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The CASPer Test: What Is It?
Some medical schools may require you to take the CASPer test as part of your admission process. Ah, but tell me about CASPer. And isn’t studying for the MCAT sufficient? It takes a lot of work to prepare for and take the MCAT, but after you pass, you’re done, right?
Not exactly, is the response. Many allopathic and osteopathic medical schools now ask candidates to take the CASPer exam and submit their results as a way to flesh out their application. These results are often included with the school’s secondary applications. We explain all you need to know about CASPer, including when to take it, how to feel ready, and more. Please note before moving ahead that Medic Mind offers CASPer and MCAT tutoring classes and special courses that you can take help from.
Overview of CASPer.
A situational judgment test (SJT) is called CASPer. This kind of psychological exam asks you to respond to hypothetical, realistic situations by explaining what you would do and why in each case. These exams are designed to “determine behavioral tendencies, assessing how an individual will behave in a certain situation, and knowledge instruction, which evaluates the effectiveness of possible responses,” according to Altus Assessments Inc., the company that creates the CASPer exam. For you, what does this mean? This behavioral interview will, in all practicality, resemble the MMI (Multiple-Mini Interview) form of interviewing that you would encounter during your medical school interviews.
The CASPer exam costs $10 to take, plus an additional $10 for each institution you choose to obtain your results from. The CASPer test creator will also honor this if you are granted fee assistance. These fee-assistance programs have been authorized:
- Texas JAMP
- Texas Early Assurance
Does taking the CASPer exam have to happen?
If you are applying to one of the more than 50 MD and DO programs in the US, you will need to take the CASPer test because those programs now require candidates to submit their results.
The CASPer is divided into 12 sections, each of which consists of three open-ended questions and a written or video scenario. You can type your answers for the next five minutes. The exam will automatically advance from one segment to the next and take between sixty and ninety minutes to finish, with a fifteen-minute break available if desired. You won’t receive a mark for your spelling, grammar, or punctuation, but you will need to be able to enter answers rapidly and with fast thinking. Use the practice materials provided if you’re not used to typing quickly so you can determine how comfortable you are with it.
How is the CASPer measured?
A separate human rater scores each portion of the CASPer exam. Your score won’t be sent to you, nor will it be available to you. Only the universities you specify and apply to will be able to view your results.
Every medical school makes its own judgments on how to use CASPer scores in the admissions process. A score that is competitive for one school may not be as competitive for another because each one has its own requirements and candidate pool. Schools utilize your CASPer score to try to better understand another one of your “dimensions” and your decision-making process.
How should one get ready for the CASPer exam?
While the test creator emphasizes that coaching won’t be a useful preparation tool because this is a behavioral exam, there are a few things you should absolutely practice before the test:
- Verify that the PC you will be using on test day has the test software installed and that the camera is operational. You should use the “system check” feature provided by Casper well in advance of the test.
- Try out the CASPer website’s free practice exam. This will enable you to become accustomed to the time, tempo, and format of the questions. The exam creator offers further preparation tips on their site. Additionally, Kaplan admissions counselors may be a very helpful source of guidance.
- Despite the fact that the test creator’s website is the only source of “official” preparation materials for CASPer, you should still consult your pre-med adviser, friends who have already taken the test, and pre-med discussion forums for guidance.
- Since situational judgement exams will resemble MMI-style medical school interviews, MMI practice materials may prove beneficial. Practice analyzing a problem by reading it aloud and coming up with a response that clarifies the situation, suggests possible points of view, outlines your obligation or responsibility, etc.
- Learn about subjects including problem-solving, mediation, medical ethics, ethical decision-making, and conflict resolution.
When is the best time to take the CASPer test?
The CASPer must be taken in a timely manner because your results are valid only for the current application cycle. You’ll need to repeat the test because it changes annually and is evaluated against the current candidate pool if you wait to apply. You may take CASPer on your own computer at home because it is administered online. The CASPer is available at certain hours and days, and the dates that work best for you will depend on which colleges you want to submit your results to.
Your CASPer score is required by many institutions for secondary applications; however, please be aware that processing of your score may take up to three weeks. You should take the CASPer as late as July or as early as the spring of the year you plan to apply. Keep in mind that there is a benefit to applying as soon as AMCAS opens for submissions; the sooner your application is processed and evaluated by medical school admissions committees, the sooner it can contain your entire applicant profile, including essays, letters of recommendation, and scores from the CASPer and MCAT.
To guarantee that your test results are accessible when you submit your application, it is generally advised to take the CASPer exam well in advance of application deadlines. This permits any possible postponements in score reporting or, should they be required, retakes.
Registration for CASPer tests starts many months in advance of the exam dates, and the tests are often administered on numerous occasions throughout the year. As spots may fill up rapidly, it’s a good idea to register in advance to guarantee your desired test day.
Always be prepared, taking into account the application deadlines of the programs you have selected, and try to take the CASPer exam early enough to make the cutoff dates.