I often get asked how I prepared for CASPer to score in the 4th quartile. It was not easy, but I have got you covered! Having undergone CASPer myself, I understand the anxiety and uncertainty that accompany this test. In this blog, I'll delve into my personal experience with CASPer questions, sharing insights, preparation strategies, and invaluable tips to help you navigate this crucial step with confidence.

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5 min read

How I Started My CASPer Prep How I Prepared for CASPer Questions My Top 10 Tips for Acing Your CASPer Test FAQs

How I Started My CASPer Prep

Research was the cornerstone of my CASPer preparation journey. Before delving into practice sessions or crafting responses to CASPer questions, I needed to understand the intricacies of the test – its structure, purpose and significance in the admissions process. Understanding the test's structure was crucial to my preparation. Additionally, I familiarized myself with how the CASPer test is scored, gaining clarity on the qualities evaluators seek to assess, such as empathy, professionalism, and ethical decision-making.

As I was navigating my CASPer test prep, I realized that learning what type of CASPer questions to expect should become the most important part of my test preparations. So let’s dig into what CASPer question categories I prepared for and how I practiced!

How I Prepared for CASPer Questions

You have probably heard that it is impossible to prepare for CASPer. How can you prepare for a million different scenarios and questions you might have to face in your test? It is indeed difficult to prepare for CASPer, but I found that identifying CASPer question types was the most effective way to prepare! I researched what categories of questions are typically included on a CASPer test and used solid strategies (almost templates!) for each question category. This means that even though I did not know the exact questions I am going to get on my test, I will had an approach for answering any questions that may come my way. So what are these CASPer question categories that I prepared for?

Most CASper questions typically fall into 3 major categories:

  1. Situational or scenario questions
  2. Policy questions
  3. Personal questions

There are some other question types, like quirky questions, but these can still be tacked by using personal questions answer template I will outline below.

You should also know that a CASPer scenario can be followed up with two or even three question categories! That is, after you are given a scenario the follow-up questions may include a scenario question (what would you do in this situation?), a policy question (what do you think about a certain policy or law), and a personal question (have you ever had a similar thing happen to you?). It is rare, but I have seen this happen!

Having answer strategies for each question category really put me ahead. I was ready to face any given prompt and was ready to structure my answer quickly and succinctly. Here’s my quick rubric for answering the 3 most common CASPer question types:

How I Prepared for Situational or Scenario CASPer Questions

Here's a quick rundown of the steps I took to answer scenario CASPer questions:

  1. When I am faced with a CASPer scenario follow-up question, I immediately try to understand my role and what kind of issue I am being presented with, i.e. autonomy support, informed consent, professional boundaries, conflict resolution, etc.
  2. I identify the most vulnerable party in the situation, but I also remain objective and non-judgmental to all parties involved in the situation.
  3. I start "gathering information" by considering all sides of the scenario. The most vulnerable party should be considered before anyone else in the scenario, but I reserve judgment and try to stay objective.
  4. I think of several practical solutions, then choose the most rational, ethical, legal, and scientifically sound decision that causes the least amount of harm to everyone involved or indirectly involved.

My hot tip for you: a good way to structure your answer to scenario questions is to use if/then sentence structure. This way you demonstrate that you have considered multiple points of view and have included all the parties in your consideration.

How I Prepared for Policy CASPer Questions

Follow-up questions from the policy category are typically included to assess your awareness of the local and global issues facing your profession and your ability to remain objective and non-critical of all sides of an issue. Again, consider the themes that the policy question is asking about, i.e. current social events awareness, rural vs. city practice, ethical/moral dilemma, etc. Follow this general structure to answer CASPer policy questions:

Opening sentence. In your opening sentence shortly summarize the policy to demonstrate your awareness of the policy and its context.

2 or 3 points about the policy. List a couple of advantages and disadvantages of the policy. Not only will this show your awareness of the problem, but it will also demonstrate your ability to stay objective, informed, and open-minded.  

Last sentence. The last part of your answer should include your personal opinion about the policy and the reasons behind your stance. If you disagree with the policy, write down a short sentence with an alternative solution to the problem.

To prepare for questions in the policy category you should become familiar with current events, hot topic social and political issues, and challenges facing your profession. To practice answering policy questions, you can write down a list of most important and interesting policies you encounter, write down their pros and cons, and try to formulate your own informed opinion.

How I Prepared for Personal CASPer Questions

I had lots of follow-up personal CASPer questions that asked me to talk about times when I had to deal with similar issues that are presented in a scenario. They are meant to assess how you react in certain situations. The question may deal with professional boundaries, ethical/moral dilemmas, conflict resolutions, and other issues. Your answer should demonstrate to the evaluator that you know how to handle yourself in a situation.

When you answer personal questions remember these steps:

  • Provide a very short context about the situation you are writing about.
  • Write one or two sentences demonstrating specific actions, behaviors, or tasks you performed to deal with the situation. What did you do to fix the problem? How did you overcome a challenge? Use concrete examples.
  • Write one sentence about what you learned from dealing with this situation. 

