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What is the CASPer Test?

What is the CASPer Test

What is the CASPer test?

CASPer is an online, situational judgment test that many medical schools require as part of their application process. The questions are open-ended, often ethical dilemma scenarios that assess the test taker for various character traits that are important for future physicians to possess, such as professionalism, collaboration, and problem solving. Aside from metrics, the CASPer is another opportunity for applicants to exemplify that they have the necessary people skills to excel as a medical student and future physician. 

Which schools require CASPer?

What is the test’s format?

CASPer is a virtually delivered, webcam monitored test that one can take from the comfort of their home via the Altus Suite website. This test consists of 2 sections.

  1. In the first section, test takers will have to type out responses to 3 written scenarios and 6 video scenarios.
  2. In the second section, test takers will have to record video responses to 2 written scenarios and 4 video scenarios.

In both sections, each scenario consists of three open-ended questions. Test takers will have 5 minutes to type out responses to all three questions in the scenario, or 1 minute to record their video-response to each of the three questions in the scenario. Once time is up, the test will automatically progress to the next scenario.

In total, the CASPer will take 100 – 120 minutes to complete. There is an optional 5 minute break halfway through Section 1, and an optional 10 minute break before the start of Section 2.

CASPer assesses future physicians 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

These characteristics are assessed via video-based and word-based scenarios. For example, a video of two classmates talking about a difficult to work with group member. Or a written scenario, like a question prompting the test taker to think about a time in which they exhibited leadership during a time of adversity

The three follow up questions for each scenario can ask the test taker to:

  • explain their viewpoint of the situation
  • further explore other perspectives of the situation
  • relate the situation to society as a whole
  • relate the situation to an aspect of the test taker’s life, etc.

As one can see, the scenarios and follow up questions for the CASPer can be quite complex, thus there is not really one right answer for any CASPer question. Instead, test takers should focus on delivering answers with the 10 characteristics that the CASPer is assessing for in mind.

How to prepare?

Do I need to bring anything to the test and what can I expect on test day?

Since the CASPer is a virtually delivered assessment, all of the preparation for test day will take place on the test taker’s testing device. A computer with the latest version of Chrome or Firefox is recommended as the test may not run on smartphones or tablets. On test day, the test taker will need to run the “Casper System Requirements Check” to make sure that their webcam, internet browser, and internet connection are working properly for the test. It is critical that all three of these are functioning properly as the CASPer is a virtually delivered, webcam monitored test.

The test taker will of course need to log into their Altus Suite account to access the CASPer using the email and password associated with their Altus Suite account. It is recommended that test takers log into their Altus Suite account at least 30 minutes before their scheduled test time, as their test will be canceled if they log in more than 15 minutes after their scheduled test time. There is no guarantee that there will be available dates for the test taker to reschedule their test, thus it is better to log in earlier than later.

The CASPer also contains an optional 10 minute break halfway through the test, and since the test will automatically progress after the 10 minutes is over, it is a good idea to be near a washroom and have snacks and refreshments nearby. During this 10 minute break, test takers are able to step out of the view of their webcam. 

Here is a handy checklist for CASPer test day: 

  • Arrange for a comfortable and quiet testing set up and location 
  • Remember Altus Suite account email and password 
  • Use a computer with the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox to take test on
  • Run Altus Suite’s “CASPer System Requirements Check” on computer on test day to ensure that webcam, internet browser, and internet connection are working properly 
  • Log into test at least 30 minutes before scheduled test time
  • Be near a washroom and have snacks and refreshments handy for optional 10 minute break 

Remember, the test taker is required to have their webcam on and facing them throughout the duration of the test, thus no outside resources are allowed. Instead, use Motivate MD’s CASPer prep course to ensure ultimate success and confidence on test day!

Is it graded? If so, what is a good grade to get into medical school?

Yes, the CASPer is graded. Each of the 15 sections of the test is graded by a different grader. The graders are diverse and well-trained. The test taker’s composite score is delivered in the form of a quartile. 25% of test takers score in each of the four quartiles, and scoring in the fourth quartile means that the test taker scored higher than 75% of test takers. Of course, one should aim to score as high as possible, but remember that the medical school admissions’ process is holistic and the CASPer is only one component of the process. 

To score in the upper quartile, the test taker needs to ensure that the majority of their responses are explained thoroughly, clearly, and articulately, and that whenever possible, the test taker is exhibiting that they are able to empathize with multiple perspectives and views all perspectives equally.

It is recommended for the test taker to take the full five minutes to answer each set of three questions, but remember to type fast as the test automatically progresses to the next section after the five minutes are over. Fortunately, the CASPer does not take points off for spelling errors, and responses can be written in bullet point or sentence form! 

The composite quartile score for the CASPer is delivered to medical schools 2-3 weeks after the test date and beginning with the 2021-2022 admissions cycle, test takers will also be able to receive their quartile score one month after their test date. The CASPer cannot be rescored and test takers can only take the CASPer once per admissions cycle, thus it is important to be adequately prepared for the test. 

Timeline for Taking the CASPer Test

When should I sign up for the CASPer?

After submitting your primary application and most pressing secondary applications! This will ensure that you have enough time to prepare for the CASPer, without compromising the deadlines of your secondary applications. CASPer recommends that applicants sign up at least three days before their prospective test date to allow enough time for processing on their end. 

Sample One Week Study Plan for the CASPer: 

(Remember to practice typing every single day during this study plan. Multiple times a day if you can! ) 

  • Day One: Start going through Motivate MD’s “CASPer Study Guide & Resources” document 
  • Day Two: Finish going through Motivate MD’s “CASPer Study Guide & Resources” document 
  • Day Three: Take Motivate MD’s full length CASPer Practice Test 
  • Day Four: Rest Day (or spend some time revisiting scenarios you found challenging)
  • Day Five: Feedback Session with Motivate MD CASPer coach + go through your evaluation form with CASPer simulations scores 
  • Day Six: Go through Motivate MD’s CASPer Scenario Bank 
  • Day Seven: TEST DAY! Good luck!! 

All of the above mentioned resources are a part of our CASPer test prep found here

When will my CASPer score be sent to my designated medical schools?

2-3 weeks after your test date!

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