The CASPer examination is becoming a tool that medical school’s utilize to evaluate applicants in lieu of or in addition to the traditional medical school interview. So what is the CASPer examination and how can a prospective medical student prepare for it?
What is the CASPer Exam?
CASPer (Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is an online, web-based computer test that takes about 90 minutes. It was started to be utilized in Canada but now has been also utilized in US based medical school admissions, specifically at New York Medical College (NYMC) and Rutgers (NJMS). More schools will utilize it soon. CASper helps schools screen applicants as part of the admissions process, in addition to of course the GPA/MCAT/LOR and everything else that goes into a great medical school application.
What is the structure of the CASPer test?
CASPer has 12 stations. Each section follows a similar format consisting first of a short video or other directed text, followed by 2-3 questions relating to the material. Some sections are prompted by situational challenges displayed in short video clips; others are prompted by self-reflective questions. The applicant has 5 minutes to answer all questions in a given section.
What kinds of questions are on the CASPer test?
CASPer tends to test medical and other scenarios focused on ethics and behavior. All the questions are not medically related, in fact most are simply behavioral questions. Here is a word based scenario:
Consider this statement: From time to time, we deal with conflict in some form.
Questions to the Applicant:
1. Describe a time when you had to deal with conflict and how you coped with it.
2. How might you handle a similar situation differently should it arise again?
3. What would be your strategy if you were faced with a conflict that was extremely difficult to resolve?
What material should I utilize to study for CASPer?:
CASPer is not a test you necessarily need to “study” for, like the MCAT. In fact, it’s actually designed to not be studied for! It’s more testing your ability to think, handle situations, etc. However, we do recommend you go through a few scenarios or sample cases to get an idea and for that, the MedSchoolCoach CASPer Prep program is perfect. It will take you through every aspect of the exam you need to understand and includes coaching by a physician.
Another great website with medical ethical scenarios and situations is University of Washington’s Bioethics page (https://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/toc.html). If you feel comfortable thinking about and going through scenarios such as those laid out, you will be good to go for CASPer! There are a few other things that people recommend to study which we’ve included below (courtesy of Je Suis Banane on SDN).
1) Read “Doing Right” by Philip C. Hébert – Excellent crash course in medical ethics. This book contains a lot of different scenarios that if you have time to read will give you great insight. 2) Look up the background/FAQs of CASPer – Get a very good understanding of the format of the test, use CASPer’s sample test to your advantage (https://takecasper.com/sample-casper-test/) as well as the MedSchoolCoach CASPer Prep Program (https://www.medschoolcoach.com/medical-school-casper-preparation/), learn the history and acknowledge that the test is designed so that it is difficult to improve your score by studying. 3) Find sample questions from different websites and use those to your advantage. There’s tons of stuff on YouTube if you do a quick search for ‘CASPer sample questions’, ‘medical ethics questions’, or ‘medical interview questions’. 4) Practice taking notes for videos/sample questions to accurately get an idea of the scenario. On test day, you can’t go back and re-watch the video. It’s a 1-time deal. Make it count!
Which medical schools utilize CASPer?:
Medical schools currently using CASPer along with the distribution deadline:
|SCHOOL||DISTRIBUTION DEADLINE (FINAL DATE THIS SCHOOL CAN BE ADDED TO YOUR CASPER DISTRIBUTION LIST)|
|Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Baylor College of Medicine||November 30, 2020|
|Boston University||October 26, 2020|
|California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine||March 3, 2021|
|Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine||November 11, 2020|
|Central Michigan University, College of Medicine||March 3, 2021|
|Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine||March 3, 2021|
|Drexel University College of Medicine||December 23, 2020|
|East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine||December 23, 2020|
|Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine||January 25, 2021|
|Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell||November 20, 2020|
|Howard University College of Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Indiana University School of Medicine||December 23, 2020|
|Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine||November 11, 2020|
|Augusta University, Medical College of Georgia||October 7, 2020|
|Medical College of Wisconsin||December 23, 2020|
|Meharry Medical College||January 25, 2021|
|Mercer University School of Medicine||December 23, 2020|
|Michigan State University||January 25, 2021|
|New York Medical College, School of Medicine||January 25, 2021|
|Northeast Ohio Medical University, College of Medicine||December 23, 2020|
|Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Oregon Health & Science University||December 23, 2020|
|Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine||January 25, 2021|
|Rosalind Franklin University, Chicago Medical School||April 26, 2021|
|Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School||December 23, 2020|
|State University of New York Upstate Medical University||November 30, 2020|
|Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University||December 23, 2020|
|Temple University School of Medicine- Lewis Katz||April 26, 2021|
|Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine||October 7, 2020|
|Texas Tech University EI Paso||November 30, 2020|
|Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine||November 30, 2020|
|Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, NY||March 3, 2021|
|Tulane University School of Medicine||November 30, 2020|
|University of Colorado Denver, School of Medicine||November 30, 2020|
|University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine||December 14, 2020|
|University of Miami, Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine||March 3, 2021|
|University of Michigan||March 3, 2021|
|University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine||October 7, 2020|
|University of Rochester||November 11, 2020|
|University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Long School of Medicine||January 25, 2021|
|University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, School of Medicine||October 26, 2020|
|University of Texas Southwestern||January 25, 2021|
|University of Vermont, Larner College of Medicine||December 23, 2020|
|University of Washington, School of Medicine||November 11, 2020|
|Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Medicine||October 7, 2020|
|Wake Forest School of Medicine||November 30, 2020|
|West Virginia University School of Medicine||April 26, 2021|
|Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific||April 26, 2021|
|William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine||April 5, 2021|