My Top 10 Tips for Acing Your CASPer Test

  1. Learn to identify and have a strategy for each CASPer question category. Feel free to use the ones I share above!
  2. Read all questions twice and answer the easiest question first.
  3. Take time to consider your answer. Maybe you can prepare an answer that covers all 3 questions in one?
  4. Identify the most pressing issue.
  5. Figure out who is directly and indirectly involved.
  6. Gather as much information as possible. Do not make any assumptions.
  7. Provide the most rational and common-sense solution that causes the least amount of harm to everyone involved using the “if/then” sentence structure.
  8. Pay attention to your spelling and grammar. While you are not penalized for errors, you will make a much better impression if you express yourself without obvious mistakes.
  9. Read your answers over when you’re finished. You might have time to catch those mistakes!
  10. Don’t rush. It’s ok if you don’t answer all three questions. Remember my tips #1 and #3 – if you read all the questions and know what they are all asking, you can try to incorporate indirect answers to all 3 question in one answer!


1. How do I know if I am doing a good job when I practice?

It is important to practice with quality CASPer questions and test simulations, as well as to know answer strategies for different questions. But unfortunately, even this is not enough. You might have the right approach, but unless you have someone assessing the quality of your answers, you cannot feel truly ready.

Unless someone tells you what you should work on and how to improve your answers, likely, your answers will not improve. Professional feedback is key, because a medical school advisor can identify your problem areas, give you concrete actionable advice, and provide you with necessary training. If you need help preparing for your CASPer test, make sure to contact us.

2. Will I know how I did on my CASPer test?

You may receive your percentile scores.

3. How long does it take to prepare for CASper?

How long does it take to prepare for CASPer is one of the most common questions we get. And the answer is simple: each student is different and needs different time allocations to do well on the test. However, I would advise spending between 4-6 weeks to prepare.

4. How long is the CASPer test?

The test takes about 90-110 minutes to complete. You will have 2 optional breaks during the test. I strongly recommend you take the breaks. Make sure you relax and get your mind off the test. Do not go over the questions you already completed in your head – this will only make you anxious!

5. How is CASPer structured?

The test is comprised of 14 scenarios dealing with real-life situations divided into 2 sections. You are asked 2 or 3 follow up questions based on the scenario observed. You are given 5 minutes to type your answers for those three questions in the written response section of the test and 1 minute to record your answer to each of the 3 follow-up questions in the video response section of the test.

6. Where can I take the test?

You can take the test on a computer at a location of your choice and schedule your CASPer test date at your convenience online. Since the test requires your attention, make sure that you’re in a quiet place with no distractions. You may use headphones to help you concentrate and eliminate background noise. Make sure that your computer has a webcam and a reliable internet connection that passes the CASPer System Requirements Check.

7. Does my grammar affect my score?

No, your grammar does not affect your score. However, you make a better impression with an answer that has as few errors as possible. A well-written, clear answer will make a positive impression on the evaluator!

8. Who rates my CASPer test?

Each section of your test is scored by one evaluator, making your final CASPer score a combination of 15 independent impressions of you. The evaluators do not have access to any of your personal information, such as your name, gender, race, age, etc. This is done to eliminate the biases associated with traditional evaluations of personal characteristics. CASPer evaluators are recruited from various backgrounds and professions.

9. Can anyone become a CASPer evaluator?

Theoretically, yes. To become a CASPer evaluator you must apply online via email. Upon successful review, you will be invited to begin an onboarding and training program, which includes a short version of the CASPer test, an online video training module, a competency test, a set of practice responses, and a training on Implicit Bias. You cannot become an evaluator if you are planning to take CASPer. Members of your family and close friends are also disqualified to become CASPer evaluators if you’re taking the test.

10. How do programs use CASPer scores?

It is up to the individual programs to determine how they will incorporate the CASPer score into their application decisions. Some programs may use CASPer for interview considerations, others include CASPer in assessing offers of admission. The same CASPer score may be competitive for one program but less competitive for another. The influence of the score also depends on the competitiveness of the applicant pool for each individual program. Visit the program of your choice to find out how CASPer scores are used.

11. Which programs require CASPer?

Not all academic and professional programs require CASPer. Check out a list of medical schools that require CASPer to see if your program of choice is on the list. Also, check out this list of residency programs that require CASPer. Make sure to check the official website of the program you are interested in to see if they require CASPer.

12. Is 5 minutes enough to type answers to 3 questions?

it is possible to answer all three questions in time if you practice. However, keep in mind that you do not need to answer all three questions to get a high score, though I recommend it - just because you do not want to give them any reason to score you lower. The key is to provide a quality answer that addresses the themes and issues of the scenario, even if you do it in only 1 answer. You may be able to cover all three questions in your first answer. Remember to follow my answer strategies and construct a thorough answer.

To your success,

Your friends at BeMo

BeMo Academic Consulting

Disclaimer: CASPer is a claimed trademark of McMaster & Acuity Insights. BeMo does not recommend, endorse nor affiliate with CASPer, Acuity Insights or McMaster and vice versa.

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