Trump passed this test; can you?

Trump passed this test; can you?

A cognitive test President Donald Trump took as part of his annual physical exam on Friday is widely used in health care.

“It’s designed to assess attention, language skills, memory and visual perception,” said Dr. Aaron Malina, a neuropsychologist at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington, Ill. “It’s a general assessment and may not be sensitive to more subtle cognitive changes. If a person is mildly impaired, the assessment wouldn’t necessarily pick it up.”

Presidential physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson said at a Tuesday press briefing that he had not intended to give Trump a cognitive test, but Trump requested an assessment, so Jackson chose the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). It can help health care professionals detect early stages of cognitive impairment for common neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

It’s available in 46 languages and dialects and used in more than 100 countries.   

It’s a quick assessment, taking only about 10 minutes. It was designed to be easy to administer, score and interpret so clinicians in busy practices could use it. (See the whole test here.)

MoCA scores range from 0 to 30. Scoring 26 or above is considered normal. Trump scored 30.

Depending on a person’s score, the health care provider may consider a more extensive evaluation or order additional tests to better pinpoint potential cognitive impairment or neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease or stroke.

People cannot take the test on their own because they are scored not only on their answers but also on their ability to pay attention and to remember words spoken to them. Here’s an example of tasks people who take the test are asked to do:

  • Give the date, month, year, day of the week, place and city in which the test is being given
  • Look at pictures of animals and name them
  • Draw a cube
  • Draw the face of a clock at ten past eleven
  • Repeat two lists of digits, one forward and another backward
  • Repeat a list of words twice and then again five minutes later
  • Listen to a list of letters, and tap every time the letter A is spoken
  • Start at 100 and subtract by seven at least four or five times
  • Name the maximum number of words in one minute that begin with a certain letter

To find out more information on memory disorders, cognitive changes and the advantages of early evaluation, visit the Advocate Memory Center.

Related Posts



  1. How can any test associated with Trump’s medical evaluation be considered valid when the medical team reported his weight as a ridiculous 239 pounds? I can’t take this cognitive test seriously.

  2. I have a hard time believing anything that is reported…What else would the physician say? Anything other than excellent health, would crash the markets!

  3. Have Donny take the test, with different parameters, while being recorded, if we are to believe he had a perfect score.

  4. This test appears to be pretty elementary. Should we expect more from someone with such a critical job as President of the United States? Considering some of the things he’s said, I really find it hard to believe he has normal cognition.

  5. I don’t doubt his cognitive ability but I do question his psychological state and sense of reason.

  6. The question is not whether you like the President, but could you pass the same test.

    The test seems silly and elementary until you discover you cannot complete any of it. A family member was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s and could not pass this test. Once an engineer, he now has forgotten how to cut his meat. He is not yet 60.

  7. First of all, how can President Trump score higher than the top score of 30? As far as his weight being “a ridiculous 239” they also said he was just a single point under obese. It appears that the people responding are not Trump fans. I have a hard time believing this after all his accomplishments the the media refuses to address. No one addresses the nearly identical statements made by Obama or Graham, but that’s what our media has turned into. I do know that with Donald Trump as our President, my stress level has gone way down! Thank you President Trump!

  8. Lot of biased Trump haters here. He passed the test. Did you?

  9. Can Stand Trial
    No illusions he knowingly with all faculties intact committed crimes against America .

  10. Has any president in the last 60 years been given a physical examination where they have not been declared the finest specimen of health?

  11. Mary C. Empfield January 17, 2018 at 4:45 pm · Reply

    A cognitive test is one thing (I used these questions when assessing seniors for home services). BUT, they do not measure personality disorders. Mr, Trump’s behavior certainly points to one.

  12. It is NOT helpful to share the test in a public forum even though it is in the public domain. The Montreal Cognitive Assessment test is widely used as a screening measure. However, the publication of the complete form in an article about the test invalidates its usefulness as a screening tool, as people may “study” and practice its items before any cognitive screening. Publishing the full form is the equivalent of saying “Here are the items that will be on the final.”

  13. I expect most ten-year old kids could pass this test. Considering that Trump acts like a ten-year old child most of the time, I guess he’s testing at his age level.

  14. What bothers me is that this test of general cognition does not say anything about his interactive state of mind. Most of the people in this country could pass the MoCA test, including an awful lot of the prison and mental institution inmates. That would especially include those sociopaths who think that they are better than others, whose makeup leads them to not care or empathize with those around them, or to not hold moral accountability, such as businessmen who think it okay to not pay bills, and politicians who can’t remember what occurred.

  15. I work with neurologists and asked to take the test just to learn about it. I scored 28 out of 30 and I am 64. It’s harder than one would think. To all who used this column to bash Trump, try taking the test yourself. He has a great memory, a sharp mind and a lot of energy for his age. He deserves credit where credit is due. The media has dedicated all their time and energy to trying to portray him way worse than he is. No proof of any crimes committed yet, just a lot of talk. One more thing, Hillary would have failed for sure.

  16. How’s the stock market doing?

  17. Cognitive ability often has no relation to a person’s psychological state. He was not given any psychological testing to reveal personality disorders which I suspect he has at least two. Crazy people are often quite smart! I am sure his physician did not request any further testing because of what it would reveal about him. Furthermore, a person can be dangerous and not be crazy. 27 leading psychiatrists have written a book called The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. Reading it will scare you because most of what is written appears accurate about him. Fact check has shown he has lied almost 2000 times int the past year. Very scary!

About the Author

Kathleen Troher
Kathleen Troher

Kathleen Troher, health enews contributor, is manager of public affairs and marketing at Advocate Good Sheperd Hospital in Barrington. She has more than 20 years of journalism experience, with her primary focus in the newspaper and magazine industry. Kathleen graduated from Columbia College in Chicago, earning her degree in journalism with an emphasis on science writing and broadcasting. She loves to travel with her husband, Ross. They share their home with a sweet Samoyed named Maggie.