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How to maximize your chances of success on Casper

Start your test without unnecessary worries.

Testing your system prior to the test is a great way to ensure that you start Casper without unnecessary stress. Restart your computer on the day of the test to ensure needless background programs are closed. Perform the System Requirements Check (found on the account home page) to ensure that your webcam, computer, and internet connection are working properly. 

Take the full amount of time to respond, if needed.

During the test, ensure you take all five minutes to respond to the three questions in the typed response section and the one minute provided for each question in the video response section. This is important because we have found that test takers who have taken all the time available tend to score higher than those who do not. So, do try and make use of all the time you have!

Read fully, then plan your response.

You will feel pressed for time, but it’s important to reflect on the scenario and read the questions fully to help you produce a clear and compelling answer. When completing the typed-response section of the test, for each scenario, all the three questions are presented at once. Be sure to read all three questions fully, take a few seconds to reflect, then plan your response. Being aware of what all three questions are asking can help you avoid repeating yourself in your responses as you move from question to question. It can also help you avoid missing a question altogether given the time limit. In the video-response section, for each scenario, the three questions are presented one at a time, and you are provided 10 seconds to read each question before the recording starts. Be sure to use this time to read the question, take a few seconds to reflect and plan your response.

Don’t panic if you don’t finish your thought.

With a restricted amount of time to answer all three questions, it is common for the time to run out while you are finishing your thought. You will be automatically moved onto the next section, but don’t panic! This happens to almost everyone and raters are used to seeing unfinished responses. Raters are also trained to ignore spelling and grammar mistakes in typed responses, as well as jargon, accents, or grammar mistakes in video responses, so focus on the actual substance of your answers.

If you are disappointed by your response, don’t worry. Take a deep breath and try your best on the next section. Each section is evaluated by a *different* rater who has no idea who you are, or how you performed on a past section. Do not be concerned if you feel like your answers were particularly weak for one of the sections, because you will still have 14 other sections to reveal your true self! Use the breaks provided to collect your thoughts, calm your nerves, and reset your mind for the next section.

Find a quiet place to take the test.

One of the benefits of an online test like Casper is that the test can be taken almost anywhere. Plan ahead of time to ensure you are in a place free of distractions. If you live in a house with many noisy roommates or family members, let them know you will need quiet for the duration of the test, or arrange to take the test in a quieter location like your school or community library. When changing locations, keep in mind to re-run the System Requirements Check (found on the account home page) to ensure the network quality is high. We would also recommend headphones to help you focus.

Don’t bother cheating.

It makes sense that in a high-stakes test, some people will be interested in gaining an unfair advantage. As we want to ensure the test is fair and gives a reliable measure of the people skills of ALL applicants, we invest heavily in sophisticated detectable and invisible security measures. Keep in mind that all forms of cheating violate the Terms of Use, and cases of cheating will result in scores being withheld and your case being forwarded to all programs. Since research shows cheating (like having someone help you formulate responses) is unlikely to improve your score, and the consequences are so high, why would you bother?

The Casper test is unlike “ability tests” with right or wrong answers, so just relax and give it your best shot!

If you know of instances of attempted cheating (e.g., cheating methods, disclosing confidential Casper content, etc.), please report all potential violations anonymously through the Security Tip Line Form.

Be familiar with the format.

From our own internal data, we have not been able to find any evidence of practice effects, as student scores generally do not seem to improve when they retake the test in subsequent admissions cycles. The nature of the test is to assess your personal attributes, something that is unique to you, and that is hard to change in a short period of time. You can (and should!), however, familiarize yourself with the test format by completing the System Requirements Check and Sample Test (found on your account home page). This can help reduce test anxiety as the format of the sample test is identical to the actual Casper test!

Coaching or paying for test prep—does it help?

As Casper is used more widely, the number of test preparation companies has also risen. Some companies make the claim that Casper scores can dramatically improve after taking their course or their practice tests. Keep in mind that these companies don’t know how well anyone scored either before or after their test preparations. Any results reported around acceptance rates are likely confounded as applicants taking test prep courses are generally more affluent. We have heard students directly recommending to other students that they don’t think it helped them. Ultimately it’s your choice, we just don’t want you to waste your money!

We know taking any sort of test can be stressful and our goal is to get you through Casper smoothly. The programs you are applying to are not just trying to make you jump through another “hoop” by mandating Casper, but trying to understand their applicants beyond just academic grades. This is a benefit to both you and the programs by ensuring that the future of our healthcare and education is in good hands.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to the support team using the orange chat bubble located in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen in your Altus Suite account or on takealtus.com or follow us on Twitter @take_altus.

 

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