Casper: US Medicine

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Who Sits this CASPer?

 This CASPer exam is designed specifically for those applying to undergraduate allopathic and osteopathic medicine programs in the US. It is therefore required for applicants who have selected any of the following schools:

Albany Medical College
Augusta University
Central Michigan University
Drexel University
East Tennessee State University
Florida Atlantic University
Hofstra University
Howard University
Indiana University
Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine
Medical College of Wisconsin
Meharry Medical College
Mercer University
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
New York Medical College
Tulane University School of Medicine
East Tennessee State University
Central Michigan University
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Stony Brook University
Temple University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University El Paso
Tulane University
University of Colorado Denver
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Mississippi
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
University of North Carolina
University of North Dakota
University of Rochester
University of Texas Health Science Centre and Medical Branch
University of Vermont
University of Washington
Virginia Commonwealth University
West Virginia

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Key Features

This CASPer exam will focus on each of the ten core attributes that the test is designed around: collaboration, communication, empathy, equity, ethics, motivation, problem solving, professionalism, resilience and self awareness. As the CASPer was originally designed for applicants to medical school (at McMaster University in Canada), you should not expect the test to in any way change from its original form, and it will therefore be comparable to the practise test on the CASPer website.

We know the following about the raters, from a CASPer update delivered by one of the founding team, Prof Reiter of McMaster: all raters will be localised, i.e. US raters will rate US healthcare program tests; the rating pool is demographically diverse; every rater has some form of interest in the future of the healthcare professions. We know also that CVs and resumes are assessed. 26% of CASPer raters, in general, work in healthcare, and 74% in other fields. However, we should note that this likely includes raters for CASPers aimed at the teaching profession as well.

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Core Components

The CASPer exam features 15 situational judgement scenarios, and is broken down into two sections. There will be ten video scenarios and five text scenarios. The first section of the exam features 9 scenarios, each of which features three questions that you must write a response to. There are three text-based scenarios and six video scenarios. You have five minutes in total to write your response to the three questions. In the second section you will have to record yourself giving answers via your webcam. You will be given six scenarios, of which two are text based and four are video based. You have one minute to answer each of the three questions on each scenario. You will have 10 seconds to read the question, as well as a 30 second break between questions. The total exam takes 100-120 minutes, depending on whether you take breaks. There is an optional 10 minute break between sections and a 5 minute break halfway through the first section. As it stands, schools are not asking applicants to complete the ‘Snapshot’ or ‘Duet’ parts of the CASPer, but given their use in selection of applicants for residency programs they may make their way to undergraduate admissions in due course.

Preparation for this CASPer

When preparing for this CASPer exam, you should follow the guidance that BlackStone offers, as it is geared towards applicants for Medicine. This means that you should begin your preparation two months out from the test, and ensure that you sit the test at a time that gives you adequate time to prepare – we recommend towards the end of the summer holidays. You should commence your preparation through gaining an understanding of the test itself, and its aims. Look into how it is used, and watch webinars with the team behind it. If you know the test, you will know better how to answer the questions it poses. As you move through the two months, you should then begin to use practice questions, and constantly compare the answers that you give to model answers. BlackStone provides more than 150 practice scenarios, each with model answers. You should also focus on medical ethics. Whilst there will likely not be more than one in ten questions which have any particular healthcare focus, given that the raters will be healthcare professionals you will be at an advantage if you can appeal to them through a good working knowledge of ethics in healthcare. You might wish to look at ethics and bioethics pages from major universities, or national guidance that aims to improve doctors’ professionalism and understanding of ethics.

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