CASPer: Learnings from other SJTs

CASPer Preparation Specialists

Despite Altus’ Assessments claims around the CASPer – that it is truly objective, that it is a new breed of assessment tool – it is at its core simply another SJT, or situational judgement test. It is therefore worth spending some time reflecting on the tips and tricks people use to get ahead in SJTs in general. This article brings together a range of the tips and learnings that we consider most pertinent from preparation for other SJTs.

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CASPer Quick Tips & Tricks

 – Remember that you are not expected to find a ‘correct answer’ and that instead the way in which you approach the question is what will get you marks. Your abilities in the core competencies that CASPer is looking for will be better displayed through a clear and professional approach than through having found the ‘right’ answer.

– Don’t spend time dwelling on a question that you find difficult. SJTs will always have some questions that confuse you. The key is to remember that in the CASPer this question will be one of 36 total in the exam (12 scenarios each with three questions). You are therefore much better off moving onto another question quickly and maximising the amount you can write for the entire scenario. You should have timings in mind and an approach to questions that works for you – you might find it better to start with the last question of each scenario, for example, and ensure that you only spend 90 seconds on each part. If your 90 seconds is up, then you must move onto the next part of the question.

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Some Keys to Success for CASPer

– You would do well to consider what SJTs are designed for. They are built to be a quick judge of someone’s character, and the CASPer exam is no different. If you understand this, then you will understand how to do well in the test.

– Bear in mind that you are better to ‘overdo it’ than ‘underdo it.’. Whilst you should try to convey an accurate portrayal of yourself and your beliefs, remember that the test is looking to assess your ability as a future professional, and to do that they must adhere to the strictest levels of professionalism. This can mean taking decisions that could seem a bit more zealous than you might otherwise. A typical example might be: ‘imagine that a friend has downloaded a mark scheme to a class test from the internet and tells you excitedly that you will both do well. The class test is unimportant and does not decide a final grade.’ In a situation like this, you should explain to the friend that this constitutes cheating, and could give you both an unfair advantage – even though the test is unimportant – and that it could damage both of your abilities in the future, as you will not have properly learnt the content.

 – Review the model answers. As with anything, only perfect practice makes perfect. You must therefore ensure that you prepare with model answers throughout. At BlackStone Tutors we have a bank of more than 150 model questions and answers for the CASPer exam. You will learn and improve only through comparing your answers to model answers, and making adjustments as you progress.

– Stay within the boundaries of the question. Your response to any given question should be based only on the information provided in the question. If information is missing, you should draw attention to this, and explain that you would like to find that information out. Do not make assumptions, and avoid basing your actions on your own previous experience – be it in real life or with previous questions.

– Consider your role. Your responses will necessarily be different depending on the role that you have been given by the question. This is a key part of any SJT, and something you should be aware of when sitting the CASPer. Many scenarios will explain that you are a co-worker, a friend, a student or a manager. You must consider the role that you have been given and reflect quickly on how it might change your response, and what is likely to be considered a good response type for someone in that role. What is a great response as a manager might be considered rash and unprofessional in a junior employee.

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