CASPer Test Strategy

Learn the 4 Steps to Formulating an Effective Argument

CASPer Test Strategy



Hey there medical school applicants! Today we are going to tackle yet another part of the application cycle- the CASPer test! To help you prepare, our team at Motivate MD put together CASPer test strategy information along with some free, comprehensive practice scenarios and sample answers! 

Intro to CASPer:

CASPer (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is a situational judgment admissions test using a one-way video response tool and value-alignment questionnaire. The CASPer assesses test takers for 10 characteristics:

  1. Collaboration
  2. Communication
  3. Empathy
  4. Equity
  5. Ethics
  6. Motivation
  7. Problem Solving
  8. Professionalism
  9. Resilience
  10. Self-awareness

How can you further enhance each of your responses to convey these characteristics? Notice how most of these characteristics are included in the AAMC Core Competencies for Entering Medical Students! 

Many students take CASPer in April, May, or June of their application year (check test dates here). You can check which schools you are applying for require CASPer here.

The 4 Steps to Formulate Your Argument: 

Step 1: Understand the problem

This is obviously easier said than done. All ethical dilemmas are a paradox, meaning there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer. First, it’s generally helpful to have a basic understanding of some of the more prominent ethical arguments in medicine to be familiar with them. For example, the value of patient autonomy (patients should have the ability to make their own choices).

We provide all of our CASPer prep students with bioethics resources to help build a foundation on these themes!

Step 2: Summarize the situation at hand

It is important to first BRIEFLY summarize the situation you have been  presented with. What is the most prominent issue at hand? Who is it affecting?

  • Consider who is impacted and your role in the situation 
  • Gather information and DO NOT make assumptions

Step 3: Do not immediately pick a side

Do not immediately pick a side without exploring the scenario.

Explore the situation using the tools above. Address the counterarguments (briefly) such that you can get to a clear conviction. The most important part of this is showing your approach and not getting to a “correct” answer. You will want to avoid contradicting some of these viewpoints to avoid setting off a red flag for your evaluators.

Step 4: Provide personal experience or examples

If applicable, provide any personal experience or examples that support your viewpoint. 

CASPer Practice Questions

Put into practice the above steps to formulating your argument with practice CASPer questions. 

Bonus: After completing the practice questions, you can hear from a CASPer coach regarding how effective your responses are… for free. 

Want more prep for this and other situational judgment tests? Check out our extensive CASPer prep packages here! Getting started early on nailing these types of scenarios have been shown to help students GREATLY in their interview (yes, those MMIs have these types of scenarios!).