Time to warm up those typing fingers and crush your CASPer Test.
By: Savvy Pre-Med Staff
We’ve written extensively about the CASPer test, including our own CASPer practice tests inspired by The Office, Monty Python, and fortune cookies.
Indeed, we like to keep things light and poke fun at the CASPer whenever we get the chance, but we’re also dedicated to giving you the facts.
Since CASPer season is upon us once again, let’s tackle all the FAQs so that you’re as knowledgeable and prepared as possible.
The CASPer (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is an admissions test developed by researchers at McMaster University. Several medical schools require it as admissions criteria alongside interviews, letters of recommendation, and essays.
According to the official CASPer site, it’s designed “to evaluate key personal characteristics” and serve as a “reliable measure of traits like professionalism, ethics, communication, and empathy.”
CASPer Test Dates/Times:
Here’s a handy table with all participating schools and their distribution deadlines:
Double check the technical requirements and try out the sample test to ensure your computer and internet connection are suitable.
The CASPer costs $10 to take and another $10 each time you send it to schools on your list.
Error: Ask again later. No one knows exactly how much weight is given to the CASPer by the medical schools that use it.
Medical schools tend to be creatures of habit, putting the most weight on admissions factors that have proven to matter over the years. For example, many med schools still do not put much weight in the PSYCH section of the MCAT, since they have yet to see its predictive validity with their own students.
Raters are supposedly trained to ignore errors in spelling and grammar. Your responses are anonymous, so a rater does not know who you are, or how well you’ve done on any other section.
The CASPer writers claim, “You will NOT receive your CASPer score, in the same way you would not expect to get “results” from an interview, reference letter, or personal statement.”
Except the CASPer is a TEST, not an interview. You would expect to get your MCAT score, wouldn’t you?
At this point, we do know that the test is scored on a -5 to +5 scale, with the majority of pre-meds scoring between -2 and +2.
You can’t prepare! At least, so says the company that makes it. “The general literature suggests that situational judgment tests (SJTs) are relatively immune to test preparation, i.e. that coaching is unlikely to provide benefit.”
Of course, the writers of the SAT and MCAT used to say that too, back when they were first created. It’s as if the CASPer writers are claiming, “We’ve created the world’s first standardized test where coaching will do no good.” Really?
We think this is poppycock. In fact, we’ve written several articles on CASPer prep::
How Should You Prepare for the CASPer Test?
3 Practice CASPer Questions and Best Responses
Also make sure to check out our CASPer Advice on our YouTube channel.
If your computer is able to successfully run the Sample CASPer Test, it will also be able to run the real CASPer test.
You’ll also need a reliable and quick internet connection, and you’ll need to be able to type at least 40 words per minute or so to be able to complete your answers well (but of course, the faster you type, the better). Take a free typing speed test.
What CASPer questions do you still have?
Let us know in the comments below, so we can add it to our FAQ.