So long med school essays

McMaster switches to web-based ‘test’ for choosing applicants


McMaster University says it has found a more reliable way to predict how well a med school applicant will perform in med school. Instead of the traditional autobiographical essay submission that most med schools application across North America still require, McMaster is implementing a new recruitment tool called “CASPer,” a Computer-based Assessment for Sampling Personal characteristics.

All applicants are required to complete the computer-based test, which is divided into 12 five-minute long sections. Eight of the sections include video clips that present applicants with “situational challenges,” and the other four involve “self-descriptive questions.”

The 2010/2011 application cycle was the first to use this new system. Although applicants were also required to submit an autobiographical sketch, they were only used as a “back-up plan” in the event that some sort of problem occurred.

McMaster states on its website that this web-based evaluation of an applicant’s interpersonal skills and decision-making is “significantly more reliable” compared to the autobiographical submissions.

A demo of the system and sample video of what to expect from the on-line evaluation is available here.


So long med school essays

  1. Congratulations to McMaster Meds for continuing innovation and excellence. In light of Omar Khadr’s recent “wish” to become a medical doctor, perhaps McMaster could take a proactive role in providing him the online opportunity to write this test and potentially offer him a placement in a pre-meds program. Canadians have an obligation to assist in the rehabilitation of this unfortunate victim of an illegal incarceration, and McMaster could play a leading role in turning this fellow’s life around.

  2. AMAZING reponse from Mr. Vallery. What would Omar Khadr’s prerequisites be…..killing people and now saving them????

  3. I do not believe whether a personal statement or a test of this nature could decide how well a prospective student would become a good doctor. I do not know the correct answer also.
    The motivation to become a doctor is one thing and the desire to become a good doctor is another thing. Schools shall find a way to make good professionals and not just professionals.
    Russel Williams had the motivation to become a soldier and he did become. But when he came to the top only we all found, allegedly his wife also, that he was the worst soldier.
    So the system can find a good person is the biggest question.

  4. Doug Vallery, are you kidding? Talk about taking the “bleeding heart liberal” to another level. May I suggest you be his first patient if he ever became an MD?

  5. Marilyn – there is no confirmed evidence against Khadr despite the sentencing agreement. Demetrius; this has nothing to do with “bleeding heart” or liberalism. This is a humane suggestion to rehabilitate a victim of unfortunate circumstances and the violation of international law.