Do you know about the new changes to the Casper test? Starting this year, there’s a new, mandatory Casper test video response section that everyone required to take the Casper needs to complete.
Altus Suite, which runs the Casper test, as well as Snapshot and Duet, made some drastic changes for the 2022/2023 application cycle. The redesigned Casper test now has two different sections—one with the familiar typed responses and a new section that requires video responses. The recorded video portion of the Casper test is mandatory for all test takers.
So, what does this mean for you, and how does the update change your Casper test strategy? Understandably, you may have a lot of questions about what the new format looks like and how you can best prepare.
This post will cover everything you need to know about the new video component of Casper, including what the new test format looks like, how to prepare for your video responses, and frequently asked questions about all of these new changes.
Altus Suite: What’s New for the 2022/2023 Application Cycle
Bottom Line—This Is What Changed:
- Some schools may require a short Snapshot interview.
- Some schools may require a short Duet value-alignment assessment.
- Casper is now broken into two sections: one with typed responses and another with video responses.
- Casper now has 15 scenarios to work through (there were previously 12).
- Casper is now 100-120 minutes long (it was previously 60-90 minutes).
There are now three components to the Altus Suite: Casper, Snapshot, and Duet. Whether or not you need to complete each of the components depends on which schools you are applying to. View our list of every school that requires Casper, but also be sure to check with each of the schools you’re applying to in order to determine whether or not they require a Snapshot interview or Duet assessment.
Altus Suite consists of three parts: Casper, Snapshot, and Duet.
Casper is a 100-120 minute situational judgment test. Casper is designed to evaluate applicants based on 10 non-academic attributes, including professionalism, problem solving, ethics, and social intelligence.
Learn more in our Casper Guide.
Snapshot is a short, one-way virtual interview in which applicants are asked three questions concerning why the applicant wants to pursue a medical education and become a doctor. Snapshot enables applicants to showcase their people skills and bring their personal statement to life.
Learn more in our Snapshot Guide.
Duet is a value-alignment assessment. Applicants are asked what they value most in a program. The values they choose are then compared to the core values of participating medical programs. Duet only applies to applicants to US medical schools and graduate medical programs.
Learn more in our Duet Guide.
In addition to the new Altus Suite requirements, the Casper test underwent a complete redesign. The test previously contained 12 scenarios, some video-based and some word-based. Each of the 12 scenarios asked three questions. Applicants were given five minutes to type responses to the three questions.
The new format still requires you to type your answers to three open-ended questions asked after viewing or reading nine different scenarios (six video-based and three word-based).
However, there’s now a second section to the test that includes six different scenarios (four video-based and two word-based). Each of these scenarios asks three questions, but instead of typing your responses, you now have one minute to record your verbal response to each of the three questions.
This means that instead of typing out your answers to the three questions, you will record a video answer to each of the questions within the allotted time of one minute. After your one minute is up, you will be automatically advanced to the next question, and your live video response will be automatically submitted to Casper raters.
Why Was a Video Component Added to Casper?
A video component was added to Casper because Altus Suite received complaints from applicants that Casper was essentially a speed typing test.
In response to these concerns, Altus Suite ran a pilot experiment during the 2021/2022 application cycle that captured video responses to Casper scenarios. The data showed promising results, and applicants also responded positively to the new response format, so Altus Suite decided to move forward with a video response component.
Altus Suite will likely continue to make updates based on the results and feedback they collect during the 2022/2023 application cycle.
The New Video Response Format
Casper is now broken into two sections. The first section is for your typed responses. This looks much like the previous Casper test. You will be presented with six video-based scenarios and three word-based scenarios in random order. For each scenario, you will have to answer three corresponding questions within a five minute timed period. You will have an optional five minute break halfway through this section.
Before moving to the video response section, you will be able to take an optional 10 minute break. We highly recommend that you utilize this time to compose and prepare yourself. This is the time to warm up your vocal cords, reset your posture, and perform a breathing exercise.
For the video response section, you will be presented with four video-based scenarios and two word-based scenarios. After each scenario, you will have 30 seconds to reflect on what you saw or read. You will then have 10 seconds to read your question before responding.
For each question, you will have 60 seconds to respond by video recording. After the 60 seconds are up, your video answer will automatically be submitted for assessment. If you don’t need the entire 60 seconds, you can submit your answers sooner. If your answer runs longer than 60 seconds, you will be cut off once one minute is up, and whatever you said during that minute will be submitted.
After answering three questions, you will be provided with the next scenario. You will once again have 30 seconds to reflect before moving on to your next questions.
This format is quite a big change from the previous Casper test, and Casper may see further alterations and iterations as Altus Suite learns more about test takers and gathers feedback about their new assessment.
Casper Video Response FAQs
How Long is the Casper Test with the Added Video Response Section?
There are now 15 scenarios in the Casper test, each with three corresponding open-ended questions. The typed response section of the Casper test consists of nine scenarios, six video-based and four word-based. The video response section of Casper consists of six scenarios, four video-based and two word-based.
