Using Fortune Cookies to Practice Text-based CASPer Test Prompts

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In the grand scheme, fortune cookies are only one step above bumper stickers in terms of depth and philosophical weight. 

Like bumper stickers, fortune cookies are often vague, reductive, or half-baked. Some are complete throwaways, like the horoscope variety, but even the “deep” ones have a tendency to make things seem simpler than they really are.

But it turns out that fortune cookies (when carefully curated) are great fodder for practicing the text-based prompts of the CASPer test. We’re sure there’s some great joke or irony in this parallel, but we’d never dare to poke fun at the CASPer

A Quick Refresher on the CASPer Test and How to Practice

If you’re approaching this blind, we recommend reading some of our other resources to get a better sense of how the CASPer test works:

The Skinny on the CASPer: the Unfriendly Medical School Testing Ghost

A thorough breakdown of the test’s philosophy, format, timing, etc. 

3 Practice CASPer Questions and Best Responses

A guide on how to approach certain types of prompts, including tips and formulas that can apply to any kind of question. 

Application Dates 2019-2020 for AMCAS, AACOMAS, TMDSAS and CASPer

Includes all schools that require the CASPer and a comprehensive list of test dates.

Text-based Prompts on the CASPer Test

Like we’ve done for the video-based prompts, we thought we’d add to the pool of sample CASPer prompts in an unusual, creative way, while still capturing the essence of the exercise.

Here’s what we’ve been able to discern from the available sample text-based prompts

The CASPer will provide a short prompt that introduces a broad ethical concept (enter our fortune cookies). 

Then the three questions will follow this general pattern:

  1. Question 1: Give personal example of ethical concept in action.

  2. Question 2: Explain what you did in that example.

  3. Question 3: What would you do differently moving forward?

Now, we can’t guarantee that every text-based question will fit this formula, but from the limited examples out there, it seems like a strong possibility.

As such, we’ve designed our three fortune cookie examples to fit this model. 

Take our sample Text-based CASPer test.

NOTE: If you submit your responses to us, you’re giving us permission to anonymously post and critique your responses on our blog (hopefully, that’s what you want!).

We’ll only be able to critique a certain number of responses, so take the test now and be the first in the queue! 

But if you don’t want to submit your responses, you can still view the test prompts below: 

Written Prompt 1

Directions:

Read the written prompt and answer the three follow-up questions.

Use no more than 5 minutes to answer all three questions.

Prompt (or “Fortune”):

To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

Question 1:

Discuss a time when you went out of your comfort zone or took a risk and received criticism in response. What happened? Was the criticism expected?

Question 2:

How did you respond to the criticism? What did you learn from the experience?

Question 3:

How can you use this experience to inform your decisions or approach in the future?

Written Prompt 2

Directions:

Read the written prompt and answer the three follow-up questions.

Use no more than 5 minutes to answer all three questions.

Prompt (or “Fortune”):

Never forget that a half truth is a whole lie.

Question 1

Discuss a time when you were tempted to omit information or bend the truth in order to be sensitive to someone’s feelings. What motivated your decision to lie?

Question 2:

Do you feel like this liberty with the truth is ethically acceptable in certain cases? How much do we owe to the truth compared to people’s emotional state? 

Question 3:

If you could go back in time, would you tell the whole truth or change the way you approached the situation?

Written Prompt 3

Directions:

Read the written prompt and answer the three follow-up questions.

Use no more than 5 minutes to answer all three questions.

Prompt (or “Fortune”):

How you look depends on where you go. 

Question 1:

Discuss a time when you were in the minority and had to adapt to a new context or culture. What were the challenges?

Question 2:

What strategies did you use to acclimate and work harmoniously with others?

Question 3:

In retrospect, could you have taken a different approach that would have been more effective? 

Did you enjoy these sample CASPer prompts?

Stay tuned next week for example responses to these prompts, as well as critiques with helpful tips!