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What to do when your admissions interviews are shut down by COVID-19

What to do when your admissions interviews are shut down by COVID-19

It’s that time of the year to interview for admission and selection. Where you meet candidates face to face, shake their hand, ask the questions you need to ask to determine fit with your program. Some candidates might be nervous, they may stutter, they might even sweat a bit. But this year there’s a far greater concern: COVID-19.

This new coronavirus has made it difficult (if not impossible, due to travel bans) for applicants to travel to a university for an interview, and for admissions teams to conduct these interviews, given the shifting policies around health and safety.

One of the biggest advantages of an in-person interview: an assessment of their people skills. This is a key part of the admissions process that may now be lost.

A potential solution
The CASPer test is an online situational judgement test (SJT) used by over 265 academic programs to evaluate candidates for traits like communication, ethics, professionalism, empathy, and collaboration. CASPer is used to screen over 100,000 applicants to academic programs annually, serving over 80% of both US and Canadian medical school applicants.

CASPer is delivered and completed entirely online, from the comfort of the applicant’s own home. Applicants have been physically located in over 180 countries at the time of sitting – no need for travel or physical interaction. CASPer 1, Coronavirus 0.

Proven results
We’ve been here before. When Laval University admissions committee members faced a work shortage due to a strike in 2017, they were unable to conduct their interviews. They turned to CASPer, using it instead of their MMI to determine acceptance into their MD program. They found that the medical students selected by CASPer in the strike year are performing well. By working with Altus Assessments and the CASPer test, they were able to meet their goals of accepting applicants during the strike, making informed decisions by looking at both cognitive and non-cognitive scores.

Learn more about the CASPer test

Further, nursing programs across Canada use CASPer instead of interviewing to assess non-cognitive skills, which nicely compliments cognitive metrics like GPA. This gives those programs robust insights into an applicant to make admissions decisions.

The CASPer to MMI correlation is not an isolated finding. The strength of the correlation depends on the intended construct of the local MMI, and its closeness of alignment with the intended construct of CASPer. At five of six other medical schools in the United States, Canada, and Australia who have shared their results (some under the temporary request of anonymity), the strength of correlation (R=) has been in the range of 0.25 to 0.45 (see chart below).

Learn more
CASPer provides data-driven insights into an applicant’s people skills, helping institutions set up their future physicians for success. With these proven results, CASPer can help you assess your applicants people skills when you’re unable to interview them, allowing you to matriculate those applicants that have the people skills needed for success in your program, and into practice beyond.

Learn more about the CASPer test

Save on MMI costs by implementing video interviews. Contact us to learn more.

Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash