Top 5 CASPer Test Myths

CASPer Preparation Specialists

There are a variety of myths about the CASPer, as it is still poorly understood – which is perhaps as much the fault of the company behind it as it is that of universities or students. Here we bust five common myths about the CASPer.

You can’t prepare for the CASPer test

This, despite what Altus Assessments (the company behind the test) might say, isn’t true. You can prepare for any form of test, and the attributes and skills that the CASPer tests are not truly innate, they are developed over the course of your life. Therefore, it stands to reason you can further develop and practice them prior to the test, or learn the correct manner in which to approach certain types of questions. Indeed, studies have found that students can increase their CASPer score by 23% through preparation, and that three-quarters of students accepted into CASPer schools will use some form of preparation beforehand. We have a variety of CASPer test prep materials, including both written and video scenarios, as well as overall guides.

The CASPer test doesn’t predict who will be a good doctor

This seemingly is not true. A large US medical school program worked with the team behind CASPer to conduct a quality assurance assessment focusing on the link between clerkship grades and CASPer score. It appears that at any given GPA and MCAT score, those with the highest CASPer score will have a 5% higher probability of receiving the highest grades at clerkship. Additionally, there were no significant differences in CASPer score between age, sex, or race – whereas the MCAT showed significant deviations – which you would not expect to reflect in any way someone’s future ability to be a doctor.

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The CASPer is scored by machines

None of the CASPer is scored by a robot or machine. Every section is graded by a human, who has undergone an extensive assessment and training process in order to ensure that they provide fair and accurate marking. It is believed that no natural language processing software, as of yet, will be able to match the human scorers. This means that there is some delay between your sitting the test and your school receiving the mark – although 97% are completed within two weeks. Each grader will score many students’ tests, marking one section repeatedly. This method – graders marking many of each section rather than entire tests – is believed to reduce the possibility of subjectivity and increase confidence in the scores.

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You can receive your scores back

The CASPer is a new test, having first been used in the US in 2015 in a medical school setting. Therefore many universities are still collecting scores in order to understand how best to incorporate the test into their admissions process. Some will use it as part of their holistic file review, others will use a cutoff threshold, while others will continuously adjust their use of CASPer as their overall process changes. You should therefore consider that the CASPer is one part of an admissions committee’s decision making tools, used alongside various other factors. Over time, the team behind CASPer will be more able to release scores, as programs will become more set in how they use the test. As it stands though, you must simply do your utmost to succeed in the test, and accept that you will not receive your score back from the team behind it.

In the written section, you must stay within your webcam’s view, even the break

This is actually partially true. You must remain in view of your webcam during the written part, as all applicants are monitored to ensure that the person who registered for the set is the same person who sits the test. You may leave the webcam view within the break however. You must keep your webcam on whilst the test is in progress, and you must ensure that you remain clearly within view. Your image or the video feed from this written section will in no way affect your CASPer score however – busting another common myth, that the video feed might in some way affect how you perform. Whilst this certainly is not true – and simply remaining on screen is all that you need to do, you will still need to dress smartly and consider your appearance, as the second section will of course require you to video record yourself.

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