Health Professional Guide to Memory Loss: MoCA, Clock Drawing Test, and Other Tests

Text Size: Normal / Medium / Large
Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version


The Montreal Cognitive Assessment test (MoCA) is more sensitive than the MMSE for milder forms of early cognitive impairment

Administer the test online:



Clock Drawing Test

The Clock Drawing Test is an evaluation tool of cognitive functions. It's a rapid screening test that needs to be paired with other tests (like MMSE or MoCA) for diagnostic purposes.

Description of the test:

Ask the patient to draw a 10 cm circle on a plain sheet of paper. Explain that the circle represents a clock (or a watch). Ask the patient to insert the numbers and then to indicate the time of 11:10.

Reviewing the test

  • The sequence and placement of the numbers at each hour.
  • The use of two arrows (one small to indicate the hour and a longer one to indicate the minutes).
  • The two arrows should indicate the correct time (11:10).


Other tests

There are other tests that complement the usual tests used during patient consultation, such as the five-word memory test. Show the patient a list of five words (but hide the categories and ask them to say what the category is):

  • elephant (animal)
  • rose (flowers)
  • shirt (clothing)
  • apricot (fruit)
  • violin (musical instrument)

Next: Eliminating Reversible Causes


We are pleased to house this series of FAQs for health professionals, supervised by Cara Tannenbaum, from the Centre de recherche de l’Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal.

Browse Contents of the Health Professional Guide to Memory Loss:




Not a health care provider? Click here