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MTS (mental test score)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

Authoring team

This is a set of ten questions designed to give the examiner a rough idea of the mental state of the patient.

The questions, and their conditions for one point each, are:

  • 1) age - must be correct

  • 2) time, without looking at a timepiece, correct to the nearest hour

  • 3) 42, West Street - given as at test of immediate memory and retested at the end

  • 4) month - must be exact

  • 5) year - exact, except in Jan or Feb when last year is OK

  • 6) name of place, or type of place or town ("in hospital" is insufficient (1))

  • 7) date of birth - exact

  • 8) start of WWI, exact - 1914

  • 9) name of the present monarch

  • 10) counting backwards from 20 to 0, can prompt to 18 and patient may self-correct or hesitate

  • check the address


There is evidence that clinicians use variants on these questions when undertaking a 10-point mini-mental test score (1). The above mini-mental test score is based on the format taught to Oxford University medical students (2). The stated mini-mental test varies from the original by questioning about month when the original mini-mental test asked about

  • recognition of two people - score if roles of two people correctly recognised - for example, doctor and nurse


  1. Holmes J, Gilbody S. Differences in use of abbreviated mental test score by geriatricians and psychiatrists. BMJ. 1996 Aug 24;313(7055):465
  2. R. Turner, R. Blackwood, R. Jones; Guide to History and Examination for Clinical Students; Oxford University Medical School publication.

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