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If you were not aware that the CASPer can be prepared for, like any other test, then you should consider that the CASPer examines learnt abilities and tendencies, rather than those that someone was born with. It stands to reason that these abilities can be improved upon through practice. You should therefore start preparing for the CASPer far in advance of the test, bearing in mind your learning style and how you have best revised for previous aptitude tests or psychometric tests in the past.

Plan your Preparation Time
You need to allow adequate time to develop and hone the soft skills and learnt behaviours that the CASPer will examine you on. You will also need to learn the types of questions that you will face, and the keys to answering each of those question types. Learning each type of question and how to approach it, as well as embedding the correct responses, will take some time – especially when one bears in mind that you must then display these abilities under exam pressure. We recommend taking at least two months to prepare for the CASPer.

Understand the CASPer
This should be the first step of your preparation. Ensure that you understand the test – read the articles on our site, and check the CASPer website, which has a range of information, as well as a helpful practice test.

Practise
Practise consistently, and ensure that your practice covers a range of different types of questions. Your practice sessions should be as realistic as possible; this means that you shouldn’t be aware of any answers beforehand, you should be strict with your timing, and you shouldn’t seek outside help whilst answering the questions. You should ensure that you don’t repeat question types that you are already confident with, as this will not lead to progress. You should practise using the right words, develop clear personal experiences that can be drawn upon for each question type, and be able to quickly identify a question’s type. BlackStone offers 150+ CASPer practice scenarios covering every possible domain.

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Record, and have others watch your answers
For the video recorded part of the test, you should practise using the same question bank as for the written part – after all, the core competencies being assessed are the same. However, make your practice real-to-life: record yourself in front of a webcam, and then have other people review your answers, using the model answers provided. That way, they can give feedback both on what you said, and how you come across when you say it.

Check Your Answers, Check Your Progress
You should understand the areas in which you are doing well in, and the areas in which you need to put more work. You could ask a doctor that you know to check your answers, or someone that has experience with these types of tests, but this might prove difficult. We would therefore recommend using questions that have model answers, in order to make sure that the answers you are giving are suitable. BlackStone’s question bank comes with model answers for every question. 

Read around your Subject
Make sure that you have the background reading to cover the subject specific questions in your CASPer test. If you are applying for Medicine, that means you must know the basic ethical pillars – autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence. You should have a working knowledge of each, and understand how and when to apply them to scenarios. If you’re working for the CASPer looking to become a teacher or nurse, then make sure you read around relevant guidance for your chosen profession.

Work on Your Answer Process
This is BlackStone’s model for answering any question. You may wish to alter it slightly to fit your own style.

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I: review the brief to understand the following:

    1. Relevant Role
      Are you a teacher? Or a parent? Are you a manager or a junior? Your role will determine how you are able to react, how quickly, the background elements that you should consider, and who else you may choose to involve.
    2. Scenario Focus
      What type of scenario is this? Depending on the scenario type, your focus/expected questions will vary – for example in a team-working question, your focus should be very different to a resilience question, and you ought to find keywords to involve for each.
    3. Capture the Core Concern
      If you could correct only one issue, which would you choose?
    4. Assumptions & Additional Information
      What assumptions does the prompt make, and what additional information might you require to answer it?

Read all three questions before commencing your answers

  • This ensures that your answers for different questions don’t overlap – a common error is to answer the third question as part of question one and so forth

Answering the questions:

  • You may find it easier to start with the less challenging question 3, and proceed 3,2,1. However, you should practice until you feel you have found a way that works best for you – be it 1,2,3 or 3,2,1.
  • Overlapping answers: With the very limited time, ensure that you don’t repeat points that you have made for other questions in the same scenario

Answering Video Questions:

  • Use the 10 seconds’ reading time well – don’t rush, and pick up on keywords.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, and emphasise core concepts.
  • Look at the webcam, and act in the manner that you’d expect of a professional.

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