Casper now takes 100-120 minutes to complete, as opposed to the previous 60-90 minutes.
How Long Do I Have to Answer Each Question?
After being presented with a scenario, you will have 30 seconds of reflection time before the first question is revealed. You will have ten seconds to read the question, then one minute (60 seconds) to record your response. Once that minute is up, your answer will be automatically saved, and your next question will appear.
You can also choose to click “submit” before your one minute is up; this will also automatically save your answer and advance you to the next question. After answering three questions, you will receive a new scenario, and the process will begin again.
What Happens if I Run Out of Time?
After the one minute is up, your video response will be automatically uploaded. There’s no extra time available and no do-overs. (The exception to this is if the issue is tech-related. If so, it’s possible to contact Altus Suite tech support, and they will determine how best to assist you.)
If you do run out of time, don’t panic. It’s only one question within a long test, and Casper raters assign an overall score to your response. If you missed one question but provided a thorough and comprehensive answer to the other two, it’s possible that the rater won’t dock you any marks.
Either way, if you’re advanced before you’re ready, take a deep breath, reset, and prepare yourself for the next question. Roll with the punches and keep moving forward.
This is why it’s so important to go into Casper prepared. Even though the Casper test is situational, you can prepare, practice, and familiarize yourself with the unique and fast-paced Casper test format.
Are There Any Breaks Within the Video Response Section?
Immediately after the typed response section ends, there is a 10 minute break to prepare yourself before the video response section begins. Once the video section begins, you will need to roll right through all of the video response questions without a break in between.
You’ll have 30 seconds to reflect after being presented with each scenario, 10 seconds to read each question as they are presented, and one minute to record your response to each question.
How is the Video Section Scored?
As of now, Altus is only sending your typed response scores to participating schools. Your quartile results are also only based on your typed responses. Results from the video response section will be shared with a handful of programs selected by Altus as part of an early adopter program. Results will also be used to help Altus responsibly evolve the Casper assessment.
This doesn’t mean the video portion is meaningless. You still need to prepare for the video response section, even though your results are not included in your initial Casper score. Expect this to change in future iterations of the Casper test.
Will the Schools I’m Applying to See My Responses?
None of the schools you are applying to will see your Casper video responses. These responses are only viewed by trained Casper raters.
Will Raters Judge My Appearance?
Raters are trained not to judge you by your appearance. You don’t need to dress up for your Casper test like you do for your medical school interviews or your Snapshot interview.
That said, you do need to put a little bit of effort and consideration into your attire and background. You can dress casually, but make sure what you’re wearing is not distracting. Altus Suite recommends avoiding distracting clothing, such as pajamas. You should also avoid anything too flashy, low-cut, or uncomfortable.
How Does the Casper Video Response Compare to Snapshot?
The Casper video response is part of the Casper test. Everyone who takes Casper will be required to respond to six of the scenarios with live recorded video responses.
Snapshot, on the other hand, is a short, recorded video interview. Research each of the specific schools you are applying to in order to find out if Snapshot is required.
Snapshot is more like your medical school interviews, but it’s much, much shorter and recorded digitally. For Snapshot, you will be asked typical interview questions, such as why do you want to become a doctor, and what are you looking for in a medical school?
Casper Video Response
- Video responses are part of the Casper test.
- You are recording answers to situational judgment questions.
- You have one minute to record each answer.
- You may dress casually but professionally.
Snapshot Recorded Interview
- Snapshot is a separate component of Altus Suite.
- You are recording answers to typical interview questions.
- You have two minutes to record each answer.
- Dress as you would for a professional interview.
Can I Review My Video Responses?
No, you are not able to review your video responses after you record them. Once the one minute is up, your video is automatically submitted to be reviewed and scored.
Can I Make Changes to My Video Responses?
No, you cannot make any changes to your video responses after you record them. Casper is a live test, which means all of your responses are submitted automatically once your minute is up.
Your one minute timer will end after one minute; no matter what you do or say during that minute, it will be automatically uploaded.
If you freeze or completely mess up one question, don’t panic. You are assessed based on your overall performance in each scenario. Collect yourself and take a deep breath. What matters more is how you answer the next question. Continue to move forward and roll with the punches.
What if I Experience a Technical Issue While Recording My Results?
Do not refresh the page while recording or uploading the video responses.
If you experience a technical issue when completing the video response section, there is a Technical Troubleshooting tips link in the Knowledge Base section of your Altus Suite account’s homepage. If the technical issue persists, contact the Altus Suite Support Team through the live chat. You can locate the live chat in the bottom right corner of your test screen.
If you experienced an issue you’d like to report but are unable to contact support during your test, contact [email protected] within 24 hours of your test.
Casper Video Response Strategy
1 | Practice the Casper Test Format
Casper is a unique test with specific procedures that need to be followed exactly, so it’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the Casper test format.
