1. Say 3 nouns, e.g. rock, apple, shoe. Ask the person to repeat the words.
  2. Instruct the person to draw a clock by first drawing a circle, then adding numbers, and then setting the time to show 8:20. Instructions can be repeated and, if necessary, the subject can be told to draw a larger circle. There are no additional instructions, and no time limit is imposed. (Borson, 1999)
  3. Then ask the person to repeat the 3 words.

Scoring and Referral:

Either of the following 2 conditions warrant referral to a physician for further cognitive testing

  1. The person can only recall one word
  2. The person cannot draw the clock correctly
    (see sample clock drawings in appendix of Borson, 1999)


The MIni-Cog is a tool for screening for dementia, and has been recommended for use in inconjunction with the STEADI Fall Risk Screening algorithm.