Incoming First-year Checklist

Posted by David Guertin on Jun 8, 2016 1:14:16 PM

Firecracker is a platform to help medical students keep up with classwork and excel on boards - it's free to try for 7 days, you can sign up here.

Historically, many of Firecracker's highest-performing members have used our platform for the long-term, staring in their first year of medical school. Our product is designed to help you kill two birds with one stone, simultaneously mastering the concepts and facts you need to know for your classes, as well as what you'll ultimately be tested on for your board licensing exams. First-year medical students ask us all the time when they should get crackin for best results, so I've written up this brief checklist for incoming M1 students:

  • Research which resources you'd like to use for your first-year coursework. We recently surveyed Firecracker members, who agreed the top three most helpful resources to use alongside Firecracker are UWorld, Pathoma, and First Aid. We provide citations so you can cross-reference Firecracker with the newest versions of Pathoma and First Aid.
  • Create a free trial account of Firecracker for seven days' full access to all of our content, questions, and features for medical school and your board licensing exams. The trial is free in every sense of the word for all new members, and getting crackin' early on in medical school is the best way to maximize your long-term retention of all of the concepts and facts you need to master for your medical school classes and exams. 
  • Watch a product demonstration video to get familiarized with our platform. You can view and listen to a product demo I hosted for incoming first-years right here: 
  • Use your school's lecture schedule, course syllabi, and learning objectives to align your coursework with your review in Firecracker. On our Study Something Specific page, you can use the magnifying glass to find relevant content. Marking a topic will unlock the questions associated with that topic, so you can actively engage and master the material. Keep topics marked so they will remain in your long-term queue; Firecracker's intelligent spaced repetition algorithm will prompt you daily to do questions associated with the topics you have marked.
  • Download our free Firecracker Daily Review dedicated mobile app for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets. The app is offline-accessible, and parallels the feature set and interface of our website. Your progress will synchronize in real-time so you have a super consistent mobile-web experience with Firecracker.
  • Do some direct recall questions to strengthen your comprehension and mastery of the facts and concepts covered in your M1 courses. Direct recall (open response) questions encourage actively engaging with the relevant content to maximize long-term retention.
  • Use the "Snooze" feature to review a question multiple times within the same quiz session. You can Snooze questions both on the web and on our native mobile Firecracker Daily Review app. Download the Android app. Download the iPhone app.

Don't be shy to reach out to me and the rest of the Firecracker team with any questions, concerns or comments along the way. We're here to help you succeed in medical school, and our goal is for you to crush all of your classwork and exams! You can reach me at: Hope to hear from you soon! 

Topics: Students, USMLE, How to Use Firecracker, Firecracker, Tips and Advice, Anatomy

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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