Applying to veterinary schools in Australia: What is the CASPer test?

28 June 2022

Applying to veterinary schools in Australia? You’ll probably need to take the CASPer test as part of the admissions requirements.

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Learn more about how to apply to veterinary schools in Australia

Australian veterinary schools recognize that skills and attributes such as resilience, critical thinking, and communication are essential for veterinarians, but are not always reflected in academic performance alone. The CASPer situational judgement test will be used to select and identify applicants who are best suited to the rigours of veterinary science and the profession.

The Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics (CASPer) is a 90-minute, web-based aptitude test that assesses a student’s decision-making skills, thought processes, and people skills through open-ended questions. This is what’s known as a situational judgment test (SJT). It asks what you would do in a tough situation, and more importantly, why. This helps determine behavioral tendencies of applicants pursuing people-centered professions, like vet medicine!

Why is CASPer important?
CASPer will provide universities will a more complete view of you and your skills, beyond book smarts!

For that reason, it is required by some Australian vet schools as part of the admissions process. These schools recognize skills and attributes such as resilience, critical thinking, and communication using the Casper test in lieu of an interview.

The Melbourne Veterinary School, Sydney Veterinary School, and the UQ Veterinary School use Casper for their admissions SJT. These universities will request eligible applicants to complete the SJT after they receive an offer letter to their vet programs, although applicants are welcome to write the test before receiving an outcome.

When should you write test?
It’s important to familiarize yourself with CASPer to ensure you are ready to complete your test at an appropriate time. The earlier you write it, the better!

There are typically three scheduled test dates per admissions cycle. Dates are announced on the official CASPer website, and are typically updated in June each year. You’ll need to convert the times to your time zone. You may undertake the test on any of the available test dates for your admissions cycle.

Your OzTREKK application(s) must be submitted to the university before you will be able to register for a test date and you will need your university application ID to sign up. You’re encouraged to register at least three days before your preferred test date so they can process payment and account information.

 

Your OzTREKK application(s) must be submitted to the university before you will be able to register for a test date and you will need your Queensland or Melbourne application ID to sign up. You are encouraged to register at least three days before your preferred test date so they can process payment and account information.

What do you need to write the CASPer?
You’ll need access to a computer with a stable internet connection and a webcam (this is one way that the testing company will proctor your test), and a valid government identification card (driver’s license, health card, etc.). Tablets are not recommended.

There are no designated testing centres, so the test can be completed anywhere there is a reliable internet connection available. System checks and internet connection speed tests are included in the registration process.

What is included in the CASPer?
CASPer comprises 12 sections. Each section includes a video-based or written scenario, followed by three open-ended questions. You have five minutes to respond to all three questions before you advance to the next section.

Upon completing the test, your results will automatically be sent to the universities to which you are applying.

What is being tested?
The test presents you with a set of hypothetical, every-day scenarios where you have to explain how you would respond, including how you’ve responded to certain situations in your own life. So, what is CASPer looking for when they do this? They want to determine your people skills and are looking at 10 competencies:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Equity
  • Ethics
  • Motivation
  • Problem Solving
  • Professionalism
  • Resilience
  • Self-Awareness

Are the test questions program specific?
All scenarios will be generic ethical dilemmas that you may encounter in your daily life. They are not specific to the program or profession to which you’re applying. You can find examples on the bottom of the CASPer Test Prep page.

How do you prepare for CASPer?
It may seem daunting to write such an open-ended test, but there are ways in which you can prepare and do your absolute best on test day! Here are a few tips for success:

  • Familiarize yourself with the format of the test.
  • Complete the system-requirements check to ensure your computer can run the test smoothly.
  • Find a quiet place to take the test.
  • Use the full allotted five minutes to complete each section in detail.
  • There are no right or wrong answers! Just be yourself.

Take a practice test
There is a full 12-section sample test you can run through as many times as you like. Since it’s just a practice test, your answers will not be submitted for review or feedback. Take this opportunity to seriously consider the scenario you are presented, then try to answer the three probing questions as you would in a true test sitting. This will help you get a sense of the five-minute time limit and can help you practice formulating responses quicker.

How long will it take to receive your results?
Your results will be reported to the school(s) you have selected approximately three weeks after you write the test. It will then take some extra time for the university to assess your scores and do a final evaluation.

Can you retake the test?
Unfortunately, applicants are not permitted to re-take a CASPer test (for the same country and program area) more than once per admissions cycle.

Is it the same test as required for Canadian schools?
No, the CASPer test is specific to each university and program. Tests taken for another program area or geographical region will not be valid for Australian applications.

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Would you like to study veterinary medicine? OzTREKK can help you achieve your dream at an AVMA-accredited, world-class veterinary school in Australia. Find out how you can study veterinary medicine at an Australian university—then practice in Canada.

If you have any questions applying to veterinary schools in Australia, please let us know. We’re here to help! Contact us at vet@oztrekk.com or call us toll free in Canada at 1-866-698-7355.

 

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