CASPer Test Strategy

Read all 3 questions before beginning. Fundamental to CASPer test strategy, this not only gives clues as to the real issue the question is probing, it helps structure your answer and avoids repeating yourself. Raters will acknowledge content answered in a different question, i.e. a long answer covering all topics in the first question. However, it doesn’t read as well.

Use professional language. This test is essentially one of your professional preparedness, and writing style is a basic indicator. While an advanced lexicon is hardly required, phrases such as, “you know”, “like”, “come on”; rhetorical questions, and texting abbreviations should be avoided.

Demonstrate you can see all points of view. This is critical and part of almost every scoring rubric. Stakeholders are not limited to the people in the scenario and those being discussed, but may also include the company/hospital’s interests, public health concerns, and the general public interest. There is a tendency to over emphasize the humanistic side, but you must acknowledge the complete set of factors involved even if your decisions go against some of them.

Don’t use specialized knowledge to avoid the question. While it is tempting to use technical details to go through the horns of a dilemma, this is not the point of the questions. They are probing how you handle conflicting interests, not how you solve the underlying issues. Consider how ridiculous this would sound in response to a question on the moral concerns some face over hospice: “Well, in my lab internship we found a cure for this type of cancer, so I would prescribe it and then follow the patient’s progress.”

Have a familiarity of more common laws that affect most people: Examples include the Canada Health Act, HIPPA, Anti-Discrimination Laws, Affirmative Action, Whistleblower Protection Act, OSHA, etc… These should inform your answers, but even so, a specialized application of the case law is not the point, as noted above.

Answer the question. If a CASPer question asks, “What would you do?”, “it depends,” without definite action or a decision tree is not an answer. Not only must you rationalize all points of view, when you are asked to ‘make the call’, you should demonstrate you can make one. In our view, there is generally an accepted decision, but even if the rater disagrees with you, at most a point or two would be deducted (in an otherwise strong answer), as opposed to perhaps 4-5 if you are seen to avoid the question, so the basic CASPer test strategy is to take a position.

Differentiate the non-negotiable parameters from the false choices of the question. A more difficult aspect of CASPer test strategy, if the consequences of an action are presented as definite and unavoidable, they cannot be wished away by expressions of, “further exploration” and “…maybe if…” However, some dilemnas are indeed false choices. Separating what is ‘fact’ and what is ‘perception’ can be difficult when trying to present a positive answer. Some common sense on what is far-fetched and what is reasonable is called for.

Respect the realities of the workplace. Many respondents answer with impractical solutions. This CASPer test itself is a representation of current reality: people have no time to do detailed, all-cases research. They need to make the best choice they can with the information they have. Yes, extra probing and action is sometimes what is expected, however don’t expect your plan to do a complete overhaul of a company’s IT systems or in-depth interviews with a job candidate’s entire football team to be met with much enthusiasm from either the real world or the rater.

Buy a Casper™ prep course now

Sample CASPer test strategy and scoring