CASPer Test Preparation to get Accepted into Medical School

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13 Nov 2021
6 min read

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The CASPer test is a fairly intricate topic, and most people still feel trouble understanding its concept. Fortunately, this post highlights the key details necessary to encompass the overall premise! From its format to the scoring pattern, you’ll be apprised of everything regarding the CASper Test. #ThinkWithNiche

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Learn what the CASPer Test is, why It was created, how long it is, its format, how it is scored, how it is used in admission procedures, and most importantly – how you can prepare for it!
The CASPer test is still a very recent development in terms of medical school requirements! As the number of medical schools incorporating this test in their admission procedure is exponentially increasing, it has become more crucial than ever to know more about the CASPer Test.
This post will bring light to everything that you must know about this test.

Table of Contents
CASPer Test – What It Is!
Why Was CASPer Test Created?
The Format of the CASPer Test

  • Word-Based Scenarios
  • Video-Based Scenarios

How Long It Is!
How It Is Scored!
How is CASPer Test Used in Admission Procedures?
How You Can Prepare for Your CASPer Exam!
CASPer Test – What it is!

Prepping for the MCAT and making sure that you get a high GPA is already a prodigious task for prospective medical students. Although, there is an additional test that you might have to qualify as a part of the admission procedure of medical schools.
The CASPer test is the newest testing alternative that does not focus on academic circles. Initially developed by the researchers at the McMaster University Canada back in 2005, this exam is being introduced in the application procedures of an increasing number of medical schools across the world.
CASPer means Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics. It is not a test that revolves around your academic knowledge or prowess of medical subjects. Rather, it is about evaluating how you think! It intends to measure traits such as professionalism, ethics, empathy, and communication.
Essentially, it’s a situational judgment test! It is a psychology-based test that is meant to offer admission panels a better understanding of who you are and the way you would react under a specific condition.

Why Was CASPer Test Created?

As medical schools already need personal interviews and a myriad of other requirements, why include the CASPer exam in the already tedious process?
Well, the creators of this test found that the conventional methods of analyzing the applicant’s personal traits were not consistently effective!
As an applicant, your aim is to get selected into as many medical schools as possible. Most applicants take up a great deal of time trying to build an image of what they think the medical schools would want to see in their students.
It means developing a well-crafted personal essay or even trying to obtain a letter of recommendation from a person you know who would only say the words of praise. Such a careful selection of the application material is not always the best measure of an applicant’s real intrapersonal or interpersonal skills.
A study found that a majority of incidents (around 95%) that involved disciplinary measures against the doctors resulted from a lack of professionalism instead of shortcomings with medical proficiency.
The CASPer exam aims to offer admission panels a better understanding of what an applicant would be bringing to the table. It efficiently assesses personal traits and offers quantifiable results to the medical schools without any bias. This test shows the schools that an applicant has the required skills to become a good medical professional.

The Format of the CASPer Test

The CASPer exam’s format is quite unique! However, it is not too far away from the other standardized exams you have attempted before.
At a top level, the test is divided into 12 different sections.
Eight of these twelve sections use videos to build the stage for the questions, and all the remaining four sections are word-based.
For each scenario provided, you’ll have to answer 3 questions! The test gives 5-minutes time to respond to every scenario. So, you’ll have to think fairly quickly.
An interesting fact about the CASPer exam is that a majority of the questions won’t be about absolute medicine. You may have a question hovering in between that makes you think like a surgeon or physician.
However, predominantly, the scenarios are framed to simulate common real-world events that you have most likely encountered at some point in life or the other.
For instance, you may see a scenario circling the workplace decision followed by one that puts you at a birthday party with a close friend. No matter how counterintuitive it may seem to the application process of medical schools, these scenarios provide a good look at how you perceive situations.
Let’s dive deep into the two sections of the test.

Video-Based Scenarios

For every scenario that uses videos, the questions asked are more flexible! These sections resemble the questions that you would see in a situational judgment test.
These sections start with a short 1 or 2-minute long video. The video sets the stage and explains your role in the given scenario. For instance, you may be one of the key employees in a workplace conflict or a close friend trying to help the other person take a decision.
All the questions are relatively easy! In the majority of cases, they are – ‘what will you do’ question types where you need to describe your reasoning.

Word-Based Scenarios

These sections are a little different! Rather than videos, you are introduced with a brief statement. The types of questions that follow are a blend of the behavioral descriptor and standard situational judgment ones.
Most often, these questions make you reflect on your thoughts on a specific past experience. For instance, you might be asked to revisit a situation where you faced a challenging decision or were forced to compromise your moral ethics.

