Applying to Medical School

CASPer Exam for Medical School: What It Is & How to Prepare

What is a CASPer exam?

The CASPer test is a situational judgment test (SJT) that assesses people skills. This computerized screening tool uses realistic scenarios to gauge a person’s soft skills like communication and professionalism. Schools use the CASPer exam to determine if you are suited to a career in the medical field.

CASPer stands for Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics. The CASPer examination is part of the Altus Suite created by Altus Assessments, which also includes Snapshot and Duet. Many medical schools use these test results during the admissions process to screen applicants and determine acceptances.

Do you have to take the CASPer test to go to medical school?

Many medical schools require applicants to take the CASPer test during the medical school admissions process, but not all of them. We’ve included a current list of these institutes further down on this page.

Medical schools are not alone in using CASPer. Many graduate programs, including those in the allied health fields, use CASPer, and a few undergraduate programs do too. 

What are the benefits of taking the CASPer test for medical school? Taking the CASPer test is a requirement for several schools. It benefits med school admissions committees by saving them time; they can learn whether you have the soft skills to be a good physician compared with other applicants.

A good CASPer score is an authoritative way to tell med schools that you are mentally, ethically, and behaviorally qualified to work with patients in stressful situations. This can help you get into medical school.

How to Sign Up for CASPer

You can sign up for the Casper test at TakeAltus.com. The test is offered monthly, with additional test dates available during the summer to accommodate the admissions cycle. You’ll choose a program, a school, and a test day.

The requirements to take the CASPer test are:

  • A quality, stable internet connection
  • Computer equipment including a webcam and microphone
  • A government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license
  • A valid email address
  • Money to pay the test fee

How much does the CASPer test cost? The cost varies by academic program, but most American students will pay $10-$12 for CASPer or $40 for the entire Altus Suite. You can pay an additional $12-$15 per distribution to send your results to other schools. A handful of US-based Fee Assistance Programs can provide financial aid for eligible applicants.

What is the CASPer exam format?

There is only one CASPer exam — the one administered by Altus — but the test consists of multiple sections. Here’s a summary of the test format. 

How long is the CASPer test for medical school? Test takers will face 15 sections that consist of randomly ordered word-based scenarios and video-based scenarios. These situational dilemmas require your video responses or typed responses to open-ended questions.

Part 1: 3 text-based and 6 video-based scenarios requiring 3 written responses each

Part 2: 2 text-based and 4 video-based scenarios requiring recorded video responses

You are given 5 minutes to complete each test question in the written response section. If you’re worried about your typing speed, use bullet points. In the video response part, you have 1 minute per question to record your answer. 

How long does the CASPer test take? The entire test takes around 100-120 minutes to complete according to Altus. Optional breaks are offered throughout the test.

Altus provides special accommodations for test takers who need additional time, assistive software, or dedicated personnel. A qualified professional can help you fill out a request form. It takes up to 7 business days for a response, and Altus will contact you with the outcome. An approved accommodations status is valid for two admission cycles.

How is the CASPer test scored?

The CASPer exam is not scored like a typical test with individual grades based on correct or incorrect responses. Instead, raters compare your answer to other test takers’ responses and rank it as better or worse. Each of your responses is given a numerical score from 1 (unsatisfactory) to 9 (excellent) based on how well you responded in comparison to your peers. 

Final CASPer scores are then divided into four equal categories:

1st Quartile: 0-24 percentile

2nd Quartile: 25-49 percentile

3rd Quartile: 50-74 percentile

4th Quartile: 75-100 percentile

What is a good score on the CASPer test? A 4th-quartile CASPer result is the best score since it shows you were in the top 25% of test takers. 

Many medical admissions boards also consider a 3rd-quartile score satisfactory depending on how rigorous their acceptance standards are. 1st-quartile and 2nd-quartile results are the lowest, but they don’t necessarily disqualify your application. 

It typically takes a few weeks to get results back from Altus. In 2-3 weeks, Altus will automatically send your results to the medical programs on your distribution list. After a month from the test date, you will be able to see your quartile score but will never be able to know your specific response scores. 

What does CASPer assess?

CASPer scenarios go beyond testing basic problem-solving to assess your non-cognitive skills and medical ethics. Rather than involving objectively correct or incorrect responses, your responses to scenarios will tell if you’re a strong applicant or raise red flags regarding dangerous or unethical viewpoints. 

