These legitimate, science-based memory tests give meaningful results. If long or short-term memory is a concern, a quality test for memory loss is a must.
If your memory isn’t working as well as you’d like, or as well as it used to, a memory test can help you know where you stand.
But there are dozens if not hundreds of tests you can take online … where to begin?
Not all memory tests are created equal.
Some are designed by neuroscientists in conjunction with major universities or brain health organizations.
Others are designed by people with no brain expertise whatsoever.
(We’ll tell you the alarming story behind these tests shortly.)
We’re going to walk you through the various kinds of memory tests available so you can find one that’s right for you.
We’ll help you sort out the reputable do-it-yourself tests from the scams.
We also cover the best memory loss test to consider if you think your memory loss may be serious.
Pitfalls to Avoid
Do an online search for memory test or quiz and you’ll find loads of websites that offer free tests.
Most of these tests are ineffective at best, and they can be intentionally misleading and even predatory. (1)
Many are designed to use your test results to scare you into buying a product or service.
One popular test gives everyone who takes it a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
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Often these tests are used to gather your data which can be used for a variety of nefarious purposes.
Your information can be used to create targeted online ads and are often sold to companies who mine data. (2)
Medical-based information can even be sold to your insurance company or employer.
Not all questionable memory tests are online.
You can find them even at your local drug store!
The Rite Aid drugstore chain recently drew fire from both doctors and Alzheimer’s organizations for offering free memory tests.
Apparently, the personnel administering the tests did not have the required expertise.
Test results were inaccurate causing customers to be unnecessarily alarmed. (3)
Choosing Memory Supplements That Work
10 Science-Backed Memory Tests
Here’s our top pick list of memory tests offered by reputable organizations you can trust.
These tests should be both safe and secure … and the results should give you meaningful information.
And there is no cost to take any of these tests.
Saint Louis University Mental Status (SLUMS) Exam
This test measures 11 cognitive categories including short-term memory, calculations, and recognition of geometric figures.
It will take about 7 minutes to complete.
You can download the mental status exam in PDF format from the St. Louis University School of Medicine.
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University of Washington Short-Term Memory Test
The University of Washington has a very basic short-term memory test.
It tests how many letters you can hold in your short-term memory at one time.
This test starts off easy but gets hard fast.
MemTrax Memory Test
MemTrax was designed by a neuroscientist to check for memory disorders.
Unlike the two previous tests which require pen and paper, this one is done online.
You can also join their membership program for a nominal charge if you’d like to use the test regularly to monitor your memory over time.
CogMed Working Memory Challenge
This exercise created by neuroscientists tests your short-term memory by recalling visual patterns.
You can take the memory challenge directly on the CogMed website.
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Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation
This non-profit organization has two quizzes on its website.
First is a 15 question Memory Quiz to help you determine if your memory loss might be serious.
And since stress is a major cause of mental decline, they also have a Stress Assessment Quiz based on the Holmes-Rahe Social Readjustment Rating Scale.
You’ll get instant results on each.
Brain Bootcamp Test
Dr. Ezriel Kornel, a neurosurgeon and professor at Cornell University School of Medicine, developed this brain test to check how fit and sharp your mind is.
The test includes five quick exercises and an explanation of possible results.
Psychology Today Memory Test
Psychology Today magazine has been in print since 1967.
They have a highly popular website where they also offer dozens of cognitive skills tests for functions like attention span, problem-solving abilities, and concentration.
Their memory test assesses how much your memory loss is affecting your life with a short multiple choice questionnaire.
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Rutgers University Memory Self-Tests
These two memory tests are part of Rutgers’ Memory Disorders Project.
One tests verbal memory, the other tests visual memory.
Each takes 10-15 minutes to complete.
Ohio State University Self-Administered Gerocognitive Examination (SAGE)
The SAGE test is designed to detect early signs of memory loss and other cognitive impairments.
This is not your typical do-it-yourself memory loss test.
This is a serious test used by medical professionals.
You won’t get a score when you’ve finished.
You’ll need to take your completed test to your doctor to evaluate the results for you.
If you are seriously concerned that your memory loss is serious, this is the test to take.
Food for the Brain Cognitive Function Test
This educational UK non-profit organization offers a Cognitive Function Test to determine your level of cognitive impairment and potential risk of Alzheimer’s.
It was developed by a group of nutritional therapists, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, teachers, and scientists.
Your results will give you an indication of whether your cognitive skills are within the normal range.
You are encouraged to retake it to track how your brain functions change over time.
This is the most thorough test in our list — and the one that gets our highest recommendation for people in most situations.
36 Proven Ways to Improve Your Memory
Combining Memory Tests and Brain Games
There are many websites that take a lighter approach, offering games and quizzes designed to test your memory while giving you mental stimulation and exercising your memory skills.
But finding places online with quality brain games isn’t easy.
There is a dizzying array of websites with games, and some of these sites offer literally hundreds of games.
The vast majority of these sites are useless for improving brain fitness.
Many are even dangerous to your online security and your computer.
One popular brain games website requires you to download their toolbar before you can play. Don’t do it!
Here are some reputable sources of free online brain games that are meant for adults, not teenage boys who want to shoot zombies and crash race cars.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. 😉
You probably need no introduction to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons).
It’s the nation’s largest nonprofit organization representing and empowering Americans 50+ years old.
Staying Sharp is their brain fitness site.
You can sign up for free to play their brain games and get their latest articles on brain health.
If you become a member, you can take their Brain Health Assessment and receive personalized recommendations for living a brain-smart lifestyle.
Predictably, the games you find here are designed with older adults in mind and aren’t too complicated.
AARP realizes that most of us baby boomers didn’t grow up with video games.
You’ll find memory, word, and problem-solving games designed for keeping seniors’ brains sharp.
Ever wondered what your IQ is?
While not specifically a memory test, this free PhD-certified IQ test will determine your IQ by evaluating nine distinct mental abilities.
This timed test ends, ready or not, after 15 minutes.
Short-Term Memory Loss: Causes, Symptoms, Testing
SharpBrains is a leading market research firm and brain fitness think tank led by a team of neuroscientists.
But they also have a fun side!
Start with their Top 50 Brain Teasers for Adults of Any Age.
You’ll find memory, attention, language, and logic exercises, plus experiments on how your brain works.
And once you finish these, they have more brainy challenges.
This website calls its participants “citizen scientists.”
These attention, word, and memory challenges are created by a team of scientists.
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You’ll receive personalized feedback about your unique brain profile.
Your anonymous information is also used to further their understanding of the brain.
How To Improve Short-Term Memory
Online Memory Tests: The Next Step
If you are worried about your memory, take one of the recommended tests so you know where you stand.
Use your results as a baseline for future measurement.
Try some of the online brain games to improve your short-term memory and other cognitive skills.
You can also do the brain exercises we recommend.
Learn how neurobics, brain training, meditation, and even knitting can improve your memory, clarity, focus and mood.
Check out the brain-healthy lifestyle changes we discuss throughout our website.
Give your brain some help with the right kind of diet, proper supplementation, stress reduction, and more.
Then take the test regularly to note your improvement.