Scoring the Mini-Cog©

The Mini-Cog© is scored in two parts: 1) 3-item recall, and 2) clock drawing. These are added together for a total score.


3-Item Recall Score:

1 point for each word recalled without cues, for a 3-item recall score of 1, 2, or 3.


Clock Drawing Score:

2 points for a normal clock or 0 (zero) points for an abnormal clock drawing. A normal clock must include all numbers (1-12), each only once, in the correct order and direction (clockwise). There must also be two hands present, one pointing to the 11 and one pointing to 2. Hand length is not scored in the Mini-Cog© algorithm.


Normal Clock

normal clock

Abnormal Clock

(abnormal hands)

clock with abnormal hands

Abnormal Clock

(missing number)

abnormal clock with missing numbers



Interpreting the Mini-Cog© Score:

Add the 3-item recall and clock drawing scores together. A total score of 3, 4, or 5 indicates lower likelihood of dementia but does not rule out some degree of cognitive impairment. The Mini-Cog© is not a diagnostic test for Alzheimer’s disease or any other dementia or cause of cognitive impairment. Diagnosis of brain disorders that cause cognitive impairment requires a medical examination and additional examinations.