Which medical schools require Casper? How do you know if you have to take the test? How is Casper scored? Read on to learn the answers to these questions along with many other Casper test FAQs.
The Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, commonly referred to as Casper, is a recent addition to medical school applications. Since most of your primary application centers around your hard skills, grades, and personal background, Casper was created to test an applicant’s soft skills, such as empathy, ethical decision making, and general bedside manner.
Let’s get to the most common questions about this unique test.
Find answers to the following questions below:
- What is the Casper Test and How Does It Fit Within Altus Suite?
- Who Created the Casper Test?
- What Medical Schools Require Casper?
- How is the Casper Test Scored?
- How Long is the Casper Test?
- How Do I Know If I Need to Take a Casper Test?
- How Do I Enroll for the Casper Test?
- How Much Does a Casper Test Cost?
- Where Do I Take the Casper Test?
- How Many Times Can You Take a Casper Test?
- What Do I Need to Register for a Casper Test?
- Typed vs. Video Response Sections: What’s the Difference?
- Why Was a Video Component Added to Casper?
- Will Programs See My Video Responses?
- Am I Judged on Spelling and Grammar on the Casper Test?
- Does the Casper Test Have Breaks?
- How Do You Get a Good Casper Score?
- How Long Does it Take to Prepare for Casper?
- Is Casper Tutoring Available?
1. What is the Casper Test and How Does It Fit Within Altus Suite?
Casper is one of three components within the Altus Suite.
- Casper is a 100-120 minute situational judgment test.
- Snapshot is a short, one-way video interview.
- Duet is a value-alignment assessment.
Casper (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is a computer-based situational judgment test that assesses your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, empathy, professionalism, bedside manner, ethics, and ethical decision making.
The Casper tests people based on the following 10 Constructs:
- Problem solving
Casper is made up of 15 scenarios. The test is divided into two response sections, a typed response section and a video response section. There are three word-based scenarios and six video-based scenarios in the typed response section, and two word-based scenarios and four video-based scenarios in the video response section.
The scenarios are all a blend of SJTs (Situational Judgment Tests) and behavioral descriptor questions. The scenarios usually don’t take place in a medical setting. You could be in a one-on-one meeting with your boss, grocery shopping, at a party with friends, and so on.
Generally, the questions seek to understand how an applicant would ethically and empathetically behave in certain morally ambiguous scenarios. There’s a lot more to being a doctor than acing all of your science courses.
Doctors must be able to effectively communicate with their patients and uphold a strict code of ethics at all times—something an admissions committee can’t determine from a stellar MCAT score or personal statement. Hence, the Casper test was born.
2. Who Created the Casper Test?
Casper was developed in 2010 by Harold Reiter and Kelly Dore at McMaster University’s Program for Educational Research and Development (PERD) in Canada.
3. What Medical Schools Require Casper?
Not every medical school requires applicants to take the Casper, but it has seen quite a rise in popularity over the last few years, with more and more programs making the choice to include the test as a requirement.
There are currently dozens of schools in the US that require the Casper, as well as schools in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Qatar.
View a complete list of the Medical Schools that Require Casper.
4. How is the Casper Test Scored?
There are 15 scenarios in the Casper test, and each one is scored by a different Rater.
Raters aren’t given any of your personal information—they don’t know what you look like, where you’re from, and they aren’t provided with your answers to the other 11 sections. The only thing a Rater sees is your typed reply to the specific section they’re scoring.
Raters are not provided with an answer key. They are given general information about the central concepts and ideas that are key to the section, but little more than that. It’s therefore important to understand that Casper isn’t made up of right or wrong answers.
The test is divided into two response sections, a typed response section (9 scenarios) and a video response section (6 scenarios). Each scenario has three questions but is scored based on your overall performance. If you run out of time and aren’t able to answer each question, but your previous two responses are professional and comprehensive, you may not incur a penalty.
Read our guide for a complete overview of How the Casper Test is Scored.
5. How Long is the Casper Test?
The Casper test takes 100-120 minutes to complete, including two short breaks. There is a typed response section and a video response section with a total of 15 scenarios. You will be presented with either a word-based or video-based scenario followed by three open-ended questions.
6. How Do I Know If I Need to Take a Casper Test?
While the Casper test is now used by dozens of schools in the US and beyond, it is not a requirement of every program. In order to determine if you need to take the Casper, check the requirements of the specific programs you’re interested in attending.
This is a complete list of medical schools that require Casper in the US and Canada.
7. How Do I Enroll for the Casper Test?
You first need to register your Casper account.
To reserve your test:
- Click +Reserve new test.
- Select the country your program is located in.
- Select the language.
