What Was The Cognitive Test President Trump Took During His Health Exam, And What Do His Results Mean?

Date May 11, 2018 17:53

In January 2018, Donald Trump had his first annual medical exam as President of the United States. The results were normal, and the White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, publicly confirmed Trump’s earlier claims that he is in perfect health.


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The exam included a test, called Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), to check the President’s cognitive function. Trump himself requested to include this test into his health exam, to disprove allegations that he is mentally unfit to lead the country. Mr. Trump scored a perfect 30 out of 30 on the test.


But what do these numbers mean? A score of 30/30 isn’t a sign of Trump’s extraordinary intelligence. These numbers simply mean he shows no signs of cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia.

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Here are a few tasks used in the test:

Naming animals

There’s a picture with a lion, rhinoceros, and camel. The subject is asked to identify the animals.

Drawing a clock face

The subject has to draw a clock face showing a specific time, namely ten past 11.


The subject is asked to subtract 7 from 100, then subtract 7 from the resulting number, and so on.

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Categorizing objects

The subject is asked to tell what pairs of objects, such as a train and a bicycle, have in common.

Verbal skills

  1. The subject is asked to repeat a couple of sentences, word-for-word. One of the sentences used in the test is “The cat always hid under the couch when dogs were in the room.”
  2. The examiner tells the subject a letter (say, “F”), and the subject is given 60 seconds to name as many words starting with the letter as he or she can think of.

Montreal Cognitive Assessment is one of the tools used to diagnose cognitive impairment. It includes tasks to test the memory, attention, orientation in time and space, and verbal skills. A normal score is between 26 and 30 points. A score around 22 points indicates a mild cognitive impairment. A score of 16 or fewer points means a more serious cognitive impairment, such as that associated with advancing Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: NBC News, CNN,

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