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The HOLY GRAIL of Casper Preparation - A Definitive Guide to Acing Casper

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The Holy Grail of Casper - TutorGOAT.pdf As someone who has benefited greatly from the premed 101 community in preparing for Casper (I’ve been offered interviews at Ottawa and McMaster two consecutive years in a row), I wanted to give back by sharing everything I learned from discussion with many successful applicants. 

Before I go into the details of what I learned, I want to HAMMER HOME the most important facts when it comes to preparing for this test. Be sure to read this first part to get the most out of the holy grail doc.

1.  You can and WILL ace the Casper if you prepare properly. I don’t care what anyone says about it being impossible to prep for this test; any standardized test can be mastered, whether it be the MCAT or this new beast. I can attest to this strongly because a friend and myself took the time to email dozens of people who got interviews based off their Casper (since they also had lower scores in other criteria like CARS and GPA, it’s safe to say their Casper scores were high) and drilled practice based on their advice. Both of us got interviews. Then, although I unfortunately didn’t pass the interview stage last year, THIS cycle myself as well as 6 other friends that I coached closely were able to secure interviews at Casper heavy schools. 
So the TLDR; You can and SHOULD prep for CASPER since my friends who failed to get interviews last year got interviews this year with my help. 


2.    Unfortunately, the speculation with regards to how important typing speed is is true, but not entirely. No matter how you spin it, someone who’s typing speed is above average is going to be at a slight advantage. 
However, I can guarantee that once you meet a certain point where you can write 4-6 solid sentences for each prompt, typing speed becomes MUCH less of a determining factor as to whether an answer is high quality.  This can be done at around 60 words per minute, and once you meet that threshold, you have what it takes to pump out KILLER answers. So, the focus should not be on increasing the diminishing return of a high typing speed (although you should start early and try hard to get to 60+ wpm). The focus should instead be on making good use of words and sentence structure to be as efficient and fluid as possible.
TLDR; You don’t need an insane typing speed, but having less than 60wpm WILL hold you back. Get to 60wpm+ then practice constructing EFFICIENT, high quality answers. 

3.    If you don’t get proper constructive feedback while preparing for this test, you are wasting your time (at least at the beginning). I have a bunch of friends who told me they did weeks of practice only to testify that they made no improvement. Some say this is because it’s impossible to prep for the test but that’s SIMPLY not true, and having helped my friends develop their skills this year around, I have evidence against this claim. 

The absolute key is to get excellent feedback from others and to take the time to critically evaluate every aspect of this test: How you interpret the question, your approach to answering, what ideas you should implement, how to construct efficient arguments under time constraints, where you have room for improvement, etc. Don't over think it, but you have to attack each question with the intent of giving incredible answers from every angle!
I suggest getting together with a dedicated group of 2-4 people, partnering up to do a few practice questions and cycling through your partners to get a few opinions on how to improve each answer.

I’m doing Casper prep and tutoring for the express reason that positive feedback and improvement in the right direction is SO hard to gauge in the beginner stages of doing this test, yet it’s the most important thing. Since even if you have the absolute perfect knowledge and strategy for tackling the test (*cough cough*, this post) but don’t implement it well in the 5-minute time constraint, you’re hopeless. Thus, implementation of skills and approaches to Casper questions is the MOST important part, and that comes through lots of practice WITH feedback to tell if you’re actually improving. 
TLDR; Without good feedback from smart friends or tutors, you won’t know if you’re improving. Improvement is VERY hard to gauge for this test. Get friends/tutors who can work with you to make sure you’re improving and implementing the right approach.  


So without further ado, here’s ALL the knowledge from people who did well on the test. I distilled out all the common themes and ideas over dozens of conversations with people who got interviews off of the strength of their Casper. 

It’s a lot to take in so I’ll probably end up making a pamphlet with step by step instructions and the best tips in my opinion, since there’s so much to know it’s a little difficult to figure out where to start. I categorized all the advice as logically as I possibly could from good reading sources, mentality tips, on to how to practice/review, writing tips and so on. Note: The formulas at the end aren’t perfect and won’t fit every question. The key is to do enough practice until you start seeing similarities in your approach to scenarios and be able to know exactly what to do, even if some elements of the scenario are unfamiliar. You will find more and more that questions dealing with something like conflict management for example will seem similar and thus will have the same approach. So the formula is a good barebones starting point, but ultimately you need to do enough timed practice with feedback to develop your own optimal approaches to different Casper questions!

