Free CASPer Practice Test & Example Answers
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CASPer Written Scenario 1
Every team member should be seen as having equal value to that team.
i) Do you agree with this statement?
ii) What qualities differentiate a good leader from a poor one?
iii) Describe a time that you supported a team member when they were struggling.
CASPer Written Scenario 1 Example Answers
i) Whilst I appreciate the sentiment behind the statement, I would not agree with it entirely. I believe that every member of the team should be seen as having value to the team, and should be treated with equal respect and fairness to anyone else. This does not necessarily mean that all team members have equal value to the team – we would have to consider what type of team it is, and the roles that each member fulfills, in order to decide whether each person is really of equal value. To provide an example, if a football team were to compare a new recruit with their experienced captain, they would likely have to conclude that their captain held more value – even though they should still treat the new player with respect, and do their utmost to help him develop himself to a point where he held as much value as the captain once had.
ii) A good leader shows that they care about those that they lead, through empathy. They listen carefully, and are able to understand their team through both verbal and non-verbal communication. They understand when to delegate tasks to others, and who to delegate to. They are honest, and show integrity – meaning that those they lead can trust them to make the correct decision, in the interests of the team – rather than their own interests. They are a strong communicator, able to make their point succinctly and easily to both their team and others outside of it. They are both self-aware and self-confident, able to regulate their behaviour to work well with others.
iii) In my college hockey team, one of the other players began to repeatedly miss practice, and his performances were noticeably worse. I wasn’t especially close to him, but as one of the more experienced players on the squad I felt it my duty to help the other players. I asked him to speak to me in private after practice, and told him that I couldn’t help but notice he’d been struggling recently with practices and matches. I told him that he should feel he could speak to me if there was anything on his mind, and that my role – and that of the team as a whole – was to support him. He explained that his parents had been having difficulties, and this had impacted him heavily. We spoke about it at length, and over time he came to find the team to be a support.
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CASPer Written Scenario 2
One of your teammates comes to you and explains that the captain has been repeatedly rude and insulting to them. You are the vice captain of the team.
i) Is your teammate correct to have come to you, rather than speak to the captain directly?
ii) How will the captain’s attitude likely affect this teammate and the team as a whole?
iii) Have you ever found it hard to work with a team captain or team leader?
CASPer Written Scenario 2 Example Answers
i) One shouldn’t assume that there is a ‘correct’ route to take for the teammate here – the correct decision is the one that allows them to feel comfortable, and most readily deals with the issues that they are facing. From the prompt, it appears that the captain has not been treating them with respect, and one can therefore understand why they are not taking their issues to the captain. Indeed, it is likely that they already have tried to do so, and been dismissed or not treated seriously. Therefore, their decision to come to the vice captain seems a sensible and fair one – through approaching another senior team member they are likely to be able to have their issues addressed, and it is as close to a direct solution as is possible without speaking to the captain. It is also a far better decision than speaking about the captain to multiple other team members, without directly addressing the issue.
ii) If we assume that the teammate’s reports of the captain’s behaviour are true, then they will have a negative effect on the team. However, we should act to confirm the reports, and to better understand the dynamics within the team, before we make conclusions. If confirmed, this attitude will make other team members feel that they are not valued, not trusted, and not respected. This in turn will drive them away from the team, and lead to them becoming anxious, stressed, or angry. This will fracture the team, and destroy its ability to support its members.
iii) The captain of my school’s baseball team had a tendency to be very disrespectful to new recruits. He viewed this disrespect as an extended ‘hazing’ process, in which the new players must show their loyalty to the team. After making it through this process myself, and as one of the now-more senior team members, I found myself more able to see how damaging this process was to the team, with many skilled players falling by the wayside. I spoke to the captain about it, but he refused to listen to my feedback, and warned me that my input wouldn’t help my own place in the team. I tried again – once more in private and politely – and received the same warning. I therefore spoke to the vice captain and other team members, and we together approached him. This finally led to a change in culture of the team.
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CASPer Written Scenario 3
One of your managers refuses to listen to any critique of a presentation that they have prepared for your stakeholders. The presentation is, in your view, not adequate.
i) How do you approach this issue?
ii) What is the importance of feedback in a team working environment?
iii) Describe a time when you received difficult feedback.
CASPer Written Scenario 3 Example Answers
i) I would ask the manager to speak to me in private, but stress that I believe the discussion is of importance. I would then explain that I wish to speak to them about the presentation – through leading with an open statement, I would allow them to voice their feelings immediately. I would be patient if they became irritable or vented anger, and let them speak. I would show empathy and understanding when listening. I would politely explain that there has been feedback that the presentation should be improved, and that I agree with this feedback. I would ask if there was any way I could help to implement feedback, or if there were any barriers to feedback being implemented. I would explain that I feel strongly about this issue as the presentation affects all of us within the team, and that all our feedback should therefore be considered.
ii) Feedback allows a team to grow and improve together. If a team is honest, and its members able to speak to each other openly and reflect together, then any issues – be they small problems or larger ones – will be more readily addressed. Feedback must flow in all directions within the team – horizontally, from leaders to junior members, and there must also be a space for criticism and critique of leaders as well.
iii) In my first year of college I was still used to doing well without questioning why – i.e. without having reflected on my learning style or particular attributes. I found myself struggling somewhat with one course, but didn’t take the time to speak to the tutor about it, believing I could overcome the difficulties myself. Eventually, the tutor asked to speak to me and explained that, whilst they could tell I was intelligent, they didn’t think that I had been approaching the course in the right way so far. I thanked them for the feedback and asked them to expand on it, which they did. Afterwards, I found myself very upset – perhaps because I was unused to receiving negative feedback. I initially found it hard to take the feedback on, but after some reflection realised it was valid. I eventually found myself doing very well at the course, and crucially have since found that my ability to seek out feedback, and to learn from feedback, has massively improved.
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