What is CASPer? | A Detailed Guide

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Rebecca Nolan

Group Content Manager

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Aspiring medical students are likely familiar with the traditional admissions requirements, such as the MCAT, essays, and interviews. However, some schools have started incorporating a new admissions process element. This is called the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer), run by Altus Assessments.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on what CASPer is and how to prepare for it. Let’s get started!

What is CASPer?

CASPer is a situational judgment test designed to evaluate an applicant’s personal characteristics. These include professionalism, communication skills, empathy, and ethical decision-making abilities.

This computer-based test consists of video or written prompts presenting hypothetical scenarios an applicant might face in a medical profession. The applicant is asked to type out a response within a limited time. The test is administered through the Altus Suite platform.

The prompts relate not to medicine but to everyday life situations. The prompts could include resolving a conflict with a colleague, responding to a difficult client, or helping a friend in need. CASPer also aims to measure the applicant’s ability to apply their attributes in a professional context.

Find out more about the CASPer from Acuity Insights

Why is CASPer Important?

Medical schools use Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics as an additional screening tool to evaluate applicants’ characteristics. They believe these attributes are also as important as academic achievements, and demonstrating these personal qualities is crucial to a successful physician.

By testing an applicant’s situational judgment, schools can better evaluate whether they have the desired qualities to be a competent and compassionate physician.

The 10 CASPer assessment criteria

When is CASPer Administered?

The test typically takes about 90 minutes to complete and is administered online. This means applicants can take the test anywhere with a reliable internet connection. The test can be taken from a personal computer or laptop, and applicants must ensure that they have a webcam, microphone, and a quiet, well-lit environment to take the test.

CASPer is administered at specific times throughout the year, with most testing occurring during the summer and early fall. Furthermore, the test dates are predetermined by the organization that administers the test, and applicants are usually given a choice of several different test dates to choose from.

It’s important to note that not all medical schools require Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics as part of their admissions process. However, many schools are starting to use it, particularly in Canada and the United States. If you’re applying to medical school, check with the schools you’re interested in to see if they require CASPer and when it is typically administered. Why not chat to a CASPer tutor today to find out more information.

CASPer Registration and Fees

The test costs $10, plus an additional $10 for every school you designate to receive your results. Fee-assistance programs are available through AAMC and must be approved before registration.

It is recommended to register at least three days before your preferred test date and submit all necessary forms and supporting documentation three weeks before the test if you require testing accommodations.

how to register for casper test

Things You Need to Get Registered

To register for the CASPer test, you will need to create an Acuity Insights account and provide a government-issued photo ID, a valid email address, a working webcam and microphone, a desktop or laptop computer, and a reliable, high-speed internet connection with a bandwidth speed of at least 2 megabytes per second.

CASPer 1-1 Tutoring
Prepare for the CASPer with the experts. Including individualised study plan, regular progress reports and test strategies

How Many Sections Are There in the CASPer Test?

The CASPer test consists of two sections: a video response section with two word-based scenarios and four video-based scenarios and a typed response section with three word-based scenarios and five video-based scenarios.

Now the question is, what does CASPer assess for? The test includes a variety of question categories and types, but three of the most common question categories are ethical dilemmas, professional boundaries, and conflicts of interest.

  • Ethical dilemmas: These questions present scenarios that require you to decide the right course of action in a morally complex situation. You will be asked to explain why you chose the decision you made and to consider the possible consequences of your actions.
  • Professional boundaries: This section will test your ability to maintain appropriate professional relationships and boundaries with others. You may encounter scenarios involving conflict of interest, personal relationships with patients or colleagues, or inappropriate behavior.
  • Conflicts of interest: These questions assess your ability to recognize and manage conflicts of interest in the workplace. You may be asked to consider a situation’s potential risks and benefits and identify any potential conflicts.
How CASPer is Administered?

Which US Universities Require CASPer?

Now that we understand what CASPer is and why it’s used, let’s look at which US universities require it for admission:

  • Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • American University of The Caribbean School of Medicine
  • Arkansas College of Health University
  • Augusta University
  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Boston University School of Medicine
  • California Health Sciences University
  • Central Michigan University
  • Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
  • Drexel University
  • East Tennessee State University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Foster School of Medicine Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – El Paso
  • Howard University
  • Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Indiana University
  • Kansas Health Science Center – Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center
  • Marshall University
  • Medical College of Wisconsin
  • Meharry Medical College
  • Mercer University
  • Michigan State University
  • Netter School of Medicine Quinnipiac University
  • New York Medical College
  • Northeast Ohio Medical University
  • Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • Penn State University
  • Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University
  • Rush University
  • Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
  • Sam Houston State University
  • San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
  • State University of New York Upstate Medical University
  • Temple University
  • Texas A&M University
  • Touro College
  • Touro University – Nevada
  • Tulane University
  • University of Colorado Denver
  • University of Illinois at Chicago
  • University of Miami
  • University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
  • University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center
  • University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
  • University of Texas Medical Branch
  • University of Texas Southwestern
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Washington
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wake Forest School of Medicine
  • West Virginia University
  • Western University of Health Sciences
  • William Carey University

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive. Universities may update their admission requirements anytime, so it’s always best to check directly with the university you’re interested in.

Wrapping Up

CASPer is a relatively new addition to medical school admissions but is becoming increasingly popular. It is a test that evaluates an applicant’s characteristics and situational judgment, which are important qualities in the medical profession.

While preparing for the test can be challenging, it is important to remember that it is designed to evaluate your lifelong personal qualities and experiences and cannot be improved upon quickly.

By familiarizing yourself with the test structure and reflecting on your personal experiences, you can better prepare for the test and demonstrate your qualities to medical school admissions committees. You can contact us for a free consultation with one of our expert CASPer tutors to see how we can support you.

General tips and informative articles on CASPer Test:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

→ How long does the CASPer test take, and how is it administered?

The CASPer test takes about 90 minutes, including the time to read the instructions and complete a short practice section. The test is administered online and can be taken anywhere with a reliable internet connection.

→ How is the CASPer test scored, and what is a good score?

The CASPer test is scored on a scale of 1-9, with 9 being the highest score. The score is determined by independent raters who evaluate your responses based on predefined criteria. There is no passing or failing score, which is not used to compare you to other test-takers. A good score demonstrates your ability to think critically and make ethical decisions in challenging situations.

→ How do medical schools use CASPer scores in the admissions process?

Some medical schools use CASPer scores as part of their holistic admissions process to assess applicants’ non-cognitive skills. The score may be combined with other application materials, such as letters of recommendation, academic transcripts, and personal statements. Some medical schools may use CASPer scores as a screening tool to determine which applicants are invited for an interview.

→ Can I retake the CASPer test if I am not satisfied with my score?

Yes, you can retake the CASPer test if you are unsatisfied with your score or if the schools you are applying to require multiple test scores. However, you will need to pay the full registration fee each time you take the test, and there is a waiting period before you can retake the test.

It is important to note that some medical schools may only consider your most recent CASPer score, while others may consider all your scores.

RNolan Profile picture
Rebecca Nolan
Group Content Manager
Certifications: BA History of Art, PGCE Education, PGC Advanced Educational Practice
Education: University: University of East Anglia
Lives in: London

Rebecca studied at History of Art at UEA before deciding on a career in education. Having worked with children from 3-18 years old, she has worked both in the UK and international schools including Dubai and Zurich, where she was Head of Primary. Rebecca has extensive knowledge in curriculum design and has worked with various curricular models including English National Curriculum and International Baccalaureate.

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