What's happened to CASPer Snapshot?

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CASPer’s Snapshot feature is to be phased out. Here, we’ll consider what it was – and why it’s being phased out.

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What is CASPer Snapshot?

CASPer Snapshot is an online tool that was launched in 2020 by Altus Assessments, the creator of the CASPer test, which is a situational judgement test used by medical schools and other professional programs to evaluate applicants’ non-academic qualities. CASPer Snapshot was designed as a complementary tool to provide a quick and easy way for applicants to showcase their personality and communication skills through short video responses to a set of standardised questions. However, the tool’s availability has been limited since its launch, and there has been some confusion about its future. Recently, Acuity Insights – the new parent company that runs CASPer – has cleared up this confusion.

One reason for the limited availability of CASPer Snapshot is that it was initially launched as a pilot program for a small number of schools and programs. The goal was to test the tool’s effectiveness and gather feedback from both applicants and admissions teams. According to Altus Assessments, the pilot program was successful, and the company received positive feedback from both sides. However, there hasn’t been a significant expansion of the tool’s availability since the pilot program ended. It’s rather unclear how CASPer fitted into the existing admissions processes of schools and programs. While the tool can provide additional information about an applicant’s non-academic qualities, it’s not clear how much weight admissions teams are giving to these videos compared to other components of the application, such as essays, letters of recommendation, and test scores. Some schools and programs may see CASPer Snapshot as a useful tool, while others may not see the value in it. So what was Snapshot?

Snapshot was a simple series of questions which you would record your answers to – and these questions were designed to mimic those that you would typically face in a medical school interview. They were broad, sweeping questions, like the following:

What do you think will be the most challenging part of being a doctor?
Tell us something about your motivation to study Medicine that we wouldn’t have been able to conclude from your personal statement or application

For those taking the CASPer in 2022-2023, Snapshot remains as a potential part of the application process. However, this is set to change.

What is happening to CASPer Snapshot?

According to Acuity Insights, the Snapshot component of the assessment suite is to be phased out from 2023-2024 onwards. Per the company, this is due to Snapshot having been much more useful during COVID-19, when remote interviewing was a vital component of the admissions process. However, in reality it’s much more likely that programs simply failed to see the value in the product – most programs are still interviewing remotely post-pandemic, and as such the idea that a remote interviewing tool is no longer necessary seems inaccurate. Rather, you should expect that the questions that might have been asked during Snapshot will simply be asked during your actual interview or MMI instead.

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How should students prepare for Snapshot or how should they adapt to the new CASPer setup?

If you still need to sit Snapshot (for 2023 test-takers), you can refer to our preparation materials that cover all types of questions that are likely to be covered in the Snapshot element of the test. For those that are not required to take the Snapshot, you should instead now focus this part of your preparation back towards typical MMIs and interviews. We therefore recommend that you consider typical online medical school interviews questions. Some typical questions that you should prepare for in an online MMI or medical school interview include:

  • Why do you want to be a doctor?
  • What are the most difficult aspects of a medical career?
  • How will you deal with night shifts and busy weekends?
  • What qualities are present in all good doctors?
  • Tell us about a time when you were part of a team that succeeded against the odds.
  • Tell us about a time when you had a falling out with a friend or colleague, and how it was resolved.
  • What is the role of the multidisciplinary team in Medicine?
  • What kind of challenging situations have you found yourself in, where communication was difficult?

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