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Last year, I applied to NYMC and gained acceptance! I want to take this opportunity to talk about my experience, and discuss my observations about NYMC’s use of CASPer® for this year’s admissions cycle. Although CASPer® was not part of NYMC’s application process last year, I was required to write CASPer® for a different university (McMaster University in Ontario, Canada).

CASPer® and its Connection to the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI)

Interviewing at New York Medical College (NYMC) was an enriching experience. The interview day consisted of a detailed presentation outlining the school’s philosophy and curriculum, a tour of the campus, and finally the Multiple Mini Interview (MMI).

Beginning this application cycle, NYMC has decided to incorporate CASPer® into their admissions process. Reflecting on my experience, it is clear why NYMC decided to include CASPer® as part of their secondary application. NYMC is committed to assessing each applicant as an individual, which means evaluating the applicant in a holistic way by examining not only academic abilities but also volunteer and healthcare related experiences, extracurricular activities, the personal statement, letters of recommendation, and performance on the MMI. NYMC places high value on the character of the applicant, seeking qualities such as empathy, compassion, ethical grounding, and professionalism.

NYMC explains how it is difficult to objectively assess personal characteristics of the applicant through the usual components of a medical school application. CASPer®, however, reliably assesses personal characteristics of the applicant by giving hypothetical everyday situations or moral dilemmas and asking the applicant to explain how he or she might handle or behave in such a scenario. By utilizing CASPer®, NYMC believes that they are improving fairness in the pre-interview screening process. With CASPer®, NYMC can further evaluate the applicants’ character and suitability to become a compassionate physician in an objective way even before the invitation for interview. As among the first American medical schools to use CASPer® in the admissions process, NYMC is setting a positive example for other schools to focus on evaluating the applicant holistically.

Now that you are in the midst of preparing your medical school applications, I would like to share with you a few tips that will help you perform your best on the CASPer® test:

Tip #1: Read Doing Right

Even if the CASPer® prompt is a non-medical scenario, it can be connected to at least one pillar of medical ethics. Having a solid understanding of medical ethics will help you formulate detailed, yet concise responses.

Tip #2: Begin looking at situations you encounter in your everyday life from multiple perspectives.
By practicing this in real life, you will be able to evaluate CASPer® scenarios from multiple perspectives much more quickly. This will show the admissions committee that you are able to consider several possible options before coming to a conclusion.

Tip #3: Read the news and stay updated on current issues

With knowledge of current issues, you will be able to give more convincing answers.

Tip #4: Work on typing skills

You only have 5 minutes to answer 3 questions for each CASPer® scenario. Increasing your typing speed will allow you to provide thorough responses.

Tip #5: Practice!

Being able to effectively answer CASPer® questions takes a lot of practice. I found that the Astroff CASPer® courses, practice CASPer® tests and personalized Feedback prepared me very well and made me feel confident before taking the actual CASPer® test.

Good Luck with CASPer®!

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