Everything You Need to Know About the CASPer Test for Medical School
What is the CASPer Test?
The CASPer test (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics test) is an online situational judgment admissions test that evaluates a candidate’s communication, empathy, and professionalism. Produced by Altus Assessments Inc., the CASPer is increasing in usage among medical schools and may be used in addition to or instead of a traditional medical school interview.
The CASPer was developed by researchers at McMaster University in Canada who felt standardized tests, interviews, as well as personal essays and statements were ineffective at evaluating an applicant’s personality and characteristics. The test is designed to mimic what applicants may experience when undertaking MMI (Multiple-Mini Interview) style medical school interviews.
Before Taking the CASPer
How to Prepare for the CASPer Test
You cannot necessarily study for the CASPer test, as it is a behavioral exam, but you can prepare yourself for it. Never approach any aspect of applying for medical school unprepared.
To prepare for your CASPer test:
- Ensure your computer and webcam are fully functional and make sure to only use the most up-to-date browsers such as Chrome or FireFox.
- Check Reddit message boards for advice from others who have taken the CASPer.
- Practice how many words you can type per minute while still maintaining accuracy.
- Take the free sample test until you are familiar and comfortable with the format.
Practice CASPer Test
You can find a Sample CASPer test online from CASPer. The test is not scored, but it will help you get used to the format and the type of questions you can expect from your real test. You can only take the real test once, so ensure you have adequately prepared yourself far in advance of the day.
Which Schools Require CASPer?
There are dozens of Canadian universities, colleges in the United States, as well as a few schools in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with programs that require a CASPer test.
How Much Does the CASPer Cost?
The base fee for taking the CASPer is $10. An additional $10 is charged for each school you designate to receive your results. All fees are non-refundable.
What are the CASPer Test Dates?
Each school sets the dates for their CASPer test, so you need to look up CASPer test dates on a case by case basis. The latest you can take the CASPer depends on the earliest test deadline of the schools you wish to apply to.
To find the testing date for the schools and programs you are applying to, visit the CASPer Test Dates and Fees page. Here you can select the country of the schools you are applying to, the program(s) you are applying to, and the school(s) you are applying to. You will receive the last possible test date available for all selected schools.
How to Sign Up for the CASPer Test
You must register for your test at least three days before your required or preferred test date. Time is needed before the test to verify your identity and to process payment information. Never leave this process to the last minute as you don’t want a small delay to affect your ability to complete the CASPer within your preferred schools’ deadline. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare for and complete your CASPer test since you can only take it once.
During account signup, CASPer requires a:
- Government-issued photo ID
- Valid email address
- Working webcam
Taking the CASPer
How the CASPer Test Works
The CASPer test places you in a series of hypothetical but realistic situations where you will be asked what you would do and why. The test takes about 90 minutes to complete (including an optional 15-minute break) and has 12 different sections. Each section is comprised of a word-based or video-based scenario that you will be asked 3 open-ended questions about. There are 4 word-based scenarios and 8 video-based scenarios, the order of which is randomized. You will have 5 minutes to respond to the questions before the test automatically switches to the next section.
Can You Take Notes During CASPer?
You are allowed to take notes during the CASPer on a blank piece of paper with a pencil. You are also permitted a hard copy dictionary. You cannot use pre-written notes.
Although you are allowed to take notes, you are only allotted 5 minutes to answer each section, so taking notes could hinder your answer. Focus on typing out your answers as quickly as you can and only use notes if you need them.
Is the CASPer Test Proctored?
The CASPer test is proctored. According to Altus Assessments Inc., they “may request / randomly access your webcam and/or microphone during the account creation, registration, and test process to collect information to verify your identity and proctor the test.”
After Taking the CASPer
How is the CASPer Graded?
Each section of your CASPer test will be graded by a different person. You will not be evaluated on spelling, grammar, or syntax. Graders are instructed to only focus on the content of your answer.
How Long Does it Take to Get CASPer Results?
The tricky part about CASPer results is that you will not actually receive your score. The results of your CASPer will be submitted to the schools of your choosing, and each school has its own separate criteria for evaluating the results of a CASPer test.
It will take about 3 weeks or more for your test results to be received, but you will not be given any notification that they have been delivered. You can check the status of your CASPer delivery in the Past Tests section of your CASPer account. Programs highlighted in green indicate that your test results have been delivered, while programs highlighted in grey indicate that delivery is still pending.
How Many Times Can You Take the CASPer Test?
Your CASPer results are only valid for a single admissions cycle, and only for the specific program type you wrote it for.
You can only take the CASPer test once during a single admissions cycle. You will need to retake the CASPer test if applying for future admissions cycles, as the exam changes each year, and answers will need to be compared to a new group of applicants. You will also need to take an additional CASPer test if you are applying for programs in different countries or in different languages.
You will not receive your results or any feedback about the results of your CASPer test, just as you are not graded on your personal statement or after an interview. The CASPer is not a pass or fail test—it assesses your personal skills against the entire pool of candidates.
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