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Taking the CASPer test? Here’s what you need to know

CASPer was first created in 2005 at McMaster University. In 2010, the test was incorporated into the official admissions process at the Michael DeGroote School of Medicine. CASPer, which stands for the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, is a form of situational judgement test (SJT) that presents applicants with a series of hypothetical scenarios and asks them to type out a response to what they would do if they were in that particular situation.

In this article, we’d like to provide an overview of CASPer straight from the source directly responsible for the construction and delivery of the test.

CASPer is used to assess non-cognitive skills like professionalism, communication, ethics, empathy, and motivation. Similar to an interview, programs can use the information gathered from CASPer to gain a holistic view of their applicants.

CASPer is composed of 12 sections (8 video-based scenarios and 4 word-based scenarios) that are presented in a randomized order. Each scenario is followed by an answer section (set of 3 questions).  The video-based scenarios are all SJTs whereas the four word-based scenarios are a blend of SJTs and behavioural descriptor questions.

The scenarios presented in the CASPer test are not specific to a clinical or classroom setting, but are more general to everyday life. You can take a look at a number of sample scenarios here at the takeCASPer website. Make sure to always check that the sample scenario questions are from the official source, as many of the sample CASPer sections from unofficial sources are not representative of the actual test.

Quick Facts:

  • You do not need to study for the CASPer test, however we strongly encourage you to read the ‘Test Prep’ page on our website in advance
  • CASPer raters are trained to ignore spelling and grammar mistakes
  • There is no “right” answer to sections of the CASPer test, focus on what you feel is right and why
  • You will have 5 minutes to answer the questions following each scenario. It feels short but know that you’re not alone- every applicant has an equal amount of time!
  • Each section of the CASPer test is evaluated by a different person
  • Scores are distributed to programs directly
  • The CASPer test only runs on Chrome and FireFox browsers
  • There is an optional 15-minute break at the midpoint of your test. Use this time to relax, get a snack, and get ready for the second half of your test

If you would like to get the most up-to-date information on everything related to CASPer, make sure to visit our Resources’ page at takecasper.com and follow our Twitter/Instagram accounts @take_casper. You can also email us directly at support@takecasper.com with any questions or comments you have about the test.