*Read the document*

Last thing: Shameless plug! PM me for one-on-one tutoring and you can’t go wrong. I promise to offer the most efficient and effective plan to get your Casper answers to have top-notch quality. I think feedback from someone who knows what they’re doing coupled with typing speed and answer practice is probably the most important set of factors in success on this test.  All the tips I've given you are nice and all, but useless if you don't actively take the time to implement them and check if they're working.

Being 100% transparent, I want to capitalize off of all of the hours I spent talking to people who did well, compiling all their methods and ideas, as well as coaching my close friends. I can give you all the best approaches to tackling different types of questions, the best way to review, what types of questions I think you should focus on (from my experience of course) and all in all, help you maximize your chance of getting in and living the dream!

 Although, if you don’t want to do paid tutoring, following the advice in this post and going over at least a few practice tests worth of questions with some friends who know what they’re doing and will work hard to improve each other will go a long way. 

SO, to sum it all up: Practice typing speed for 1-2 months and do practice for at least an hour a day with friends for a month, IMPLEMENTING the ideas/skills in this doc and you’ll become a master at Casper in NO time! :)  The key is to take all this information and drill it until it's second nature, so go out there, put in the work to become a pro at casper,  and get one step closer achieve your dream! 

 

Sincerely,

Tutor GOAT 

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Hmmm maybe it's juste me, but to me, Casper has everything to do with critical reasoning and quick thinking. Sure a fast typing speed can be helpful, but I don't think you should necessarily train for it. Why ? Because you are the very proof of what happens when you rehearse for something that should be natural and organic. Sure you got invited 4 times, but the thing is you didn't get in after the first interview session, which means you're lacking something personality wise. I think the best way to train for the Casper is to actually challenge yourself through your everyday life and try to find your weaknesses beforehand and work on them. What's the point of getting a good score on a Casper test if you fail the interview afterwards ? Both the interviews and the Casper are mainly personality based, the only difference being you can make up an act for the Casper but you can't during the interviews because they will sense it. I got in med school after taking 1 casper test and after my 1st interview session without ever actually practicing for any of them. What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

Anyways, it's nice you actually took time to make this sheet, but so me, rehearsing 1 week in advance for a personality-based test won't get you too far. It's a long process and you should be working on it through your everyday life, rather than studying for it like you would for any other school related tests !

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18 hours ago, EzPz said:

Hmmm maybe it's juste me, but to me, Casper has everything to do with critical reasoning and quick thinking. Sure a fast typing speed can be helpful, but I don't think you should necessarily train for it. Why ? Because you are the very proof of what happens when you rehearse for something that should be natural and organic. Sure you got invited 4 times, but the thing is you didn't get in after the first interview session, which means you're lacking something personality wise. I think the best way to train for the Casper is to actually challenge yourself through your everyday life and try to find your weaknesses beforehand and work on them. What's the point of getting a good score on a Casper test if you fail the interview afterwards ? Both the interviews and the Casper are mainly personality based, the only difference being you can make up an act for the Casper but you can't during the interviews because they will sense it. I got in med school after taking 1 casper test and after my 1st interview session without ever actually practicing for any of them. What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

Anyways, it's nice you actually took time to make this sheet, but so me, rehearsing 1 week in advance for a personality-based test won't get you too far. It's a long process and you should be working on it through your everyday life, rather than studying for it like you would for any other school related tests !

Ironically that comment shows that you lack something personality wise.

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I don't know how I feel about CASPER because I have a really high typing speed (130+ WPM) and with about a day's worth of research I was able to score incredibly high without really knowing what I was doing (was told by an adcom from a US school that I interviewed at that I was amongst the 5 highest scorers in their entire applicant pool.) 

 

It seems to me that typing speed is a really big factor. My basic approach was to answer it like an MMI: summarize the ethical dilemma and explore both sides before coming down on one side. This is why I think typing speed is so important because it's hard to contextualize everything if you type too slow. 

