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Cram Fighter Review
Is Cram Fighter worth it? A detailed breakdown of Blueprint's new study planning tool
When it comes to prepping for the USMLE (as well as COMLEX and other Shelf exams), one of the greatest obstacles isn’t the rigor of the studying itself – it’s planning for it. Trying to reconcile several disparate study resources and tools into one usable and easy-to-follow schedule can be a nightmare. That’s where tools like Blueprint’s Cram Fighter come in. But with a hefty price tag for a study planning tool, people always want to know whether it’s worth it. We answer just that question in this detailed review.
Given that this is a lengthy and detailed review, we’ve provided simple jump-to links above so you can quickly navigate this post. Hopefully by the end, you’ll have a good idea of whether the Cram Fighter tool is worth it.
Cram Fighter: How It Works
Blueprint’s Cram Fighter study planning tool is pretty simple. After you sign up and log in, you start by selecting which exam you’re preparing for, what date you’ll be sitting for the test, and your study availability, among other simple questions.
Then you get to (likely) the toughest part of the process – picking your study resources. More on this below, but just know that I’d spend some serious time thinking through and researching which study aids you plan to use.
After you’ve selected your resources and input your average pace and goals, you’ll be given what you’re paying for – your detailed study schedule. You can view this ‘to do’ list bask on a task view, where you see a checklist style list of items to complete each day, or a calendar view, which presents your daily assignments in a simple calendar mode.
When using the task view, you can move around your daily assigned tasks by dragging and dropping, as well mark them complete, incomplete or partially complete.
The calendar view is a little different in that you can’t tick items off as complete like you can in task mode. It’s more of a snapshot of your to do list on a monthly basis.
It does have a cool hover function and color coding based on subject or system, as well the ability to drag and drop from day to day. The only thing calendar view doesn’t really have is that ability to check tasks off as completed.
In short, the study plan itself (whether set in calendar mode or task mode) gives you a daily rundown of exactly what you need to complete to stay on schedule.
And on that point, if you fall behind schedule, you can see what tasks you need to catch up on through the “overdue” tab. You can either dive directly into these past due assignments and knock them off one at a time, or you can rebalance your schedule.
Selecting “rebalance” will prompt the Cram Fighter program to reshuffle your future assignments to incorporate the stuff you’re behind on. You’ll see your daily average required study hours tick up slightly, and the program will smooth your schedule to create relatively equal study days.
One other cool feature of the editor tool is that you can make overarching changes to your schedule at any point. You can add vacation days where you won’t be able to study, add recurring “catch up” days specifically intended to let you catch up on past due assignments, and change workloads based on weekday.
You can even reorder your material based on subject, system or resource. If you want to align your study schedule to match your current classes, you can.
But no matter what change you make, you simply click “rebalance” at the end of your changes, and after a few seconds, Cram Fighter will spit out a totally reorganized and reoptimized study schedule.
And that’s about it for the program. There are no substantive study resources available directly within Cram Fighter – it is 100% a study planning tool (planning being the operative word).
If you so happened to have used MCAT Self Prep for your MCAT prep back before med school, it’s a lot like that. It’s simply a tool that takes a bunch of disparate, disjointed resources and weaves them into a clean and easy-to-follow schedule that tells you exactly what to study and when.
Our Thoughts On Cramfighter
I personally love Cram Fighter for a few reasons. For one, it removes a ton of headache in terms of planning out your prep over the course of a few months. Without Cram Fighter (or a tool like it), you’re essentially left with a couple options.
You can build yourself a spreadsheet that maps out your studies, or you can pay up for a full blown USMLE prep course like Kaplan or PASS Program, which are all-inclusive packages and will tell you exactly what to study and when with their own materials.
To me, option A above sounds like a nightmare, especially if you have to reschedule your studying from time to tome (which will be inevitable). And option B is pricey (full-scale USMLE prep courses aren’t cheap).
The other main reason why I love Cram Fighter is the simplicity and color coding. I am a highly organized person and Cram Fighter schedules your studying in a very orderly way. Everything is color-coded, labeled with icons, and you can check things off as you complete them, causing them to turn blue (i.e. done).
I think this helps you keep things straight and makes following along really easy. Plus, it’s just plain visually appealing. It’s got a very pretty interface, if that’s worth anything to you/
And the final point I’ll note on why I like Cram Fighter is the massive list of resources to pick from. They seriously have every study tool under the sun as an option, and their program will neatly integrate whatever you choose together (way better than an USMLE prep book).
But this also sort of touches on my primary lowlight. Though Cram Fighter says you can add resources whenever you want, I can tell you that if you try to add a new resource mid-stream and reshuffle the schedule, things get wonky.
For example, say a month into your studying that Boards & Beyond isn’t getting the job done for you and you want to swap over to Lecturio (totally hypothetical). Well, this mid-stream adjustment can be a real pain. Things just don’t align easily once you’re in motion, and it’s difficult to manually tell the program what subjects you’ve already finished and which ones you still need to review.
Thus, it’s really important that you take time at the beginning to think through which resources you want to use. Pick the tools that you think will work best for you and stick with them to the extent you can. Trying to jump around from resource to resource will just make your life difficult (negating the point of Cram Fighter’s purpose).
And second, I wish there was a way to check off tasks on the calendar view. I love the calendar view with its comprehensive overview and color coding, but you can’t mark items as complete from this mode.
You have to jump over to task mode to knock things off the list. It can be slightly annoying jumping back and forth from view to view. Not a big deal, but thought I’d mention it.
Blueprint Cram Fighter Cost
Cram Fighter is available two ways: as a pay-as-you-go monthly subscription, or as a one-time purchase. The monthly subscription costs roughly $30/month, while the one-time purchase package costs between $75 to $150, depending on whether you want 3 months,6 months or 1 year of access.
It is also worth mentioning that Cram Fighter does have a 7-day free trial, so you can always test the waters before buying.
Cramfighter Coupon & Discounts
Unfortunately, Cram Fighter doesn’t come on sale that often. We track these prices pretty regularly and it’s not often Blueprint runs a special deal or promotion on Cram Fighter.
That said, it does happen from time to time, so make sure to check the link above where we find and aggregate discounts.
Verdict: Is Cram Fighter Worth It?
Is Cram Fighter worth it? That is the big question. Personally, after using and testing out everything Cram Fighter has to offer, I do think it’s worth it.
Between the killer interface with color coding, schedule rebalancing tool, and awesome ability to integrate multiple resources into one coherent schedule, I think there’s a lot to like.
I had a couple small gripes about adding resources mid-stream and ticking off items in the calendar view, but by and large, I think the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
At the end of the day, I suppose it really comes down to whether ~$100 is worth saving you time and frustration. And in my opinion, if you’re going to be studying DIY-style with multiple resources (rather than one comprehensive course), this study planning tool is 100% worth it.
Is Cram Fighter worth it?
After thoroughly using and evaluating everything Cram Fighter has to offer, our team does think Cram Fighter is worth it. Their schedule optimization algorithm is really powerful, and for just over $100, this is a high-value tool.
How much does Cram Fighter cost?
Cram Fighter offers two payment options. You can pay as you go under a monthly subscription model for $30/month, or you can purchase 3, 6 or 12 months of access for a one-time fee of $75-$150.
Does Cram Fighter have an app?
No, there is no mobile app yet, though we hear Blueprint is currently working on one.