What is the CASPer Test?
The Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, or CASPer, is an online screening tool designed to evaluate key personal and professional characteristics. It’s used by academic programs, including those in the field of medicine, to ensure applicants possess the essential interpersonal and decision-making skills needed for success in demanding environments.
The CASPer test is broken into two main sections, with a total duration ranging from 100 to 120 minutes. This length is dependent on whether the optional breaks are utilised. A solid internet connection and a device equipped with a webcam are necessary to complete the test, providing the flexibility to take it virtually anywhere.
The first section includes nine scenarios—six video-based and three text-based. Each scenario is followed by three open-ended questions designed to probe your ability to respond effectively and professionally to challenging situations. You’ll have five minutes to craft a written response to these questions, necessitating a swift analysis of the scenario and articulation of your perspective. This section also includes an optional 5-minute break midway through.
The second section is a slight departure from the first. It presents six scenarios (four video-based and two text-based), but this time you’re required to record your responses via your webcam, adding an element of verbal communication to the mix. You’ll have a minute to verbally respond to each question associated with the scenarios. Between the two sections, there’s an optional 10-minute break.
Across both sections, CASPer aims to measure ten core competencies: communication, collaboration, empathy, equity, ethics, motivation, problem-solving, professionalism, resilience, and self-awareness. These are designed to mirror the broad range of skills necessary for success in medical and healthcare roles.
For example, communication competency doesn’t just evaluate your ability to express yourself clearly, but it also scrutinises your capacity to navigate obstacles in communication and display the nuances of effective interaction. In the empathy section, you’re expected to demonstrate a genuine understanding and sharing of others’ feelings, distinct from sympathy or compassion.
The equity competency goes beyond equal treatment; it is about fair treatment based on individual needs, requiring you to ponder over diversity, social justice, and privilege. In the ethics domain, you’re not merely asked about understanding ethical norms but showing nuanced ethical judgement in diverse situations.
Overall, the CASPer test is an intensive, multi-dimensional evaluation of your personal and professional traits. It’s an innovative tool that places less emphasis on academic achievement and more focus on the human elements critical to healthcare and other demanding fields.
How Should I Prepare for the CASPer Test?
When preparing for the CASPer test, a structured approach is vital to ensure that you cover all necessary areas and are ready to perform your best. We recommend starting your preparation at least six weeks before the test date.
Your journey should start with familiarising yourself with the test structure, competencies assessed, and the types of scenarios you will encounter. Spend a significant portion of the first week understanding what each of the ten core competencies entail and how they translate to the test’s scenarios.
Next, acquire a reputable question bank to support your preparation. At BlackStone Tutors, we provide an extensive CASPer question bank, curated from years of experience, to aid in devekoping your understanding of the test’s format. Practising with the question bank allows you to explore different types of scenarios and learn the art of formulating a balanced, well-thought-out response under time constraints.
Another critical aspect of your preparation is self-reflection. The CASPer test, unlike many other exams, isn’t about textbook knowledge, but about your values, ethics, decision-making process, and people skills. Reflect on your life experiences, interactions, and how you’ve handled challenges in the past. This reflection will help you understand your strengths and areas needing improvement.
In the third week, you should start doing full-length timed practice tests. This practice is essential for improving your typing speed, a crucial aspect of the CASPer test, given the time restrictions for written responses. Also, practice speaking your responses out loud to prepare for the second part of the test that requires verbal responses.
Consider keeping a journal throughout your preparation. Make a note of scenarios that challenged you, your responses, and your thoughts on what you could have done differently. This reflection can serve as a valuable tool for progress tracking and personal growth.
From the fourth week onwards, start using your learnings to formulate responses to scenarios. Remember, there are no right or wrong answers, but your response should reflect sound reasoning, empathy, and ethical considerations. Gradually, you’ll see yourself improving in formulating responses that highlight your understanding of the various competencies assessed.
In the final two weeks, focus on reviewing and refining. Analyse your performance in practice tests, identify patterns in your responses, and areas where you consistently struggle. This is the stage where personal tutoring can make a significant difference. A tutor experienced in CASPer preparation, can provide personalised feedback on your responses and suggest strategies to improve.
Lastly, don’t neglect your well-being during your preparation. Regular breaks, balanced meals, and adequate sleep are crucial for maintaining your mental agility and focus.
Remember, preparing for CASPer is not just about getting into your desired program, it’s also a journey towards understanding yourself better, improving your decision-making, and developing empathy – qualities that will serve you well in your professional life.
Best CASPer Prep Course
Selecting a course with a diverse question bank is crucial when preparing for the CASPer test. At BlackStone Tutors, our CASPer course provides over 200 varied scenarios. We firmly believe this quantity to be ample for any student—more could risk becoming overwhelming. Each scenario requires around 5 minutes to work through, totaling over 1000 minutes of scenario practice alone. When coupled with our in-depth tutorials and technique guides, you’re presented with an impressive volume of content.
It’s essential to ensure that the course scenarios are representative of what you’ll encounter in the actual test. We have dedicated considerable time to research and understanding the CASPer test, the types of questions posed, and we consistently update our material in line with any CASPer modifications. Notably, our scenarios cater to both written and video prompts, with a particular emphasis on the growing importance of video response prompts.
Indeed, video responses may differ in structure and word count from written ones. Our model answers reflect this difference—they’re written, yet styled to facilitate spoken delivery. We’ve been meticulous in making certain our content remains authentic to the CASPer test, while also showcasing what an outstanding candidate could realistically produce under time constraints.
Our scenarios are crafted to cater to candidates preparing for any CASPer test—be it medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, PA, or nursing. Our chief editor is a doctor, but careful attention has been given to ensure that the content is suitable for various professional paths. This entails a limited number of clinical scenarios, mirroring the actual CASPer test, and focusing more on general prompts applicable across different career routes.
To further assist in your preparation, we’ve also curated a collection of valuable tips and strategies from seasoned CASPer assessors and specialists, intended to simplify the test experience for you.
CASPer: Online Resources & CASPer Training
Using official practice questions from the Acuity Insights website should be a fundamental component of your test preparation strategy. These questions are the closest you can get to the actual exam and provide a genuine insight into the structure, style, and content that CASPer tests encompass. When you’re familiar with the official question types and formats, you reduce the likelihood of encountering surprises on the day of the exam. These practice questions are authored by the same people who write the actual CASPer test, ensuring their relevance and validity. In addition to giving you a feel for the test, they also allow you to gauge your strengths and areas of improvement. As a result, you’re able to refine your studying strategy, focusing on areas where you need the most practice.
On top of this and a question bank, other Situational Judgement Test (SJT) materials like the Foundation SJT junior doctors in the UK can also prove invaluable in your preparation. SJT tests are designed to measure your capacity to understand and respond to scenarios that mirror those you might encounter in your future professional life. These tests provide excellent practice for the type of ethical and professional judgement questions that are often included in the CASPer test.
When used in conjunction with Blackstone Tutors‘ comprehensive course and question bank, these official and supplementary resources can create a holistic and effective study approach. Combining these resources ensures you’re getting a broad exposure to different types of questions, building your confidence and competence before the actual CASPer test day.