What are Duet and Snapshot?

CASPer Preparation Specialists

Recently Altus Assessments, the company behind the CASPer, have introduced new capabilities into their testing range. Their aim is that the original CASPer test, an SJT built of 12 questions, will be complemented with two additional products that together will provide a total form of assessment for someone’s character, in order to best understand who to invite to interview. As it stands, the two new products are not widely used, but have become more so throughout COVID-19, largely due their use for remote interviewing. Both Duet and Snapshot, the new features, are included in an overall product called the CASPer Suite.

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The CASPer Suite

The suite is currently being used by postgraduate medical education programs in North America, in order to help choose applicants for residency programs. It is also being trialled by a limited number of undergraduate medical schools, and may become more common in that sphere. Additionally, Snapshot is used as an add-on (without Duet) by a number of medical schools in their selection process for both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in the US, Canada, and UK. According to CASPer, professionalism is a growing problem for the healthcare field, costing both educational programs and providers – and of course patients too. In order for programs to understand who they are recruiting, they might wish to draw on the CASPer Suite. This is especially likely as the United States Medical Licensure Examination moves toward a Pass/Fail rating for its part 1 (or step 1) exam – which many programs previously used to filter applicants at scale.

CASPer Suite: Duet

Duet is pitched as allowing ‘value-alignment assessment.’ In simple terms, it assesses how well a candidate might fit the place to which they are applying – be it a residency program or a university course.It claims to offer a standardised way to assess the values of applicants, and that it is objective. It works as follows. Firstly, ‘key stakeholders’ from the program will complete Duet themselves, and through their completing it a ‘program profile’ is generated. This program profile should be a (relatively) accurate depiction of the way in which the program views the world, and what is important to it – and to those that lead it. The characteristics which are raked include ‘values, priorities and differentiators.’ Applicants will then go on to complete the Duet assessment, and select the characteristics that they prefer from a program. Their responses are then compared to the ‘fit profile’ that has been generated from the course leaders who sat the Duet previously. Applicants will then be given a ‘fit score’ which determines how close their perception of characteristics and values is to that of the program leaders. This is performed through matching characteristics in pairs – there are three sets of ten characteristics which must be paired.

CASPer advises those that sit Duet to answer quickly and as themselves. We would advise instead that time is spent on each answer, and you answer in the same way as you would expect program leaders, or others that work for the program, to have answered. Whilst it may seem cynical, your goal is to fit in with the program and its expectations to succeed, not to be yourself.

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CASPer Suite: Snapshot

Snapshot, the second additional feature contained within the Casper Suite, is essentially a video interview tool. All applicants will be given the opportunity to record their answers to three standardised questions – making this a one way interview process. It should take around ten minutes to complete. As an applicant, you should consider the likely motivation for a program using Snapshot. It will not be to ask overly complex questions or challenge you academically – it is more likely to be used as a tool to assess your motivation, what you find interesting in life or the career, and where you can see yourself going. It may also be used as an additional check to see if you have the right kind of personality for the program that you are applying to. Multiple reviewers can assess your responses, and CASPer believes that they have made the process more objective by creating an averaged score of your responses. 

You should prepare for this as you would a video interview, and ensure that you work on appearing calm and confident in front of the camera. Avoid wearing bright clothing, and make sure that your webcam is clear and good quality, and that you are in a tidy and professional space.

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