The video response section contains four video-based scenarios and two word-based scenarios. For each scenario, you will need to answer three questions via video recording. After viewing a scenario, you’ll be given 30 seconds to reflect on what you just saw or read. You’ll have 10 seconds to read the question and then one minute to record your answer.
After the one minute is up, your answer will be automatically submitted. There’s no going back or editing your responses, which means it’s critical that you practice answering Casper questions within the allotted one minute time frame. Set a timer for yourself while practicing to ensure you can clearly and effectively get your point across within 60 seconds.
2 | Record Yourself and View it Back
For the video portion of Casper, raters will be able to view your recorded responses. While you are practicing, record yourself answering the questions within the one minute time frame and review it back. You can use simple applications to do so, such as PhotoBooth on Mac or Camera on PC.
Assess yourself and continue to make adjustments as needed. It can help to also get feedback from trusted friends, family, or study groups to learn how you can improve.
When you watch your video response, do you look confident? Are you speaking clearly? Are you making eye contact with the camera? Are you able to answer the question to the best of your ability without running out of time? Continue practicing in this fashion until you are confident and happy with your results.
3 | Make it Conversational
Even though you can’t see them while you’re recording, there is someone on the other end who will be rating your response. Do your best to treat your answers like a real conversation.
Make eye contact with the camera and use hand gestures like you would if you were speaking to someone in person. This will help you seem and feel more confident, and it will keep the person reviewing your answers engaged and interested in what you have to say.
4 | Watch Your Body Language
As you practice answering questions, watch your body language and how you hold yourself. Sit up straight and keep your shoulders back. You will look and feel more confident, and you’ll be able to speak more clearly when your body isn’t hunched over.
Pay attention to the camera and make eye contact with it. Treat the camera like a person since there will be a person on the other end reviewing your answers. Avoid fiddling with things on your desk or looking around the room. Simple, everyday body language, such as looking at your watch or a clock on the wall, is distracting for both you and the Casper raters.
5 | Warm Up Your Face and Voice
Warm up both your face and vocal cords before beginning the video portion of Casper. Doing so will help you enunciate your words clearly, and it will keep your face engaging and lively as you answer your questions.
The ideal time for a face and vocal warmup is during the 10 minute break you receive in between the typed response section and the video response section of Casper.
Complete some simple tongue twisters and force yourself to overemphasize each word. Practice enunciating each syllable of your words clearly and speaking with confidence. To warm up your face, repeatedly squish and expand your eyes, mouth, and forehead to get your blood pumping. (If you wear makeup, be sure to take a look in the mirror afterward to ensure these exercises haven’t created any unwanted lines.)
It’s important for your voice and face to feel nice and loose before you begin answering questions via video.
6 | Dress Appropriately
Your Casper test isn’t an interview, so there’s no need to get that suit dry cleaned. But although you don’t need to dress like it’s an interview, you do need to dress professionally. You can be casual, but don’t wear anything unprofessional or distracting.
That means no pajamas, no dirty clothes, and no revealing outfits. Ensure your clothing is comfortable and that it won’t distract you or the people rating your responses. Choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and professional. Dress for success!
7 | Manage Possible Distractions
Distractions are all around you, but they shouldn’t be on test day. Keep your phone on silent and upside down, or remove it from your testing room entirely. Manage the notifications on your computer to ensure nothing distracting pops up right before your test is about to begin.
You also need to make sure anyone you share your living space with is aware of your test and its importance. Ideally, ask anyone you live with if they can be out of the house while you are completing Casper. The more unknowns there are in the equation, the more that can go wrong.
For example, what if one of your roommates decides to have a bunch of friends over during your Casper test? What if they decide to start cooking and trigger the fire alarm? What if they decide to restart your house modem?
The new video component of Casper makes it all the more important to ensure you are not distracted or interrupted during your test. Do all that you can to manage or remove possible distractions.
8 | Ensure Your Tech and Internet Connection Are Reliable
Casper requires a systems requirement check before you begin your test, which will help ensure all of your tech is in working order. But before test day rolls around, make sure you have everything you need, including a quality webcam and microphone.
Your test is heavily reliant on having a strong and stable internet connection. Test this in advance, and if possible, have a backup connection available, such as a portable Wi-Fi device. Altus Suite recommends a speed of at least 1.5 Mbps and an upload speed of at least 2 Mbps. It is also important to note that Chrome and Firefox are the only supported browsers.
If you live with other people, remind them again about your Casper test and ask them not to overuse the Wi-Fi during your test for things like downloading entertainment or games.
Keep Informed and Up-to-Date
Altus Suite is continuing to roll out changes to Casper as well as the other new components—Snapshot and Duet. Continue to check with all of the individual schools you are applying to in order to see whether or not Casper, Snapshot, or Duet are required.
This Casper format is brand new, so there are likely a lot of questions still to be answered. Contact Med School Insiders if you have any questions or want additional assistance preparing for your Casper test or any other components of Altus Suite.
Follow our blog for the latest resources, guides, and news updates for applying to medical school. And subscribe to our newsletter to hear about new content, study strategies, and critical application cycle news.