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How to Prepare & Ace the CASPer Test: Top 15 Tips
What is CASPer?
CASPer is an acronym for Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, which is essentially an online multiple mini interview (MMI).
Before we jump into our strategies let's make something clear. We do not endorse CASPer and its use is not recommended. We strongly encourage all applicants, their parents, and admissions professionals to proceed with caution when deciding to use CASPer or when reviewing claims made by its creators and its for-profit administrator, as none of their claims appear to have been independently verified. We have seen claims by them that may be hurtful to applicants' chances of acceptance, their CASPer scores, and worse the general literature and previous studies suggest that situational judgment tests may cause bias. In fact, If you are too worried about the test, you may want to consider applying to schools that don't require it. If you have no choice, we are here to help you ace your test. This is why we offer CASPer prep programs because we want to level the playing field so everyone has a fair chance of admission.
Furthermore, we have already discussed our frank opinion about the myths surrounding CASPer preparation in this blog. Most of our students say that they find it laughable that some argue it's not possible to prepare. We tend to agree. Of course you can prepare in advance because no one is born with professional skills. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either lying or misguided. In fact, in this study we show how our students increased their CASPer SIM score by an average of 23% using appropriate preparation. It turns out preparing for CASPer is actually much easier than other tests if you employ the right strategies and prepare well in advance.
1. Practice using realistic simulations:
Just like any other skill set you must practice using timed and realistic CASPer simulations. The same way you practiced for your MCAT for example or when you were learning how to ride a bike. Non-cognitive skills develop just like cognitive skills via practice and experience. (To learn more about our CASPer SIM™ practice tests & preparation programs click here.)
2. Get expert feedback:
Without expert feedback, you will not be able to identify your weakness and learn from them. We highly recommend that you take advantage of expert feedback from a medical doctor, or other professionals, such as BeMo's CASPer experts, who are familiar with the CASPer test.
3. Read the 3 questions and answer the easiest question first.
This is the best strategy, especially when faced with multiple really tough questions in a given scenario because: A) answering the easiest question first ensures that you have answered at least one question before the time is up, which may still get you full marks as you will see below, and B) since you have read over all the questions, your subconscious mind will be busy formulating a response to the more difficult questions while you answer the easiest ones.
4. Focus on the most important issue.
The first thing you do after watching a CASPer scenario or reading a text-based question is to make sure that you understand what the most important issue is at hand. Is it the well-being of those under your care? The well-being of the public at large? Or the reputation of your organization? We recommend that you review some of our sample questions and expert answers to understand this very important concept.
5. Always remain non-judgmental until you have gathered all the facts.
CASPer is designed to see if you are going to be judgemental and jump into a hasty conclusion or if you reserve judgement after gather all the facts. Take the time to delay judgement until you have all the facts.
6. Gather all the facts. Don’t make any blind assumptions.
Let’s assume a CASPer question implies that a person is completely drunk and is heading to their car with the ignition keys in hand. There are too many unknowns here and you can't be 100% sure. For example, how can you be 100% sure they are indeed durnk? What if the person has a medical condition that causes them to seem drunk and even have alcohol breath? (e.g. ketoacidosis in diabetics) On the other hand, what if they are simply going to grab their cell phone from their car to call a cab? The point is this: don't make any assumptions until after you have gathered all the facts, which may include having a private conversation with the individual, if the matter is not urgent, so that they are not embarrassed in public.
7. Figure out all the parties that are involved.
A professional understands that nothing is black and white in real life and our actions normally have consequences for many people directly and indirectly involved. So let’s say you are faced with the dilemma of firing a university professor for professional misconduct. Who is directly involved? You and the professor. Who is indirectly involved? The professional, the university and the community at large.
8. You must be able to have a specific strategy for each type of CASPer question.
Since it's not possible to predict actual test questions, the best way to prepare is to realize that there are a finite number of types of questions. In fact we have identified a total of 16 different possible types of questions and once you know how to identify and answer each type of question, you'll be able to ace any CASPer question. Period.
9. Use "if, then" strategy to formulate the most rationale and ethical decision.
A common mistake by most applicants is to read complicated ethics books but that's not necessary. All you have to do is show that you have common sense and can make sound judgement in everyday ethical dilemmas. The best way to do that is use the "if, then" strategy. For example, "...if after having a private conversation, I realize that the driver is drunk and planning to drive away, then..." Or, "... if I realize that the driver is simply going to grab their cell phone from the car, then..."
10. Take your time. It's totally OK if you miss a few questions!
CASPer exam is not meant to test your typing speed. In fact, CASPer raters are told to assign you an overall score for each scenario even if you have missed a question or two. So if you answer at least one question really well, you can potentially still receive full marks because no marks are deducted for missed questions.
11. Study ethics:
Many of the questions asked during your CASPer test are based on ethical dilemmas that arise during real-life situations and scenarios, therefore it is recommended that you get to know the governing body of your professional school system and the daily dilemmas faced by the profession.
