How This Firecracker Scored a 255 on USMLE Step 1

Posted by David Guertin on Dec 29, 2014 12:32:22 PM

Firecracker members reported outstanding performance on the USMLE Step 1 in 2014, and we can't wait to receive score reports for the 2015 exams! This third-year UC medical student used Firecracker to stay on top of learned material from first and second years, simultaneously preparing for Step 1. After finishing with the first Step of the USMLE, he decided to share his experience. We all hope you'll find this helpful!

"I started using Firecracker (Gunner Training back then) several months into 1st year. Several of my classmates had been using the program for awhile and introduced me. I initially used it for subjects like anatomy which required a lot of rote memorization. As time went on, I used it for other basic science and organ system courses as well.

My goal in using Firecracker was to find an alternative studying method that played more to my strengths. Prior to Firecracker, I often found myself easily distracted when I attempted to read text books or even syllabi. The nice thing about this program is that I can do Firecracker for a short amount of time then browse the internet, get food, or play games before returning to Firecracker. I didn't have to dedicate long blocks of time to studying. Instead, studying came in shorter bursts, which was personally more tolerable. In retrospect, I think I was studying less yet much more effectively than with the traditional method of studying.

For basic science and organ system classes, I found Firecracker particularly useful for subjects that required remembering a lot of minutiae and a bit less useful for subjects that required learning processes. Because the material that Firecracker uses is very much catered towards Step 1, I found the standardized questions on shelf exams very straight forward.

Firecracker helped me retain important things that I learned in past blocks, which was particularly useful when I began Step 1 prep. Even now in 3rd year, when I'm being pimped I can recall particular facts on particular cards I saw them so many times during 1st and 2nd year. My advice to other students is to start early and treat the process as a marathon. Use Firecracker to do a little at a time and build up a strong foundation."

If you'd like to read more advice and long-form testimonial blog posts from medical students, check out the links below:

Firecracker as a Playstation Game

USMLE Step 1 Score of 254 in 2014

USMLE Step 1 Score of 274 in 2014

The following medical students reported using Firecracker alongside their classes en route to success:

USMLE Step 1 Score of 266 in 2013

USMLE Step 1 Score of 270 in 2013

USMLE Step 1 Score of 268 in 2014

USMLE Step 1 Score of 264 in 2014

USMLE Step 1 Score of 266 in 2014

USMLE Step 1 Score of 251 in 2014

USMLE Step 1 Score of 257 in 2014

We know you will see similar success in your endeavors, and we hope to hear back from you! If you have not yet started Firecracker and are wondering when to get crackin, then read what our members have to say about when they recommend picking up this program! We hope you have a really happy New Year, and as always, Happy Crackin!

Topics: Medical Education

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

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