We know that about 65% of Firecracker users will take the NBME Shelf exam for Family Medicine. This Shelf exam is unique in its scope: it covers all organ systems, all age ranges, and every common pathology. That represents a lot of material to absorb and retain while you’re running around the wards, caring for patients, and trying to get through your third year of medical school.
For years, Firecracker has proven extremely effective as a resource for preclinical classes and USMLE Step 1 preparation. Thousands of third-year medical students are now also using Firecracker alongside their clinical rotations, and to prepare for major exams including USMLE Step 2 CK, Shelfs, COMLEX Level 2, and COMATs. Suat, a fourth-year medical student who picked up Firecracker as a primary resource during clerkships, graciously shares some wise words of experience here:
We recently launchedFirecracker High Yield for Step 1 and COMLEX Level 1, new additions to both Firecracker MD and DO that allow students to focus on a smaller subsection of the most important content. Since then, we’ve been a bit overwhelmed by the number of requests for a similar High Yield option for Step 2, so we decided to put a rush on it, and today we’re excited to announce the release of High Yield Step 2.
Firecracker members have consistently crushed their boards since day one, and in recent years we have made huge strides in developing world-class content for clinical rotations, USMLE Step 2, and Shelf exams. You can use the same Firecracker account to conveniently transition into your clinical year studies after completing Step 1, and here's how:
1. Go to your Account and Settings page via the navigation panel on the left side of Firecracker's webpage. Scroll down to the "Path to Success" section, and select the new Test you are preparing for from the dropdown menu. Adjust your Goal score and Exam date as needed, and make sure you click the "Save Study Plan Changes" button:
2. Firecracker will automatically adjust your Today's To-Do's recommendations according to whichever Test you are preparing for. When browsing content on the Study Something Specific page, you'll find that Step 2 materials are now the default there as well. You can still easily access our pre-clinical content for review.
3. On the Take an Exam page, you'll find timed practice exams in our board-style exam interface to help you prepare for your Shelf Exams and USMLE Step 2:
4. Firecracker's authors and editors wrote up this guide on how to make the most of our platform during your clinical rotations, and I recorded this in-depth video demonstration for clinical year success strategies.
5. In the last 30-90 days before your Step 2 test date, activate Dedicated Test Prep Mode in Firecracker. We released this upgrade only two months ago, and about 500 medical students are currently using our Dedicated Test Prep Mode for USMLE Step 2.
I hope you found this guide helpful for transitioning to your clinical years with Firecracker, and as always, please don't be shy to ask us any questions you have. All the best,
David J. Guertin
On June 6th David Guertin led a demonstration of how to use Firecracker's Step 2 module to prepare for rotations:
As we head into summer, we're hosting a number of webinar demonstrations of Firecracker to show how different students can use Firecracker over the summer. Here's the schedule right now:
This is an updated version of the guide we published last year, updated to reflect the new Firecracker MD/DO and Q-bank integration on Firecracker. Thanks to Firecracker editor Dhara Kinariwala for making this update!
Third year has finally arrived. You get to do what you’ve always wanted to do: see patients. Step 1 is long gone, and you’ve hopefully had some time to rest and relax before starting clinical rotations.
So how can you study effectively during your clinical years?
After three months of work, we’ve released a huge addition to the Firecracker platform: Dedicated Test Prep Mode. For those of you getting ready for your boards, below is an overview of everything you have to look forward to with this new update.
This is a guest-post from Dave, a Robert Wood Johnson Medical School fourth-year who has done nearly 150000 questions in his Firecracker membership. He not only used Firecracker en route to crushing Step 1 of the USMLE; Dave makes the most of this software throughout medical school to slay Step 2 and all of his Shelf Exams too! Our data indicates that making a habit of doing Firecracker questions regularly is the most proven behavior that leads to success on the boards, and this student-author is an exemplary case in point. Here is Dave’s take on his experiences with Firecracker as his personal tutor:
Our content team has been burning the midnight oil this past week. As you may already know, we recently released brand new content for the clinical vignettes, and today we have added over 1000 quiz questions to go with these new topics. We normally favor an incremental approach to such work, using an awesome cast of authors (a cast we are always looking to expand: see http://www.firecracker.me/gigs). So why the rush? We wanted to get our house in order as we push full steam ahead on our Clinical Clerkship Program.