 

 

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On 4/27/2019 at 5:26 PM, EzPz said:

Hmmm maybe it's juste me, but to me, Casper has everything to do with critical reasoning and quick thinking. Sure a fast typing speed can be helpful, but I don't think you should necessarily train for it. Why ? Because you are the very proof of what happens when you rehearse for something that should be natural and organic. Sure you got invited 4 times, but the thing is you didn't get in after the first interview session, which means you're lacking something personality wise. I think the best way to train for the Casper is to actually challenge yourself through your everyday life and try to find your weaknesses beforehand and work on them. What's the point of getting a good score on a Casper test if you fail the interview afterwards ? Both the interviews and the Casper are mainly personality based, the only difference being you can make up an act for the Casper but you can't during the interviews because they will sense it. I got in med school after taking 1 casper test and after my 1st interview session without ever actually practicing for any of them. What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

Anyways, it's nice you actually took time to make this sheet, but so me, rehearsing 1 week in advance for a personality-based test won't get you too far. It's a long process and you should be working on it through your everyday life, rather than studying for it like you would for any other school related tests !

-

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19 hours ago, EzPz said:

 What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

So many red flags here omg,  this better be a joke

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On 4/27/2019 at 7:26 PM, EzPz said:

Hmmm maybe it's juste me, but to me, Casper has everything to do with critical reasoning and quick thinking. Sure a fast typing speed can be helpful, but I don't think you should necessarily train for it. Why ? Because you are the very proof of what happens when you rehearse for something that should be natural and organic. Sure you got invited 4 times, but the thing is you didn't get in after the first interview session, which means you're lacking something personality wise. I think the best way to train for the Casper is to actually challenge yourself through your everyday life and try to find your weaknesses beforehand and work on them. What's the point of getting a good score on a Casper test if you fail the interview afterwards ? Both the interviews and the Casper are mainly personality based, the only difference being you can make up an act for the Casper but you can't during the interviews because they will sense it. I got in med school after taking 1 casper test and after my 1st interview session without ever actually practicing for any of them. What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

Anyways, it's nice you actually took time to make this sheet, but so me, rehearsing 1 week in advance for a personality-based test won't get you too far. It's a long process and you should be working on it through your everyday life, rather than studying for it like you would for any other school related tests !

Hey Ezpz, I think you mean well, and your underlying message is sound, but there is some serious danger to your advice and you're completely missing the point of my post. Of course having deep, meaningful social experiences will enrich one's casper answers and allow them to approach the test confidently, but it doesn't automatically mean you'll be in the best position to do well on the test, and many of my friends with beaming personalities did not make it past the casper stage.

 To address your first point, I'm not advising a super fast typing speed, I'm advising the NECESSARY typing speed to be competitive. I know this from experience because I have a friend with a perfect GPA and top CARS score who was not given a McMaster interview since he types, for lack of a better term, like a cave man!  I even stressed in my post that after a certain point, trying to increase typing speed is a waste of time, but advising people that it isn't a factor is just negligent. This is also something that was told to me by numerous people who passed the casper.

So, go ahead and tell people that working on one's personality is a good idea. Of course it is, it's a brilliant idea and I honestly hope that those seeking to be physicians are constantly seeking to better themselves in every aspect of their life, let alone just personality-wise. However, as advise for studying for a test? What kind of timespan do you think people have to see experimenting with certain words in social situations (Weird flex) translating to an improved approach to a written test? 

As well, I want to address that I did not say it can be done in a week; this is something that should be done over the span of at least a month, which is again, not my own opinion but a general consensus among people who did well on casper based on their stats. It's a nice sentiment to think that a good personality will carry you through every step of this process, but that's simply NOT true, especially with casper. 

Final thing; While I can't speak for why I wasn't admitted last year, I can say with the utmost honesty that although some of the best people I know were accepted last year, there was still a significant amount of people who (again, for lack of a better word!) seemed to lack in the personality department. These people got in by systematically approaching the interview process with hard practice, and I respect their hard work (even if their personalities didn't scream that they were an ideal candidate). So please, don't perpetuate the myth that all you need to get in is a nice personality since it's such a competitive process, this kind of discredits the immense amount of hard work that goes into every step. So fingers crossed that my personality AND hard work paid off this cycle :)


Congratulations on making it through the Casper and the interview into medical school, but whether it was on the strength of your personality alone or based on a complex set of other factors such as other parts of your application is something to be considered. All I can speak to is the experience of the numerous other people who I know did well on the test that specifically told me how to maximize my odds, and I wanted to share that. 

