This is how a doctor performs the test, and how a patient is graded. To test yourself, you’ll need a partner and a sheet of paper.

Physicians say you should only do the test with a doctor to make sure the results are accurate and well-interpreted. There is a physician-approved self-test version which you can take online.

1. ALTERNATING TRAIL MAKING

TEST: Write the fist five letters of the alphabet and numbers (1-5, A-E) on a piece of paper.

Now connect them with dotted lines in ascending order.

RESULT: You get a point for every successful pair: 1-A; 2-B; 3-C; 4-D; 5-E. No lines can be crossed. The patient earns 0 if they make a mistake that is not immediately corrected.

2. VISUOCONSTRUCTIONAL SKILLS (CUBE)

TEST: Draw your own version of the cube in the space next to it.

It must be exactly the same as the one printed on the page.

RESULT: One point if it is drawn correctly (i.e. three-dimensional, all lines are drawn, no line is added, lines are relatively parallel and their length is similar – no point if any of those criteria are missing).

3. VISUOCONSTRUCTIONAL SKILLS (CLOCK)

TEST: Draw a clock, putting in all the numbers and set the time to 10 minutes past 11 o’clock.

RESULT: One point is allocated for each of the following three criteria:

- Contour (ONE POINT): the clock face must be a circle with only minor distortion acceptable (i.e. slight imperfection on closing the circle).
- Numbers (ONE POINT): all clock numbers must be present with no additional numbers; numbers must be in the correct order and placed in the approximate quadrants on the clock face. Roman numerals are acceptable. Numbers can be placed outside the circle contour.
- Hands (ONE POINT): there must be two hands jointly indicating the correct time; the hour hand must be clearly shorter than the minute hand. Hands must be centered within the clock face with their junction close to the clock center.

A point is not assigned for a given element if any of the above-criteria are not met.

4. NAMING

TEST: Name each animal.

RESULT: One point for each:

Lion

Rhinoceros (or rhino)

Camel (or dromedary)

5. MEMORY

TEST: This will involve your partner. Ask your partner to read out the below list of words, and then say back as many of the words as you can remember.

FACE, VELVET, CHURCH, DAISY, RED

RESULT: No plus points for this test, but minus points for every word missed or that is incorrect.

6. ATTENTION

TEST (numbers): Ask your partner to read out the below list of numbers, then recite the numbers back to them in order.

2 1 8 5 4

Also ask your partner to read out the below list of numbers, and then recite them back to them in a backwards order.

7 4 2

RESULT: One point for getting each scenario right

TEST (letters): Ask your partner to read out the below list of letters at a rate of one per second, and tap every time you hear the letter A.

F B A C M N A A J K L B A F A K D E A A A J A M O F A A B

RESULT: One point if no mistakes. No points if two or more errors.

TEST (math): Begin at the number 100, and then count down by subtracting seven every time. Do this five times. Your answers should look like the below numbers.

RESULT: Three points if four or five answers are correct, two points if two or three are correct, one point if one is correct, no points if they are all wrong.

7. SENTENCE REPETITION

TEST: Ask your partner to read out the below sentences, and then say it back to them. The sentence must be exactly the same, with no substitutions or changes to words.

‘I only know that John is the one to help today. The cat always hid under the couch when dogs were in the room.’

RESULT: One point for each correct sentence.

8. VERBAL FLUENCY

TEST: Set a timer for 60 seconds and try to think of as many words as possible that begin with the letter F. The aim is to get at least 11 words.

These words cannot be proper nouns, like Bob or Boston, and cannot be the same sounding but with different suffixes (e.g. love, lover, loving).

RESULT: One point for reaching 11 words or more within a minute.

9. ABSTRACTION

TEST: The similarity between a banana and an orange is that they are both fruit. Find the similarity between the following two pairs.

Train – bicycle, and watch – ruler

RESULT: One point for each similarity that is correct

Acceptable answers:

- Train and bicycle: means of transport, means of traveling, used to take trips
- Ruler and watch: means of measurement, measuring instruments

Unacceptable answers:

- Train and bicycle: they have wheels
- Ruler and watch: they have numbers

10. DELAYED RECALL

TEST: Try to recall all the words you heard earlier in the memory section, on question five.

RESULT: One point for each word that was recalled correctly.

The words were FACE, VELVET, CHURCH, DAISY and RED.

11. ORIENTATION

TEST: Say the exact date, and then the month, year and day. Also say the place where you are and the city that you are in.

RESULT: One point for each that is correct, up to a maximum of six points.

TOTAL SCORE:

Add up all the points accumulating, adding a point if the patient has fewer than 12 years of formal education.

- Around 16: cognitive health of an Alzheimer’s patient
- Around 22: cognitive health of someone with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)
- Above 26: Normal
- 30: Perfect score