CASPer, Duet, and Snapshot: The Facts (2021-2022)

Should I stress about CASPer? Not for a minute.

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CASPer Test Prep
CASPer Test Prep

There has been a lot of added anxiety this year due to the CASPer, Duet, and Snapshot exams that many medical schools now require.

The good news is that based on what we are hearing from our students, these are not difficult “exams” and there is little to stress about! Read on to learn more about what to expect and how to prepare.

CASPer Test Prep and What is CASPer?

What are CASPer, Duet and Snapshot?

If you’re considering becoming a doctor, then you’ve probably spent hours if not days thinking about the MCAT exams. However, you might not be as familiar with the Casper exams.

Referring to a trio of tests known as the Altus Suite, Casper is a computerized admissions exam used to assess medical school candidates’ situational judgment and personalities. If you’re applying to medical in the coming years, you can expect to take the following three tests as part of the process:

CASPer is a situational judgment test (SJT) used by medical schools (and other institutions) to evaluate how you respond to hypothetical scenarios. 

So you ask, what are medical schools testing for?

The test assesses your personal qualities and characteristics, behavior, character, professionalism, how you think, what your values are, and how you respond to situations. 

So keep in mind:

Using SJT’s like CASPer reflects a more holistic medical school admissions process that attempts to look beyond formal metrics like MCAT scores and GPAs.

I’m often asked: How do I take CASPer?

CASPer is taken online in the comfort of your own home. CASPer test prep is not necessary despite what many for-profit test companies might advertise.

Now, let’s break down the Altus suite of tests:

  • Casper: Lasting an hour to 90 minutes, this written exam is designed to evaluate applicants’ situational judgement, as well as traits like professionalism, empathy, and ethics.
  • Snapshot: A 10 to 15-minute video assessment, Snapshot allows candidates to showcase their communication abilities while conveying their reasons for entering into a medical career.
  • Duet: This part of the Altus Suite is untimed and enables students to describe what they’re looking for in a medical school.

Taken together, the Casper, Snapshot, and Duet assessments give medical schools a more holistic look at their applicants. Read on to learn more about this suite of exams, including when to take them and how best to prepare.

CASPer Test Prep and CASPer Test Dates
CASPer Test Prep and How Long is the CASPer TEST?

When to Take Casper, Snapshot, and Duet

The good news is that students have a lot of flexibility when it comes to taking the Casper tests. Typically, the tests are offered at least one time every month, with more dates available during the summer and fall.

While individual medical schools have their own requirements, it’s a good idea to take the tests in the spring before you plan to apply. Doing this ensures you’ll have sufficient time to take all three parts of the exam and that your target institutions will receive your scores alongside your secondary applications.

What to Know About Casper

The main test in the Altus Suite, Casper consists of 12 sections that appear in a random order. You can expect to encounter eight sections based on video scenarios and four based on text scenarios. In each section, you will be required to answer a series of open-ended questions. In general, the video scenarios will assess candidates’ situational judgement, while the word-based sections evaluate both judgement and past behavior. 

You can prepare for the Casper exam by reviewing practice scenarios and reading through sample questions. After familiarizing yourself with a given scenario, time yourself as you write a response. Then read the provided sample answer to see how yours compares. 

What to Know About Snapshot

The second part of the Altus Suite, Snapshot features three questions in an interview style. After reading the question, students have 30 seconds to brainstorm and then 2 minutes to record a video response. If you don’t take the full 2 minutes to answer a question, you’re free to move on to the next one early. However, you can’t re-record a question that you already answered. 

You can review sample Snapshot questions to study for this exam. Questions are open ended and may include topics such as, “Tell us about someone you admire and why,” and “What is an obstacle you have faced, and how did you get through it?”

Before taking Snapshot, it’s a good idea to prepare your surroundings. For best results, take the test in a room that’s well lit, quiet, and relatively clean. You should also dress as though you’re being interviewed for a job. 

Additionally, students should make sure their computer system is up to date. Three days before your Casper exam, you should perform a systems requirements check to make sure your browser, internet connection, and webcam are working as needed. On the day you plan to take the Snapshot or Duet part of the CAsper test, it’s a good idea to restart your computer and close all background programs. The last thing you want is for computer issues to impact your ability to complete the exam. 