 

tldr; Yes personality is good, but that's one factor (it's situational judgment, NOT a personality test) and having a good personality has nothing to do with how you translate that personality in a 5 minute typing scenario or even in an 8 minute MMI. Ultimately, of course work on your personality (I think that goes without saying) but even the people who have good personalities should try their best to ace the casper and MMI by practicing and equipping themselves with the best information/skills going in!!!

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On 4/27/2019 at 4:26 PM, EzPz said:

Hmmm maybe it's juste me, but to me, Casper has everything to do with critical reasoning and quick thinking. Sure a fast typing speed can be helpful, but I don't think you should necessarily train for it. Why ? Because you are the very proof of what happens when you rehearse for something that should be natural and organic. Sure you got invited 4 times, but the thing is you didn't get in after the first interview session, which means you're lacking something personality wise. I think the best way to train for the Casper is to actually challenge yourself through your everyday life and try to find your weaknesses beforehand and work on them. What's the point of getting a good score on a Casper test if you fail the interview afterwards ? Both the interviews and the Casper are mainly personality based, the only difference being you can make up an act for the Casper but you can't during the interviews because they will sense it. I got in med school after taking 1 casper test and after my 1st interview session without ever actually practicing for any of them. What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

Anyways, it's nice you actually took time to make this sheet, but so me, rehearsing 1 week in advance for a personality-based test won't get you too far. It's a long process and you should be working on it through your everyday life, rather than studying for it like you would for any other school related tests !

For the most part I agree with what you're saying. Casper is pretty much a "filter" tests to assess personal qualities and characteristics. Trying to "game" it or reduce it into some sort of formula that one must "master" in order to do well totally defeats the purpose of the test although yes, typing speed is probably crucial. 

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On 4/27/2019 at 5:26 PM, EzPz said:

Hmmm maybe it's juste me, but to me, Casper has everything to do with critical reasoning and quick thinking. Sure a fast typing speed can be helpful, but I don't think you should necessarily train for it. Why ? Because you are the very proof of what happens when you rehearse for something that should be natural and organic. Sure you got invited 4 times, but the thing is you didn't get in after the first interview session, which means you're lacking something personality wise. I think the best way to train for the Casper is to actually challenge yourself through your everyday life and try to find your weaknesses beforehand and work on them. What's the point of getting a good score on a Casper test if you fail the interview afterwards ? Both the interviews and the Casper are mainly personality based, the only difference being you can make up an act for the Casper but you can't during the interviews because they will sense it. I got in med school after taking 1 casper test and after my 1st interview session without ever actually practicing for any of them. What I did do tho was during my undergrad, everytime I had a social interaction I would try to act as if it was one of the interview station and I would then reflect on what I did right and wrong so I could practice at being a more social and empathic person. Instead of just seeing social interaction as a product of everyday life, I started to actively think about it. For example : which words were better to use in certain situations, when to use pauses, different intonations etc. Three years ago, I was a pretty shy and socially awkward person and now, I would say I'm quite good at dealing various situations !

Anyways, it's nice you actually took time to make this sheet, but so me, rehearsing 1 week in advance for a personality-based test won't get you too far. It's a long process and you should be working on it through your everyday life, rather than studying for it like you would for any other school related tests !

Snobbbb. This guy needs to get off the forums and go meet people in real life that are not 4.0 premed students. People spend years refining skills just to get into med school. Other fly across the world to random places. Not everyone is going to be a strong candidate when they walk in.

Since you study for years to get a good gpa/mcat and you spend days volunteering and researching, it makes sense to prep for the last step- MMI/CASPer.

This is all part of the process of becoming a good health practitioner, and if you don’t have the perfect social skills to be a doc yet that’s fine. You’re paying hundreds of thousands to a med school to educate you and mold you into a strong doc.

 

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On 4/28/2019 at 3:19 PM, ysera said:

I don't know how I feel about CASPER because I have a really high typing speed (130+ WPM) and with about a day's worth of research I was able to score incredibly high without really knowing what I was doing (was told by an adcom from a US school that I interviewed at that I was amongst the 5 highest scorers in their entire applicant pool.) 

