactly how you compare (on a standard deviation scale) to all of your peers at each subject. Equipped with this information, you can then choose a subject area you want to focus on each day, and we'll immediately create all of the CV Review (and then Refresh) tasks specifically for that area. Better yet, if you find yourself still spending too much time, you can use our new Yield Rating to slim down the amount of work you want to tackle each day during dedicated.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Over the next few days, I’ll start teasing specific features in quite a bit more detail. My hope is that this will give you a good idea of if the new Firecracker experience is a good fit for you during your dedicated prep period. And as always, feel free to reach out with any questions.

If you want access to these new tools as they are released, just make sure you're a Firecracker member now: Sign up for a free 30 day trial of Firecracker.

Topics: USMLE, USMLE Step 1, Dedicated Prep

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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

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