12. Read up on relevant news:
Keep up to date with the relevant news and issues facing the profession.
13. Personal preparation:
There are usually a few sections of the CASPer test designed to get to know you better. These sections serve the same purpose as the traditional autobiographical sketch. This is your opportunity to 'talk' to the admissions committee. Your goal is to demonstrate your high level of maturity, excellent communication skills, quick decision-making abilities, leadership, teamwork, and social responsibility based on your own personal experience. A good way to prepare for this is to think of such scenarios in advance and have them prepared; this will save you time trying to think of some during the test.
14. Ignore the negative talk about CASPer preparation
Additionally, we talk about avoiding online premed forums in this blog post so we won't go into details except to mention that if you want to stand out, you must avoid the common places the masses hangout - how can you possibly stand out if you do what everyone else is doing? Importantly those forums are full of misinformation, and are routinely monitored and appear to be manipulated by admissions committees and test administrators.
15. Prepare well in advance
How long does it take to prepare for CASPer? It takes between 6-8 weeks to prepare for CASPer and sometimes longer. This is because CASPer is a behavioral type test and it takes a long time to learn new behaviors and modify unwanted behaviour. Ideally, you should start preparing well in advance because it is not possible to prepare for CASPer last minute like academic tests that require memorization of facts.
What is CASPer?
The Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) test, is a web based assessment of interpersonal skills and decision making abilities for screening applicants' professional and personal characteristics.
Which schools use CASPer?
Click the link for complete list of schools that use CASPer.
Click the link for complete list of CASPer test dates.
How important is CASPer to your application success?
Every school uses your CASPer score differently in their admissions process, for example, the exam is worth 32% of the total pre-interview score of your application to McMaster medical school, this makes it weighed equally against your MCAT scores as well as your grade point average (GPA). What about other schools? Given the fact that other schools and programs using CASPer have adopted similar admissions screening tool, you can be sure that doing well on this test no matter what program or school you are applying to is going to be very important for admissions success.
Your CASPer Score
Some of the most common questions we hear from our students include the following:
- "how is this test scored?"
- "what if I miss a question?"
- "who are the CASPer raters/evaluators?"
- "do the CASPer raters mark the test based on an answer sheet?"
- "what if I have a difficult rater with extremely high standards"
- "when will I get my CASPer score back?"
We wrote a comprehensive blog post on this topic with answer to all these frequently asked questions about CASPer scoring protocols. Click here to read more.
Click here to practice with our free sample CASPer videos & questions
Here's why students choose to prep with BeMo:
- Leaders in CASPer preparation
- Proven to increase your practice score by 23%
- The only scientifically proven CASPer prep available
- Outstanding success rate
- Admissions experts with 53 years of combined experience
- 91% of our students refer us to their friends
- Invest in our development of fair & scientifically sound admissions screening
- Money back guarantee
BeMo CASPer Preparation Programs:
At BeMo, we have used the a rigorous scientific approach, in collaboration with our team of scientists and former CASPer raters to design an evidence-based strategy to help you prepare for the test. Our CASPer prep programs include:
- Test taking strategy - We will arm you with the ability to successfully answer ANY type of question.
- The ONLY realistic CASPer simulation (CASPer SIM™ tests) including HD video-based and text-based scenarios.
- Comprehensive analysis of your performance by experienced professionals - Our CASPer test experts will go over each question, identify your strengths and weaknesses, and provided you with specific recommendations.
- CASPer prep video course: learn our strategies to identify and ace ANY type of CASPer questions (16 in total)
The test consists of 12 sections, followed by 3 questions related to the material presented in each section. These include both video-based and text-based scenarios based on every-day situation. The short video clips will ask for your response to various situations and scenarios. The text-based sections usually involve ‘personal’ questions, designed to find out more about the applicant. In total, CASPer takes 90 minutes to complete; with each section allowing only 5 minutes to answer all 3 questions, as well as a 15 minute break half way through and a short survey at the end.
If you haven't watched our 3-part CASPer Prep Mini Video Course Training Series, click here for instant access.
BeMo's Ultimate Guide to CASPer® Test Prep is the most comprehensive resource for CASPer preparation. Written by former CASPer test raters, admissions committee members and award-winning scientists, this guide is a must-read for all applicants required to take the CASPer test. The guide includes proven strategies, sample questions and answers, two full length practice tests and access to a sample online test.
Click here to grab yours now.
Here is what is included in this book:
- how CASPer is really scored by CASPer raters
- BeMo's proven formula for acing any CASPer question,
- 17 proven strategies to prepare for and ace any CASPer test,
- 21 possible types of CASPer questions and how to successful answer each type of question,
- 12 difficult sample scenarios with expert analysis and answers,
- 2 additional full-length practice tests,
- a total of 108 sample CASPer questions,
- free sample online practice test,
- free access to BeMo's private online CASPer prep MasterMind group and additional resources,
- Over 180 pages of tips, strategies and advice from admission experts including former CASPer raters, former admissions committee members, and award-winning scientists