The Mini-Cog assessment instrument combines an uncued 3-item recall test with a
clock-drawing test (CDT) that serves as a recall distractor. The Mini-Cog can
be administered in about 3 min, requires no special equipment, and is
relatively uninfluenced by level of education or language differences.
The test is administered as follows: 1. Make sure you have the patient's
attention. Instruct the patient to listen carefully to and remember 3 unrelated
words and then to repeat the words back to you (to be sure the patient heard
2. Instruct the patient to draw the face of a clock, either on a blank sheet of
paper, or on a sheet with the clock circle already drawn on the page. After the
patient puts the numbers on the clock face, ask him or her to draw the hands of
the clock to read a specific time (11:10 and 8:20 are most commonly used and
more sensitive than some others). These instructions can be repeated, but no
additional instructions should be given. If the patient cannot complete the CDT
in 3 min, move on to the next step.
3. Ask the patient to repeat the 3 previously presented words.
Give 1 point for each recalled word after the CDT distractor. Score 0–3 for
Give 2 points for a normal CDT, and 0 points for an abnormal CDT. The CDT is
considered normal if all numbers are depicted, once each, in the correct
sequence and position, and the hands readably display the requested time. Add
the recall and CDT scores together to get the Mini-Cog Score: • 0–2 indicates
positive screen for dementia.
• 3–5 indicates negative screen for dementia.