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What is the Altus Suite?

The Altus Suite is a multi-part assessment tool used by many healthcare professional programs to evaluate non-cognitive skills, interpersonal characteristics, and personal values of applicants. This suite aims to provide a comprehensive view of an applicant's suitability for professional environments beyond academic performance. The Altus Suite comprises three main components: CASPer, Snapshot, and Duet.

Components of the Altus Suite

Purpose: CASPer is designed to evaluate key personal and professional qualities such as ethics, empathy, and problem-solving abilities.

Structure: The test consists of 12 sections featuring video and written scenarios. After each scenario, candidates must respond to three open-ended questions within a five-minute time frame. Each response is scored by a different rater to ensure objectivity. The test typically takes between 60 to 90 minutes to complete.

Scoring: Candidates are not given a direct score but are informed of the quartile they fall into relative to other test-takers. This helps programs understand how a candidate's performance compares to that of their peers.


Purpose: Snapshot is a one-way video interview that provides insight into an applicant's verbal and non-verbal communication skills and their motivations for pursuing the profession.

Structure: The interview involves answering three standardized questions, with two minutes allocated for each response after a brief reflection period. The entire process takes about 10-15 minutes and includes practice questions to familiarize candidates with the format.


Purpose: Duet assesses the alignment of an applicant’s values with those of the programs they are applying to.

Structure: In this 15-minute assessment, candidates compare pairs of program characteristics and select the one that aligns more with their preferences. After completing these comparisons, candidates rank the categories of characteristics to determine overall fit. The results are used by programs to evaluate how well an applicant’s values match their own.

Programs Using the Altus Suite

The Altus Suite is primarily used by programs in the health sciences and related fields. Here are some of the key types of programs that utilize the Altus Suite:

  1. Medical Schools

    • Many medical schools in the United States, Canada, and other countries require applicants to complete the Altus Suite as part of their admissions process. This includes allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical programs.

  2. Nursing Programs

    • Nursing schools, including those offering Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees, often use the Altus Suite to evaluate candidates' interpersonal skills and professional readiness.

  3. Physician Assistant (PA) Programs

    • PA programs frequently require the Altus Suite to assess applicants' suitability for the profession, focusing on skills such as ethical judgment and communication.

  4. Dental Schools

    • Dental programs, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, may use the Altus Suite to ensure that applicants possess the necessary personal and professional attributes.

  5. Veterinary Programs

    • Veterinary schools also utilize the Altus Suite to evaluate prospective students' non-cognitive skills, which are essential for success in veterinary medicine.

  6. Other Allied Health Programs

    • Programs such as pharmacy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and optometry may also require the Altus Suite as part of their admissions criteria.

Do all professional programs require the completion of all Altus Suite components?

No, not all programs require the completion of all components. While CASPer is widely required, Snapshot and Duet are selectively required based on the program's specific needs. It’s important to check the requirements of each program you are applying to.

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