The CASPer test assesses the following behavioral characteristics: 

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Equity
  • Ethics
  • Motivation
  • Problem-solving
  • Professionalism
  • Resilience
  • Self-awareness

Each CASPer section is graded by a different rater from a diverse group of people. The final score thus encompasses multiple people’s impressions of you. This ensures the overall test score is fair and objective given the subjectivity of the material. 

Should you study for CASPer?

Unlike traditional academic tests, you do not need to study for the CASPer exam per se. That’s because the test is designed to determine your normal response to a given situation. Raters aren’t seeking correct or incorrect facts, so you don’t need to memorize answers. However, there are other ways you should prepare for the CASPer exam.

How to Prepare for Your CASPer Exam

The best method of CASPer test prep is to learn more about CASPer before taking the exam and practice CASPer questions and simulations. Seek out sample questions so you know what you expect. Browse FAQs that the CASPer is likely to ask, and speak with other applicants who already took the exam. 

You can find practice tests online that contain sample CASPer questions, including official ones at TakeAltus. Think about your responses to these practice questions — the same as you would prepare for virtual medical school interviews. Being familiar with the test will help you overcome test-taking anxiety and give more confident, thoughtful responses.

If you’ve never taken it, you may wonder if the CASPer test is easy or hard to pass. Most test-takers consider CASPer to be simple compared to more rigorous admissions exams like the MCAT. However, don’t underestimate CASPer; the scenarios are meant to challenge you.

When should you take CASPer in the application process?

Take the CASPer exam early in the application cycle. Many med schools want to see your CASPer score early on in the vetting process, not considering your application complete without it. 

A common mistake when applying to medical school is waiting too long to schedule admissions exams like CASPer. Remember that the CASPer is offered at limited times each month. And, it takes multiple weeks for schools to receive your results. So, give yourself a sufficient window for completing all steps of the application process before the application deadline.

Your CASPer test results are only valid for the current application cycle. Any future reapplications to even the same program will require you to retake CASPer. 

Which medical schools require the CASPer exam?

Colleges and universities around the world require applicants to take the CASPer, including programs based in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom. 

The list of current United States-based med schools that require CASPer includes (as of January 2023): 

