HealthMay 23, 2017

How this Firecracker member scored a 526 on MCAT

Firecracker has quickly become one of the most popular resources for medical students to use alongside coursework and to prepare for their major exams, and we’ve built out comprehensive content for premedical years and MCAT into the same proven software. Not only do premedical students get full access to Firecracker via the mobile app and website to supplement their studies, the MCAT program is entirely free!

When premedical students find out about this, they often respond by telling us we’re “the best-kept secret in the test prep world.” Oliver, whose voice is here in italics, is a premed at Baylor who wanted to crush his MCAT, and found Firecracker useful in achieving a near-perfect score:

MCAT scores table

I attended Baylor University and graduated in May 2016. I’ve been a teacher at a charter school in the interim. I started using Firecracker in July of 2016 and used it fairly consistently until my exam in March. I am a re-taker who scored a 31 in 2014. This time around, I wanted to do everything correctly. Specifically, I wanted to score a 528 on the MCAT so I started studying 8 months before my test date. I heard about Firecracker because my older brother used it for his USMLE Step 1. I knew from reading recent research on learning that self-testing was one of the most effective methods of learning a concept, so I knew I had to make use of some flashcard system. I loved Firecracker’s algorithm-based review system and within the first month of using it, I could tell that I was reaching a level of mastery that I had not had before.

MCAT preparation: I used FC at least 5 out of 7 days of the week. I would read Princeton Review books and then mark my new topics in Firecracker every day. Then throughout the day during any downtime I would answer questions. By the last few months I was answering 160-180 questions a day. Firecracker helped me by strengthening synaptic connections and reinforcing semantic networks. I simply was primed to be fast at answering questions by my exam date. I had seen every topic before, so nothing hit me out of left field. I had 30 minutes left over in my P/S section, mostly because they were all recall or recognition questions that were very Firecracker-styled. My advice would be to use the product consistently, daily if possible. One must also perform daily maintenance on current content, making sure to mark as past those topics which have already been mastered.

Whether you’re gearing up for MCAT, USMLE, COMLEX, Shelfs or an entirely different major exam, consistency in reviewing materials regularly is the key to success. As Firecracker is rooted in spaced repetition and chock-full of high quality originally authored questions to do, our platform will keep you actively engaging with the material you need to learn and retain. Premeds can sign up for full access to all of Firecracker’s content, questions and features for MCAT (including the Firecracker Daily Review mobile app) entirely free at med.firecracker.me/signup.

We hope you’ll find this platform helpful in hitting your goals! If you have any questions whatsoever, just reach out to us at [email protected]—we’re happy to help!

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