We all love taking online personality quizzes. They’re a nice way to kill time and can be shared with our friends on social networks.
However, there’s more to taking those tests than having fun. Subconsciously, we believe they can tell us who we really are and reveal some aspects of our personalities we’re not familiar with. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.
As they are not backed up by an actual, scientific research, the majority of these tests aren’t reliable and give us a false sense of authenticity.
This is especially dangerous when it comes to taking free memory tests.
Let’s say you’re experiencing brain fog or feeling that your memory isn’t working as it used to. Out of curiosity, you decide to take an online cognitive functions test. You start googling and, voila – you’re served with hundreds of memory tests.
Some of them are highly reputable and trustworthy. They are usually created by psychologists and neuroscientists in collaboration with authoritative mental health organizations and universities.
Others are, however, designed by individuals that have nothing to do with psychology, neuroscience, medicine, or biology whatsoever. Some of those tests are created for fun and are quite benign. Still, there are also scams made specifically to frighten the users and fool them into buying a certain medicine.
Now, with such an overwhelming number of memory tests, you’re probably wondering: “How can I test my brain and know that the results can be trusted?”
To help you separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve created this exhaustive list of the most reputable cognitive functions tests you can take online.
I. Memory Tests Used in Healthcare
This group of tests is used by psychologists and neuropsychiatrists to test short-term memory and diagnose various cognitive impairments. Most of them can also be done at home, meaning you can find them online and download for free to test your memory.
Taking a memory test used by healthcare professionals brings numerous benefits to the table. These tests are exhaustive and the results you get are accurate. Thus, if they confirm that your worries about your memory impairment are true, it is advisable to consult with your doctor, likely change some of your habits and maybe even consider taking brain health supplements.
This is a comprehensive mental status exam created by Saint Louis University, with an aim to test numerous cognitive aspects, including one’s orientation, attention, immediate recall, delayed recall, recognition of geometric figures, numeric calculation, and visual-spatial intelligence.
The test can be found on the School’s official site and downloaded in PDF format. Most importantly, it is available in numerous languages.
Also known as the Mini-Mental State Examination or MMSE, this is the 30-point mind test used in clinical research to test cognitive and memory-related impairments. It is particularly effective in tracking and assessing the severity of the cognitive changes in a patient over time. As such, it is a powerful way to document the progression or the stagnation of a disease and track one’s response to treatment.
Folstein test researches multiple cognitive problems and this is why it is divided into categories like orientation to time, orientation to place, registration, attention and calculation, recall, language, repetition, complex commands. Each of these categories carries a certain number of points.
The MMSE is usually administered by medical professionals, but you can find it online on sites like the University of Massachusetts, linked to above, as well as British Geriatric Society and The Independent Hospital Pricing Authority.
Designed by the Ohio State University’s researchers, SAGE is an online cognition test that helps individuals detect the early stages of cognitive impairment. In fact, research shows that it is a powerful and reliable way to identify the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, as well as 80% of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) issues.
Even though it is widely used by physicians, it’s a free memory test that can also be downloaded and taken at home in about 15 minutes. It’s important to remember that the exam doesn’t give a direct diagnosis. Instead, after taking the test, people are supposed to take the results to their doctor who would interpret them and conduct additional analysis if the need arises.
According to the research published in the British Medical Journal, this is one of the most powerful Alzheimer’s disease screening tools. The questionnaire is presented on two sides of a single sheet and can be completed in less than 5 minutes. It consists of 10 tasks assessing one’s semantic knowledge, calculation, recall abilities, and verbal fluency. It is similar to MMSE and some recent studies even show that it outperforms MMSE when it comes to detecting MCI and dementia. Furthermore, the scientists behind this brain function test have also created the site where you can download it for free and learn more about it.
The 6CIT is one of the most popular, internationally-accepted dementia screening tools. Even though it was designed for primary care, it is also in secondary care settings. The test is simple and brief, consisting of only six questions – one memory question, two calculation questions, and three orientation-related questions.
There is solid evidence that 6CIT outperforms the MMSE when it comes to detecting and tracking dementia, especially the mildest stages of this disease. Just like MMSE, the 6CIT is translated into numerous languages.
Similarly to the majority of the cognitive functions tests mentioned above, the Mini-Cog is a brief 3-minute screening instrument used to detect mild cognitive impairment in older adults. Its standardized version can be downloaded for free from the Mini-Cog site, where you can also find the information on the Mini-Cog scoring and administering.
The test consists of two major components: a three-item recall test for memory and a brief clock-drawing test. Besides English, this cognitive test can also be taken in 11 other languages, including Korean, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian, and Chinese.
II. Mind Tests that are a Part of a Wider Research
There are numerous prestigious organizations that are using cognitive tests as a method of collecting user data for their future research. To get more people to take their tests, they usually offer them some added benefit, like letting them conduct research on their own and track the change in their brains. Before signing any document, you should pay special attention to the terms and conditions and see whether your rights are protected.
This test was created by a UK-based non-profit organization, Food for the Brain. It is designed for the individuals aged 50 and above and its main purpose is to determine the level of cognitive impairment and whether a person taking the test is potentially in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.
Cognitive Function Test contains four parts and it takes roughly 15 minutes to complete. Once you take the test, you will get the results that will tell you whether your cognitive abilities are within normal limits. Also, you can take the test again to see how your cognitive functions have changed over time.
The Cambridge Brain Sciences is a comprehensive suite of brain function quizzes used to assess different aspects of one’s cognitive abilities. On their site, users can find a wide spectrum of reasoning, verbal ability, attention, calculation, and short-term memory tests. These tests are the result of decades of exhaustive scientific research, meaning that they are very trustworthy.