 

It seems to me that typing speed is a really big factor. My basic approach was to answer it like an MMI: summarize the ethical dilemma and explore both sides before coming down on one side. This is why I think typing speed is so important because it's hard to contextualize everything if you type too slow. 

 

 

Well it's a good thing CASPER is being used more widely then.  We wouldn't want people with a slow typing speed to be practicing medicine one day! /s

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It's just my opinion, you can disagree with me and I'll be happy to hear your arguments, but.... Until you have an actual study to prove that your strategy is significantly effective, it is legitimate to question myself and to present my point of view.

AT LEAST an hour A DAY?? Really? For 30+ days? That's crazy, that's so much pressure to but on somedy's shoulder. I mean, that much time may be necessary if you have a shitty personnality and you need to fake it all, but in that case maybe you should reconsider your career choice. Or maybe it is necessary if you are not native in the language in which you're taking the test, and in that case I agree that this is a different situation.

And I am saying this as a person who saved her ass with the Casper multiple times, despite a way above average GPA, and I never prepared more than a 3-4 hours TOTAL. And I've never wrote more than 2-3 sentences per question, and I try to be as concise and clear as possible, so I guess that there may be different approaches that works as well... and you should probably choose one based on what you're comfortable with and your personnality. I'm not a ''attack the problem from every possible angles'' person, so I don't do that, it wouldn't make sense for me to do that. I don't really ''pick a side'' neither. In fact, I don't really like the approach that you're suggesting in your pdf, mainly because it simply doesn't fit my personnality. Guys, don't write 5-6 sentences if you don't have that much to say just because you read on the internet that you should write 5-6 sentences... be yourself, and prepare to effectively show who you are!

Now I still agree that you should practice a bit, especially if you're not a fast typer to begin with... but that much is overkill to me. You probably have a courses going on at that time and you should probably rather spend that time studying and getting good grades... or you could simply try to type your notes faster than usual... but otherwise, my advice would be to save that energy to prepare for the actual interviews (and even there, not THAT MUCH).

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44 minutes ago, Mel96b said:

It's just my opinion, you can disagree with me and I'll be happy to hear your arguments, but.... Until you have an actual study to prove that your strategy is significantly effective, it is legitimate to question myself and to present my point of view.

AT LEAST an hour A DAY?? Really? For 30+ days? That's crazy, that's so much pressure to but on somedy's shoulder. I mean, that much time may be necessary if you have a shitty personnality and you need to fake it all, but in that case maybe you should reconsider your career choice. Or maybe it is necessary if you are not native in the language in which you're taking the test, and in that case I agree that this is a different situation.

And I am saying this as a person who saved her ass with the Casper multiple times, despite a way above average GPA, and I never prepared more than a 3-4 hours TOTAL. And I've never wrote more than 2-3 sentences per question, and I try to be as concise and clear as possible, so I guess that there may be different approaches that works as well... and you should probably choose one based on what you're comfortable with and your personnality. I'm not a ''attack the problem from every possible angles'' person, so I don't do that, it wouldn't make sense for me to do that. I don't really ''pick a side'' neither. In fact, I don't really like the approach that you're suggesting in your pdf, mainly because it simply doesn't fit my personnality. Guys, don't write 5-6 sentences if you don't have that much to say just because you read on the internet that you should write 5-6 sentences... be yourself, and prepare to effectively show who you are!

Now I still agree that you should practice a bit, especially if you're not a fast typer to begin with... but that much is overkill to me. You probably have a courses going on at that time and you should probably rather spend that time studying and getting good grades... or you could simply try to type your notes faster than usual... but otherwise, my advice would be to save that energy to prepare for the actual interviews (and even there, not THAT MUCH).

Agreed with Mel. I only did the official sample test right before my exam, and that alone was sufficient for McMaster and Ottawa. CASPer is a Situational Judgement Test, and I feel that doing rigorous practice actually does a disservice to your on-the-spot thinking abilities. Remember that the raters do care about the originality and genuiness in your answers. At most, I would say get a taste of the possible question types and increase your typing speed. Don't make preformed answers, that's just going to make you sound like everyone else who has "prepped" for CASPer. 

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