Just when you thought you had it all figured out, medical school application requirements are changing – again. First, CASPer, the online video psychological assessment test is expanding to a full suite of assessments. The new suite includes Duet (a value alignment assessment) and Snapshot (a one-way video response tool). And second, the AAMC VITA (the video interview tool for admissions) is being replaced by the AAMC Situational Judgment Test (SJT). It’s a lot to talk about, but we’ll help you make sense of it.
CASPer stands for Computer Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics. The CASPer Suite is for medical school and for Graduate Medical Education (GME). It is a set of selection tools run and developed by Altus. These assessment exams allow select medical schools and residency programs to better understand candidates personally to aid in their admissions process. This suite collectively will help admissions committee members assess and understand each student’s alignment to the medical school and/or program, give students an opportunity to showcase their communication skills and non-cognitive skills, and aid in developing a holistic understanding of each student as an applicant.
The CASPer Suite is also referred to as the Altus Suite. The names are interchangeable. The suite contains the following three assessments:
The Casper test is a situational judgement test (SJT) that evaluates professionalism and non-cognitive skills such as collaboration, motivation, ethics, and empathy. CASPer has 12 stations comprised of video-based scenarios and written scenarios followed by three open-ended questions requiring typed responses. 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.
Snapshot is a one-way recorded interview designed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate their personal attributes to the schools and programs they are applying to. It is about 10-15 minutes in length, with unlimited time for practice questions. The format is such that there are 3 one-way questions with 2 minutes to record a video response to each.
Duet is a value alignment assessment designed to compare the alignment of the values that matter most to a student in medical school or their residency program with those of the programs that they are applying to. It is about 15-20 minutes in length. The format has 30 program characteristics that are compared in pairs across 3 categories, with no time limits.
In most cases, medical schools and residency programs that required the CASPer exam will now require the full suite of exams, including Snapshot and Duet, although some components may be optional for some programs.
Watch as Dr. Ed Lipsit, the Associate Director of Advising at MedSchoolCoach, walks through the Casper Suite in more detail and answers all your CASPer Suite questions.
Understanding CASPer, Snapshot & Duet
The AAMC Video Interview Tool for Admissions (VITA) was a one-time, one-way recorded video interview designed to help medical schools assess applicants’ pre-professional competencies important for success in medical school.
The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) has replaced the VITA, effective for the 2021 testing year.
In the AAMC SJT exam, incoming medical students are assessed on their understanding of effective pre-professional behavior across eight core competencies. Educators identified the competencies as crucial to medical school success. The exam includes written scenarios that represent hypothetical dilemmas based on real-world situations. They are based in health care, educational, or other simulated settings. The scenarios were developed for pre-health students, so health care experience is not required for strong performance.
Students are provided with actions they can take following each scenario. They are then asked to rate the effectiveness of each action. There are 30 scenarios and 186 items on the test. An AAMC SJT practice exam is available directly from the AAMC to help students become familiar with scenarios and items.
The AAMC SJT exam includes some scenarios and items being considered for future use that do not count toward your total score. Field-test scenarios and items will not be identified on the test, so students need to perform well on the entire test since they don’t know exactly what will be counted toward their final evaluation.
The AAMC SJT exam is a 75-minute test with just one section. The total time, including the check-in and check-out procedures, is approximately 90 minutes. Applicants to one or more of the participating medical schools during the 2022 AMCAS application cycle are eligible to take the AAMC SJT exam at no cost.
Watch as Dr. Ed Lipsit describes the AAMC SJT in depth and answers all your questions.
Effective Immediately: SJC Replaces VITA
Best of luck with the CASPer, Duet, Snapshot and SJT. And remember, if you need help practicing, be sure to check out Medical School CASPer Suite Preparation and AAMC SJT Preparation. We’re here to help to make sure you enhance your video interviews and maximize your chances of getting accepted!
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