What You Need To Know About The CASPer Test – The 5W’s

Written by Reid Vander Vleuten

Reid graduated from Queen's University with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy in 2019. Since then, he has worked in private practice at a sports and rehab clinic. He is passionate about providing care across the lifespan with extra interest in concussion rehab and working with youth athletes.

September 15, 2021

If you were expecting me to write about Casper the Friendly Ghost, I sincerely apologize. Honestly, even I’m a little disappointed this blog isn’t about the fictional wonder that is Casper. If you already had a pretty good idea that the CASPer test is not about Casper the Friendly Ghost then you’re already off to a great start. This blog will focus on the who, what, where, when, and why of the CASPer. Let’s get into them.

What is the CASPer Test?

The CASPer Test is an online situation judgement test that screens applicants for people skills. These skills include: communication, collaboration, empathy, equity, ethics, motivation, problem solving, professionalism, resilience, and self-awareness. The test is made up of written responses to video or word based questions. Often, there is more than one question asked for each situation (video or word question). The CASPer often will present questions/scenarios that focus on conflict resolution, ethical decision making, and communication style questions. It is known for presenting difficult situations to you and having you communicate how you would handle those situations. Although it can be fun, there is a time limit that adds an element of stress.

Who requires the CASPer Test?

CASPer is part of an outside company (Altus Assessments) hired by University programs to serve as a component of the application process for prospective students.  However, not all physiotherapy programs in Canada require the CASPer. Here are the Universities that currently require the CASPer for their physiotherapy application:

  • McGill University
  • Dalhousie University
  • Queen’s University
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Toronto
  • Western University

So now you know who uses the CASPer. But who scores your CASPer answers? Good question. There are 12 questions on the CASPer. There are also 12 different raters for your test who each rate one question. Therefore, there is a unique rater for each of your questions and answers. These individuals are employed by CASPer. Raters are trained for the question they are responsible for and as such, are trained to disregard spelling mistakes (hallelujah!). While on this topic, it may be worthwhile to note that your answers are scored relative to other responses to the same scenario/question. These scores for each individual question are combined to create an overall score unique to you.

Where do I write the CASPer Test?

Don’t worry, you won’t have to go to each University listed above to write the CASPer Test. If you’re applying out of province this is even better news as West Jet and Air Canada really don’t need the extra help. The CASPer is an online exam that can be done from the comfort of your own home. It is a 90-minute exam and can be done anywhere as long as you have stable internet connection and privacy. The CASPer requires you to keep your webcam on to ensure that no one is helping you and that you are not cheating. Lastly, the webcam is used for identity assertion.

When do I write the CASPer Test?

Scores on your CASPer Test are only valid for one admission cycle. Therefore, each year that you apply you will need to retake the CASPer to receive a new score. The timing is flexible as to when you can take the CASPer before applications are due. However, we urge you to look well in advance of when your application is due, as you have to book a specific time to take the CASPer.

Why do I have to write the CASPer Test?

The CASPer is designed and used to get a better sense of an applicant’s personal competencies. Programs utilize the scores from CASPer to not only find those with the highest potential for success, but also to create diversification within their programs. Therefore, it is important to be yourself when answering questions on the CASPer. Each physiotherapy program will utilize CASPer scores differently. Some will use them as a cut-off score. Others may use them in conjunction with other elements such as your GPA, personal submissions, and interviews.


Have questions about the CASPer or how to prepare for it? Reach out to us! We have an entire module of our PT Interview Booster course dedicated to the CASPer. It consists of a multitude of tips and tricks to perform your best on the CASPER, multiple practice tests and video scenarios, and sample questions and answers to help guide you through the test. Reach out if you have any questions about the course!

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