How to prepare for the CASPer Test

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Preparation for the test should start well in advance, and follow similar principles to revision for any other exam or aptitude test. This guide provides an overview of how to prepare for the CASPer – but you will do best if you reflect on your own learning style and how you have prepared for previous tests.

Be aware of ethics as applied to healthcare

You should have a good working awareness of the ethical principles that you will need to follow. Read around the subject, and practice applying the pillars of autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence to different scenarios. Whilst the CASPer is designed to test soft skills rather than the amount of learning that you have done, or your ability to discuss theoretical and ethical concepts, you will be able to give a better impression to the examiner through the correct deployment of the main ethical principles.

Give yourself adequate time to prepare

As the CASPer’s purpose is to test your soft skills and the behaviours that you show, you should give yourself enough time to develop those skills and behaviours. You will need to learn certain ways of approaching questions, and ideally have these approaches become second nature to you – so that under the stress of the exam itself you are able to answer easily. You should give yourself at least 2 months to prepare, and work solidly throughout.

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Read up on the test itself

You should start your preparation by ensuring that you understand the test. Read our articles on top tips for the CASPer, Complete Guide to the CASPer, and CASPer question types. You should also check CASPer’s website, which has a variety of useful information.

Practice & Categorise

You must practice as many different question types as possible. Repeating the same question types won’t be of benefit. Try to be aware of the question type as you do it – is it a team working question? Is it an ethical dilemma? Maybe a conflict of interest question? Whatever type it seems to be, make a note of it and how you answered it. Over time, you should see your ability to quickly answer a certain question type increase. You should become more able to use the right terminology, clearly express your ideas, or draw on personal experiences as necessary. You should time your practice sessions, and ensure that you make them as realistic as possible – do not let yourself see answers or hints beforehand, and be strict with the timing. You must make it so that the real exam feels like an extension of your practice sessions.

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Check, reflect and learn

Practising isn’t enough by itself – you must constantly check how you are doing, where you are making progress, and where you need to improve. You may wish to ask someone qualified in the field to go through your responses – although this can prove difficult. Therefore, try to use questions that have model answers as far as possible. If you don’t do this, then your ability to learn and progress your answers will be severely limited, and you will likely find yourself repeating the same mistakes. BlackStone provides a bank of practice questions with model answers, permitting you to check your progress as you move through them.

Develop an approach to the questions

This is an outline of how to approach any question type.

Firstly, 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 3 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 Written 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.

More information can be found in our CASPer Test Complete Guide.

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