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Alabama State University
Albany Medical College
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
American University of The Caribbean School of Medicine
Anderson University
Arkansas College of Health Education
Arkansas College of Health Education
Arkansas College of Health Education
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital
Ascension Providence Hospital
Assumption University
Auburn University
Barry University
Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor Scott & White Healthcare
Beaumont Health
Bellevue College
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Boston Medical Center
Boston University
Boston University
Boston University Aram V. Chobanian & Edward Avedisian School of Medicine
Brenau University
BronxCare Health System
Broward Health Medical Center
Brown University
California Health Sciences University
California Northstate University
California Pacific Medical Center
Case Western Reserve University
Case Western Reserve University
Central Michigan University
Charles R. Drew University
Chatham University
Christian Brothers University
Clarkson University
Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic Akron General
College of Saint Mary
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado Mountain College
Columbia University
New York Presbyterian-Weill Cornell
Creighton University
Dartmouth – Hitchcock Medical Center
Des Moines University
Dominican University New York of Blauvelt
Drexel University
Drury University
Duke University
East Carolina University
East Tennessee State University
Eastern Virginia Medical School
Eastern New Mexico University
Eastern Washington University
Emory University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida International University
Florida State University
Franciscan Missionaries of our Lady University
Gannon University
Geisinger Eye Institute
George Washington University
Georgia Southern University
Grand Valley State University
Hamilton Medical Center
Harvard Medical School
Henry Ford Health System
Henry Ford Hospital
High Point University
Hofstra University
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Hofstra University BS/MD
Hofstra University Northwell Health
Howard University
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, FlexMed
Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
Indiana State University
Indiana University
Iowa State University
Jackson Memorial Medical Center – Bascom Palmer Eye Institute
Jamaica Hospital Medical Center
John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County
Johns Hopkins University
Kansas Health Science Center – Kansas College of Osteopathic Medicine
Kansas State University
Kettering College
Kettering Medical Center
Kresge Eye Institute
Krieger Eye Institute
Larkin Community Hospital
Lawrence Technological University
Lincoln Memorial University
Loma Linda University
Long Island University Veterinary Medicine
Long School of Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center
Louisiana State University
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University Medical Center
Louisiana State University – Shreveport Campus
Marietta College
Marquette University
Marshall University
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine
Mary Baldwin University (Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences)
Mason Eye Institute
Mayo Clinic Florida
Augusta University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Medical University of South Carolina
MedStar Washington Hospital Center
Meharry Medical College
Memorial Healthcare System
Mercer University
Mercy College of Ohio
Methodist University
Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Midwestern University
Moravian University
Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)
Nassau University Medical Center
Nazareth Hospital
Netter School of Medicine Quinnipiac University
New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai
New York Medical College
Northeast Georgia Medical Center
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Northeastern State University
Northern Arizona University
Northwestern College
Northwestern University
New York University
New York University Langone
OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital
Oklahoma State University
Oklahoma State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Oregon Health & Sciences University
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Parkview Medical Center
Penn State University
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Pfeiffer University
Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Point Loma Nazarene University
Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine
Quinnipiac University
Radford University
Randolph-Macon College
Rasmussen University – Florida Campus
Rasmussen University – Minnesota Campus
Rocky Vista University
Rosalind Franklin University
Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine
Rush University
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Salus University
Sam Houston State University
San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
South University
Spokane Teaching Health Center
St. John’s Episcopal Hospital
St. Joseph Hospital
St. Louis University
St. Mary Mercy Hospital
Stamford Health
Stanford University
State University of New York Upstate Medical University
Renaissance School of Medicine, Stony Brook University
SUNY Downstate Medical Center
SUNY Stony Brook University
Temple University
Tennessee State University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University
Foster School of Medicine TTUHSC El Paso
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
The Brooklyn Hospital
The Ohio State University
The University of Louisville School of Dentistry
UT Health at San Antonio
The University of Toledo
Thomas Jefferson University
Touro College
Touro University – Nevada
Tufts Medical Center
Tulane University
Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Undergraduate to Medical School Initiative
University at Buffalo
University of Alabama at Birmingham
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
University of California Davis
University of California, Irvine
University of California Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
University of California San Diego
University of California San Francisco
University of Chicago
University of Cincinnati Medical Center
University of Colorado
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
University of Colorado Denver (Anschutz Medical Campus)
University of Connecticut
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Florida – Gainesville
University of Florida – Jacksonville
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Indianapolis College of Health Sciences
University of Indianapolis College of Health Sciences
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kentucky
University of Louisville
University of Lynchburg
University of Maryland
University of Massachusetts
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Michigan-Flint
University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri-Kansas City
University of Missouri St. Louis
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine
University of New Mexico
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina
University of North Texas Health Science Center
University of Oklahoma
University of Pennsylvania
University of Puerto Rico
University of Rochester
University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine
University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine – HCA Healthcare
University of Southern California
University of Tennessee – Memphis
University of Texas
University of Texas at Tyler Health Science Center
University of Texas Health Houston – McGovern Medical School
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Texas Medical Branch
University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
University of Texas Southwestern
University of Utah
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Washington
University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin-Madison
UPMC Eye Center
Urology Resident Study
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
Virtua Health
Wake Forest School of Medicine
Washington University in St. Louis
Wayne State University
Wellstar Kennestone Hospital
West Coast University
West Virginia University
Western Carolina University
Western Carolina University
Western Michigan University
Western University of Health Sciences
Western University of Health Sciences
William Carey University
Winston-Salem State University
Wright State University
Yale New Haven Medical Center

Visit TakeAltus.com for a current list of all schools and programs around the world that use the Altus Suite in their admissions screening process.

Everything you need to get into medical school, delivered.

Another CASPer preparation method is to get medical school admissions consulting. ProspectiveDoctor.com provides academic consulting so you can show admissions committees that you’re a great candidate. That includes passing admissions exams.

Sign up for a free MCAT practice exam and download the MedSchoolCoach mobile app for additional tips and tricks for navigating the med school application process. Schedule your consultation to learn more about how our MedSchoolCoach admissions advisors can provide tutoring or advising services. We’re here to help you ace the application process!

Sahil Mehta

Sahil Mehta M.D. is an attending physician in the Department of Radiology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Founder of MedSchoolCoach. Dr Mehta is one of the world’s experts on medical school admissions having founded MedSchoolCoach in 2007. MedSchoolCoach provides admissions consulting to premedical students in the form of interview preparation, essay editing and general advising. In the past 10 years, he has had a hand in over a thousand acceptances to medical school.

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