How can I re-take or improve my CASPer test?

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Many applicants might be unhappy with their CASPer quartile, or might fear that their CASPer performance could hinder their performance when applying to medical school. Here, we will consider whether one can re-take the CASPer, and how to improve one’s performance if so.

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Can I retake CASPer?

You are not able to retake the CASPer test for the same test type (which could be US Medicine for example) in the same admissions cycle. However, if you are applying to programs that require two different tests – e.g. Canadian Professional Health Sciences and US Medicine – then clearly you would be able to take the two different exams.

If a program uses your CASPer test multiple times, or has multiple rounds, then your same score will simply be reused. The example on the CASPer site is as follows:
‘if an applicant took the Canadian Post Graduate Medical Education test for the CaRMS Round 1 match, the same Casper score will be considered for the Round Two match.’

Following the same logic, if a program uses the CASPer as an initial threshold and then in addition to their MMI score, then your same CASPer score will simply be reused – you would not need to sit the same test twice. As such, you don’t need to worry about any different forms of usage of the test – it is a one-off for the entire admissions cycle, and across all programs of that type (e.g. all Medicine programs). You only need to remember to add programs to your score distribution list to ensure that they receive your mark.

However, CASPer test results are only valid for a single admissions cycle, and – as stated above – only for the test type and test language for which you have taken the test. This is commonly an issue for those taking the CASPer in Canada, who may need to sit the test in both English and French, and the two different test results will then be submitted automatically to the correct programs.

Note that you can retake CASPer if there is a ‘severe technical issue’ which impacts your ability to undertake the test – if this is the case, it will be at the discretion of Acuity Insights.

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I need to take the CASPer again. How can I improve?

If you need to resit the CASPer test in a new admissions cycle, then there are various ways to improve your score. First of these is familiarisation with the format. Per Acuity Insights, ‘Research has shown that applicants who review the applicant resources on the acuityinsights.com website, go through the system requirements check, and take the exact test format sample test in their Acuity Insights account, score slightly higher on average than applicants who do not.’ Their argument that this is because they are confident with the test platform could be countered with the likelihood that these applicants are simply better prepared – but either way, working through content like that that you will receive in the CASPer will increase your score. This should include both Acuity Insights’ content and a question bank, like that offered at BlackStone Tutors.

You should also work on your ability to quickly and efficiently convey information – knowing that you are able to quickly provide your ideas will reduce your anxiety around the test, and will also ensure that you can demonstrate your attributes to the best of your ability.

CASPer ‘skill development’ is also possible – Acuity Insights state that whilst ‘Casper scores tend to be fairly stable over time, this doesn’t mean that people can’t change. What it does mean is that surface-level coaching strategies (i.e., learning how to game the test, be “test-wise” or “fake good”) will not improve your Casper score.’ However, realising the competencies that are being assessed, and how to demonstrate them, will of course improve your score. As Acuity Insights state, if ‘responding with empathy and self-awareness becomes natural’ then your score will increase. You can easily focus on these core attributes and demonstrating them, rather than trying to live a life’s worth of new experiences prior to retaking the test.

Can I have my test re-scored?

No, your test cannot be re-scored. Each scenario is rated by a separate rater, so the score is deemed to be balanced and, as far as possible, unbiased.

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