Once you set up your account, you’re actually contributing to one of the most prominent digital scientific projects of all times. You will be given the opportunity to track your brain changes and see how it responds to a wide range of factors, such as stress, exercise, brain boosters, etc.
MindCrowd is a result of the collaboration between the University of Arizona, the Translational Genomics Research Institute, and the Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative. Their aim is to see how DNA influences our brain functions and find out what changes take place in the brains of the people suffering from cognitive diseases. The research consists of just two phases. The first one is an online memory test. Some of those participants are then selected to participate in the second phase and are asked to provide their DNA sample.
The idea for this non-profit research was born at Harvard University. On their site, a user can find numerous highly reliable and quality neurocognitive tests for memory, concentration, cognitive speed, and recognizing emotions. Once they take the test, each user gets a personalized report on their brain profile.
III. Additional Brain Tests You Will Like
There are numerous cognitive tests that aren’t specifically healthcare but are still known to be reliable.
This test was created at Stanford University, with an aim to identify learning and cognitive issues that happen as a result of aging. It can also serve as a short-term memory loss test. This tool measures one’s brain health over time and, in this way, shows whether memory-related problems are a result of wariness or an indicator of a more serious health issue. You can take this test for free or even become their member to take tests regularly and track your cognitive functions.
On the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation website, you can find two quizzes.
- Memory Quiz, consisting of 15 true and false questions, which helps you determine the cause of your memory problems.
- Stress Assessment Quiz, a tool for ranking one’s perceived levels of stress. It takes numerous factors into consideration, from problems with your boss to the death of a close family member.
This is a brain fitness site created by the American Association of Retired Persons, where you can play numerous brain function quizzes and take a memory test online. These are all games created exclusively for seniors to help them keep their brain sharp. You can even take Brain Health Assessment and get personalized tips on how to boost your brain functions by living healthy.
IV. Tests for Measuring Creativity
It’s hard to imagine “creativity” and “measurement” in the same sentence. After all, how can you possibly translate one’s imagination into numbers?
Have you ever heard of J.P. Guilford? This is a man who set the foundation of creativity measurement and most creativity tests that carry some credibility today are based on his work The Nature of Human Intelligence and his test of divergent thinking. In his work, he emphasizes that divergent thinking, or the people’s ability to envision numerous solutions to a problem, is the basis of creativity. According to Guilford, there are three criteria that determine one’s creativity and these are fluency, flexibility and originality.
There are numerous reliable creativity and aptitudes tests you can find online, and here are some of them:
This creativity test is a part of Your Creative Brain: Seven Steps to Maximize Imagination, Productivity, and Innovation in Your Life by Dr Shelley Carson. This work explains the influence of different brainsets on an individual’s creativity, innovation and productivity. It also contains numerous creativity tests and quizzes, one of which is provided on the author’s site.
The Brainsets Quiz includes 32 questions. The participants need to choose between the two answers provided, both based on our subjective perceptions and self-assessment.
This imagination test is created by Psychology Today, one of the most reputable mental health websites. For now, they’ve created numerous self-assessment cognitive skills tests and creativity tests. Creative Problem-Solving Test consists of two types of questions:
- Scenarios. For each scenario, you are supposed to tell how you would most likely behave in such a situation.
- Self-assessment. Here, you should select the degree to which a certain statement applies to you.
The test is free, and it takes approximately 10 minutes to fill out. Once a user completes the test, they will receive a free snapshot report, with a graph and summarized evaluation. Of course, there is an option to pay for full, detailed results.
Test My Creativity is created by Aulive and is a part of their Innovation Logic project, a collection of powerful tools used to analyse creativity, innovation, and value creation. This creativity quiz consists of 40 questions, divided into several sections:
- 1-6 – Personal information, such as your age, location, industry, qualifications, etc.
- 7-31 – Self-assessment questions, where you should select the degree to which you agree to a certain statement.
- 32-36 – You are given two terms and a list of words below. You should select the words that relate to both terms.
- 37-38 – You should describe what you see in a picture.
- 39 – Out of 6 similar images, you are required to select the one you like.
- 40 – You get the word and are supposed to write down as many uses of it as you can think of.
The Results are Indicating You have Memory Problems. What to Do?
If the results of the cognitive test you’ve taken prove that you may have some cognitive problems, you should identify them and take the right steps to stop them in time.
For instance, if the test shows that your memory-related problems are within the normal limits, then you have nothing to worry about. These problems are usually reflected in mild and rare memory lapses, such as one’s inability to remember the title of the movie they’ve watched recently, calling your family members the wrong names occasionally, or walking into a room not knowing why you’re there. These symptoms may be the result of the lack of sleep or poor habits.
So, start by changing your lifestyle. Get more sleep, eat healthy, nutritious foods, curb your drinking, work out regularly, and try to reduce your exposure to stress.
You should also consider taking nootropic supplements that will boost your memory and cognition. Of course, these supplements vary, based on their effectiveness and the symptoms they’re addressing. For example, some of those brain supplements prevent forgetfulness and boost memory, while others expand your attention span. We’ve already discussed the best nootropics for mental focus so you can refer to this article to find a brain booster for your specific needs.
If the results of the test are telling you that you may have some mild cognitive impairments or that you’ve headed for Alzheimer’s or dementia, you should not take them as lightly. Think of those major memory lapses that inspired you to take the test in the first place. If you misplace items all the time, get lost in the middle of the conversation, or find it difficult to follow the plot of a simple movie or a book, you should see a doctor. They will perform additional tests, check whether there are some other factors (a disease or the medications you take) that may cause your cognitive problems, and give you the right medications and cognitive enhancers.
Your memory cannot improve on its own. You need to give it a little nudge.