- Select the admissions cycle for your program(s).
- Select the program type(s) you’re applying to.
- Select the specific schools you’re applying to.
- Type your application/student ID numbers.
- Select the test date you want.
- Review the test reservation details.
- Enter your payment information.
- Confirm and submit the test reservation payment.
Make sure you register for the test at least 3 days in advance. You will also need a government-issued ID, a valid email address, a working webcam, and a working microphone.
8. How Much Does a Casper Test Cost?
The Casper test costs $12 for American students. It costs an additional $12 for each school you want the results sent to.
9. Where Do I Take the Casper Test?
The Casper test is taken online, so you do not need to go anywhere to take the test. All you need is a computer, a reliable internet connection, and a working webcam and microphone.
10. How Many Times Can You Take a Casper Test?
You can only take the Casper once per application cycle. If your medical school application is unsuccessful, you will need to take the Casper again when you reapply.
11. What Do I Need to Register for a Casper Test?
You need a government-issued ID, a valid email address, a working webcam, and a working microphone to register for a Casper test. You will also need your student and application numbers, as well as a payment method.
12. Typed vs. Video Response Sections: What’s the Difference?
The Casper test is broken into two distinct sections. The first is the typed response section, which is composed of nine scenarios—six video-based scenarios and three word-based scenarios. In this section, you will answer three questions with a typed response. You are given a total of five minutes to type your answers to all three questions. Pre-2022, the Casper test contained only typed responses.
The second section of the Casper test is the video response section, which is composed of six scenarios—four video-based and three word-based. In this section, you answer your questions one by one with a live recorded video response.
You are given 30 seconds to reflect on the scenario, then 10 seconds to read the first question, followed by one minute to answer via video. After one minute is up, your video is automatically uploaded to be reviewed. Your second question will appear and you will have another one minute to answer the question. You will repeat this for three questions before receiving your next scenario. You are unable to go back and change your answer or review your submission, which is why it’s so important to go into the Casper test prepared.
13. Why Was a Video Component Added to Casper?
Altus Suite decided to add a video component after receiving complaints from test takers that Casper was essentially a speed typing test.
A video response section was added to the Casper test starting with the 2022/2023 application cycle. The Casper test requires test takers to respond to questions with live recorded video responses.
14. Will Programs See My Video Responses?
No, the programs you apply to will not see your video responses. Your video responses are only viewed by trained Casper raters.
15. Am I Judged on Spelling and Grammar on the Casper Test?
Raters are trained not to penalize spelling and grammar errors, but don’t think of this as a free for all. The Rater still needs to be able to comprehend each element of your answer, and if your poor spelling gets in the way of the Rater’s comprehension, they will not be able to give you a good score.
16. Does the Casper Test Have Breaks?
The Casper test has two breaks. There’s one 5 minute break in the middle of the typed response section. The second break is 10 minutes and comes at the end of the typed response section before you begin the video response section.
Breaks are a critical opportunity for you to collect your thoughts, refocus, and replenish yourself. Utilize your breaks to reset your posture, take a drink of water, stretch, and perform a breathing exercise.
17. How Do You Get a Good Casper Score?
The goal of Casper is to see who you are beyond your hard skills and grades, so it’s not exactly a test you can study for in the conventional sense.
It’s generally best to answer questions from the most ethical and equal standpoint possible, ensuring the people in the scenario are represented equally. It’s also essential to abide by the law. Anything in your response that could be construed as unethical, illegal, unprofessional, or dangerous is an automatic red flag.
Prepare in advance by answering practice questions, taking practice tests, developing your reading comprehension, studying up on issues in healthcare, practicing your typing abilities, and recording yourself answering questions within the one minute time limit. It’s important to be able to type quickly and legibly so that the Rater understands your answer. There are several online typing tools that can help you develop your typing skills.
You also need to record yourself and practice answering questions within the one minute video response format. Get comfortable answering questions comprehensively and confidently within this time frame.
18. How Long Does it Take to Prepare for Casper?
How long you need to spend preparing depends on how confident you feel with your typing and reading comprehension skills as well as how comfortable you are answering questions by video response. Unfortunately, there’s not a magic number of hours that will guarantee a strong score. Utilize practice questions and tests to your advantage. We encourage you to prepare as long as you need to feel relaxed and confident on the big day.
19. Is Casper Tutoring Available?
Yes! Med School Insiders offers Comprehensive Medical School Admissions Packages that will help you with every aspect of your medical school application—including Casper. Our team of doctors has years of experience serving on admissions committees, so you’ll receive key insights from people who have been intimately involved in the process.
For more information about how to prepare for Casper, read our comprehensive Casper Test Guide.