What to Know About Duet

The third test comprising the Altus Suite, Duet features two sections. The first part of the test asks applicants to consider what they’re seeking in a medical school. For example, you might be given a pair of characteristics related to student life or program attributes and asked to choose which is more important to you. Don’t be surprised if the test shows you the same characteristics multiple times in different combinations and groupings. 

In the next part of the Duet test, students will compare the categories themselves. The goal is to help medical schools discover what you value as a student and decide whether you’d be a good fit for the program. 

It’s important to note that test takers can change their response. However, you can only go back to the questions immediately before the one you’re currently answering. So, you should make sure you’re happy with your response before submitting it.

How do I prepare for CASPer? 

You don’t! There is no need to prepare for the Altus suite of tests.

After signing up for CASPer, you will have access to practice tests as mentioned above. This is all you need to prepare.

Our advice is to write only one to two sentences to answer each question. If you have additional time once you are done completing the three questions for the scenario on which you are working, you can then go back and add more information.

The biggest mistake applicants make is writing too much and then running out of time so they can’t complete all of the questions.

As long as you answer the questions honestly, ethically, and show that you can see all sides of a situation, you will do well on these tests.

How do I Prepare for Snapshot?

Since you will be asked common questions for Snapshot that are similar to a traditional interview, we suggest you prepare as you would for a medical school interview.

How do I Prepare for Duet?

Since Duet assesses your personal preferences, there is really know way to prepare. We advise you to give your most honest and authentic responses and be true to yourself.

If you only have a few schools that require Duet, you might review those medical schools’ missions to try and make sure your responses are aligned with the schools’ ideals as much as possible.

Do my CASPer, Snapshot, and Duet Results Matter?

Your CASPer, Snapshot and Duet results will never make or break your candidacy and medical schools use these results to corroborate observations they make in other parts of your application such as your written documents, letters of recommendation and interviews.

CASPer Test Prep and CASPer TEST Questions

Do You Need to Take These Tests?

Not all medical schools want to see applicants’ Casper results. However, many top schools do require the Casper exam, including Boston University, Penn State, Tulane, and Virginia Tech. If you already know where you plan to apply and your chosen schools don’t require Casper, you can probably skip these assessments. However, if you think your target list of medical schools may change or evolve, it’s a good idea to take the tests. In general, students don’t spend a great deal of time preparing for the Casper exams, so it won’t get in the way of other parts of the medical school application process. You can find a list of schools that accept Casper results here.

List of Medical Schools that Require CASPer, Snapshot and Duet (updated as of July, 2021)

All medical schools listed below require CASPer. Snapshot and Duet is required where indicated.

Augusta University Medical College of Georgia

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Baylor College of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Boston University School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Central Michigan University College of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required. Casper is optional.

Chicago Medical School at Rosalind Franklin University

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Drexel University College of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

East Tennessee State University Quillen College of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are required.

Florida Atlantic University Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Howard University College of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Indiana University School of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Medical College of Wisconsin

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Meharry Medical College

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Mercer University School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

New York Medical College

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Northeast Ohio Medical University

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Oregon Health & Sciences University School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Penn State College of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Rutgers New Jersey Medical School

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

San Juan Bautista School of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Stony Brook University Renaissance School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

SUNY Upstate Medical University

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Temple University Lewis Katz School of Medicine

  • Duet is required. Snapshot is not required.

Texas A&M University College of Medicine

  • Duet is required.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at El Paso

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine at Lubbock

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Tulane University School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required. Casper is optional but encouraged.

University of Colorado School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are required.

University of Illinois College of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are required.

University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

University of Michigan Medical School

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are required.

University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, McGovern Medical School

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Long School of Medicine

  • Duet is strongly encouraged.

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston School of Medicine

  • Duet is required.

University of Texas Southwestern Medical School

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

University of Washington School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Wake Forest School of Medicine

  • Applicants should complete all Altus Suite components; however, Snapshot will not be considered.

West Virginia University School of Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required. Casper is optional.

Osteopathic medical schools

Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Arkansas College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required. Casper is optional but highly recommended.

California Health Sciences University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Duet is required.

Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Snapshot is not required.

Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required.

Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences

  • Hasn’t stated whether or not Snapshot and Duet are required. Casper is required for interviewees.

Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are required.

Touro University Nevada

  • Snapshot is not required. Duet is optional but encouraged.

Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine (NY)

  • Snapshot and Duet are optional but encouraged.

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific–Northwest

  • Snapshot is not required. Duet is optional but recommended and will not be used in the decision process.

William Carey University College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • Snapshot and Duet are not required.

CASPer PreparationCASPer Test Questions

Where can I find sample CASPer scenarios?

The CASPer website offers three sample CASPer scenarios.  So be sure to check the out at: https://takecasper.com/sample-casper-content/

Once you sign up for CASPer, you will have the opportunity to take a practice test with CASPer sample questions.

We have found that commercially available “CASPer test prep” is misleading and not necessary.

How do I register for CASPer, Snapshot and Duet?

If you’ve decided to take the Casper exams, the first step is to register for Altus Suite online. You can sign up to take the exams and select a Casper testing date on the website. After finishing this part of the test, you will be able to take the Snapshot and Duet sections any time within 10 days. The registration cost for all three tests is $12, and applicants will have to pay an additional $12 for each school on their list.

Who evaluates my CASPer responses?

A different individual evaluates each of your CASPer responses. Each evaluator is blinded to your other responses. 

But here’s the deal:

There is never a “right” or “wrong” response to the scenarios since the questions are open-ended and your responses are based on your own ideals and values.

How are my responses evaluated?

Your responses are evaluated on a five point scale from outstanding to poor. Your grammar and writing ability are not part of the assessment.

CASPer Test Prep and CASPER test results

CASPer test results

Will I get my results?

Starting in 2021, students will receive results of the quartile their score falls within.

Need further guidance on the medical school admissions process?  Get a copy of this Amazon best seller.

CASPer Test Results MedEdits Guide
Click above: CASPer Test Results, Secondary Essays, and More.
medical schools that require casper and Prepare CASPer Exam

What Medical Schools Require CASPer?

Augusta University
Baylor College of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine
Central Michigan University
Commonwealth University
Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell
Drexel University
East Tennessee State University Medicine
Florida Atlantic University
Howard University
Indiana University
Long School of Medicine
Marshall University
Medical College of Wisconsin
Meharry Medical College
Mercer University
Michigan State University
New York Medical College
Northeast Ohio Medical University
Oregon Health & Sciences University
Penn State University
Renaissance School of Medicine
Reno School of Medicine
Rosalind Franklin University
Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
San Juan Bautista School of Medicine
State University of New York
Temple University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University El Paso
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Tulane University
University of Colorado Denver
University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Nevada
University of Rochester
University of Texas Health Science Center
University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
University of Texas Medical Branch
University of Texas Southwestern
University of Vermont
University of Washington Virginia
Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine
Wake Forest School of Medicine
West Virginia University

Osteopathic Medical Schools:
Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine
Arkansas College of Health Education
California Health Sciences University
Des Moines University
Idaho College of Osteopathic Medicine
Michigan State University
Oklahoma State University
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Sam Houston State University
Touro College
University of Illinois at Chicago
Western University of Health Sciences William Carey University

BS/MD Programs
Albany Medical College
Hofstra University 
Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences
Texas Tech University Health Science Center

How do medical schools use CASPer?

Keep in mind: 

Your CASPer results are only used in the pre-interview screening process of the medical school admissions process. 

What does this mean?

The results are considered along with your primary and secondary applications, letters of reference and transcripts to decide whether or not you will be invited for an interview. 

So here’s the kicker:

Should I stress about CASPer?

Should I stress about CASPer?

Not for a minute. CASPer results are used by medical schools as a prescreening tool. 

If you are emotionally intelligent and ethical you will do very well. 

Need further CASPer inspiration?

Visit these forums:

About MedEdits

MedEdits helps students get admitted to medical school and residency programs. Our consultants have years of experience serving on medical school admissions committees, and as faculty members at the top medical schools in the country.

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MedEdits Medical Admissions Founder and Chairwoman, Jessica Freedman, MD
JESSICA FREEDMAN, M.D., a former medical school and residency admissions officer at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, is the founder and chair of MedEdits Medical Admissions and author of three top-selling books about the medical admissions process that you can find on Amazon.

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