Understanding Your Score

At this point, you should have two scores: a RECALL score (from part 2) and a RECOGNITION score (from part 3)*:

(*If you do not see scores below, or if one or both scores say "false", this means you did not complete that part of the test and click to submit your answers. Use the back button on your browser to go back and complete part 2 (Recall) and part 3 (Recognition). Don't go back and look at the words in part 1 -- that would be cheating!)

If you are like most people, your RECOGNITION score will be much higher than your RECALL score. Why? In part 2, you were asked to recall as many words as possible -- you were not given any clues to jog your memory, only blank lines. In part 3, you were asked to recognize words -- and in each test item, one of the two items was always correct. All you had to do was jog your memory to see which of the two items was more familiar. In general, it is always easier to recognize information than to recall it.

But now, on to what your scores mean.

First, look at your recall score. Among other healthy people who have taken this test, the average number of words recalled is about 6. A score in the neighborhood of 3-10 would be considered "normal". If you got more than 10 correct, then you are doing better than 75% of the people who took this test.

Now, look at your recognition score. Among other healthy people who have taken this test, the average number of words recalled is about 38. A score in the neighborhood of 36-40 would be considered "normal". If you got all 40 correct, then you are doing better than 75% of the people who took this test.

If your scores are at least as good as the average, congratulations!

What if your scores are lower than the average? Don't panic. Remember, this is not a valid test of memory conducted under clinical conditions by a trained neuropsychologist. It would take several hours for a neuropsychologist to conduct all the tests that would give you a clear picture of your memory. No one self-test can do the same job. But there are some simple reasons why a healthy person could do poorly on this test.

Remember, this test is not meant to diagnose memory problems. It is for information and education only. If you would like a complete evaluation of your memory, speak to your doctor or healthcare professional about getting a full cognitive assessment from a clinical neuropsychologist.

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