CASPer Test – How Long It Is

The CASPer exam is fairly brief! The overall test is 60-minutes long, and it is divided into twelve sections that take 5-minutes each.
You’ll have the opportunity to take a short 15-minutes break (optional) if you want. So, assuming that you take the break, you will be done with the test within an hour and a half.
If you compare this test with other prodigious tests (such as MCAT), it isn’t at all very long.

How It Is Scored

When it comes to the CASPer exam, there are several unknown things for the test-takers! The creators of the test don’t offer any information regarding how the standardized marks are calculated.
To make things even worse, you do not get to see your final grade! Only the medical schools in which you applied have access to your scores.
The CASPer test’s grading process is extremely unique! Every section of the test is graded by a distinct person. It means you will have 12 different individuals assessing your answers!
These independent graders are from a broad range of academic backgrounds! The individual sections can be evaluated by professional educators, physicians, or other people who work in the medical field.
Besides, these graders come from distinct backgrounds as well! It is meant to simulate the demographics of the collective population of patients.
As a physician or a surgeon, you will be working with individuals of all genders, incomes, and races. So, it is only reasonable that your answers are assessed by a vast demographic too!
However, there’s a bright side to it as well! Many standard grading protocols are overlooked as the graders are asked to ignore errors such as grammar or spelling.
Rather, they concentrate on the bottom line of your answers. They even consider incomplete sentences in case the time runs out before you complete a section.

How is CASPer Test Used in Admission Procedures?

How your CASPer exam scores are going to be used in admission procedures varies extensively from one school to another.
This is still a very new test option in the medical field, and all the schools haven’t mandated it yet! Additionally, every medical school decides how to utilize the scores and the role it plays in their decision-making process.
There’s no official standard of CASPer test scores. Some medical schools consider the results but don’t use the official numbers for separating candidates. For instance, it can be used as a measure of the first impression. The admission panels might use it as a determining factor if they are on the fence about an applicant.
On the contrary, some medical schools won’t even acknowledge a candidate for admissions if he doesn’t reach a specified threshold. They might have a cut-off percentage to screen applications.
After all, your CASPer test score is just another constituent to compare your skills with other applicants. If the school needs these scores, they will use them to identify where you rank among the large pool of candidates.

How You Can Prepare for Your CASPer Exam

When it comes to the CASPer exam, you have to prepare extensively to secure a good overall grade. Since it is a behavioral test with no specified right or wrong answer, graders look at how well you respond and your logical reasoning behind your answer instead of whether or not it is the right choice.
Therefore, conventional test preparation methods do not apply to this test. Cramming down books overnight won’t prove fruitful! You will eventually have to dedicate time and effort to be completely prepared for the CASPer test!
That being said, there are some things that you can do to boost your confidence before going in for the test.
First things first, ensure that your PC runs the software without any interruptions. Unlike MCAT, it is not a test that you’ll have to complete at a distant examination center with an invigilator. You can take this test in the comfort of your home.
The official site of the CASPer test has an operating system checking tool. You can use it to make sure things run fluently on exam day.
Another thing that you can do is polish your typing skills. As you only get 5 minutes to answer the 3 questions, you have to type your answers quickly. Ensure that you can type at least 40 words in a minute without any significant grammatical errors.
Since spelling and grammatical errors will not affect your overall score, it is still advised that you follow appropriate writing conventions. You should take adequate time to practice typing without making substantial mistakes.
Apart from the technical facets of the CASPer exam, you can also examine the sample questions. These are easily available on the internet. Besides, you can find video scenarios as well!
Before the exam day, take the chance opportunity of familiarizing yourself with the medical code and ethics. There are plenty of sources available on this topic. Realizing how a medical professional addresses disputes can have a great influence in molding your approach.
Besides, recollect your life experiences! Contemplate the challenging ones and list down the important lesson you learned! A substantial part of the CASPer exam is to explain your thought process. Hence, being able to effectively share real-life experiences can make a significant difference.

Are Practice Tests with Sample Questions Helpful?

It is a ground of many conflicting opinions! It is partially because of the fact that the CASPer exam is very new. Secondly, there are diverse motives behind every opinion as well.
As you know that it is a psychology-based test, you wouldn’t find a specific set of questions in it. So, will practice tests help in prepping for the CASPer exam?
While there isn’t a definitive answer to this question, you can be sure of one thing that when you solve practice tests, you often gain the right perspective on how to go about the questing asked in the test. So, it is worth investing your time in solving practice test papers to ensure a good score!

Wrapping Up

Now that you know all about the CASPer exam and your options on how to prepare for it, do not let its abstract nature overwhelm you! If anything, it should come to you as good news.
You just have to do a little preparation on medical codes and ethics. The exam is designed to be a helpful section of a much broader procedure, so there is honestly no reason to worry about it.
In case you want to get comprehensive knowledge and sincerely prepare for the exam, you can get in touch with our experienced professionals. It is a process we are familiar with and aim to help you out through its course.

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