March 3, 2020
The CASPer® test is an online assessment for medical schools
The CASPer® test for medical school is an online assessment that aims at gauging the personal and professional attributes of an applicant by presenting them with scenarios that require them to apply situational judgement. This test that is quickly becoming mandatory across many medical programs’ admission processes is a 90-minute computer-based test that comes in 12 sections that are graded by different assessors. It might sound daunting to many students hoping to join medical programs but the CASPer® test is actually pretty straightforward, especially if you take time to prepare adequately.
Here are some useful prep tips for when you are about to sit for the CASPer® test:
The first thing you need to do when preparing for the CASPer® test is to acquaint yourself with current events in the medical world. Research on the medico-legal cases that are making headlines. Review news regarding medical ethics and get acquainted with the structure of the Canadian healthcare system. These will help you form insights and understanding into what goes on when doctors and medical experts are reviewing real-life cases. You could also look around your life and reflect on the experiences that have helped you hone your non-cognitive skills such as conflict resolution, collaboration and so on.
Understanding how the responses are scored and graded will help you understand what the assessors are looking for. In the CASPer® test, there are no right or wrong answers. There is no answer key. The assessors are trained to look out for answers that point towards a moral and ethical professional. While there are no wrong answers, there are responses that are deemed inappropriate based on the fact that they point towards an approach that would be harmful, dangerous and even life-threatening when applied in real life.
Take time to practice the CASPer® test, to get a feel of what the actual test will be like. One of the most stressful aspects of the test is the fact that there is a time limit to every question. Practice will help you get better at beating the timer.
When responding, use your own voice. You are working towards being a medical professional with their own voice. Do not respond with an aim of impressing your assessor. Imagine you are a doctor, and the test is your patients asking genuine questions that will impact their life. Then respond appropriately.
Do not respond to questions with qualities that you would demonstrate. Rather, say what you would do to demonstrate those qualities. For instance, do not say, I would be empathetic, instead say, I would say “I am sorry for your loss.”
It is normal to be anxious during the CASPer® test, especially when you are dealing with a ticking timer. Expect a few fumbles here and there, but do not let that distract you from the task at hand. Since individual responses are marked by different assessors, you have the chance to start afresh at each section. Give every section your best, and you will definitely be heading to that medical program before you can say CASPer®.
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