If you suspect your older adult may have problems with
memory, reasoning, or judgment, you may want them to take the SAGE test online
This home pen-and-paper test is free, takes only 15 minutes,
and accurately identifies the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
And if, due to the stress and exhaustion of care, you feel
that your brain has slowed down in function, this quick SAGE test online can
assure you that there is no problem with your cognitive function.
In this writing, we will equip you with everything you need to know about the SAGE Test including, its important, who should take it, how it is administered, result interpretations, and what to do after taking it.
About SAGE Test
Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is designed to
identify early signs of cognitive, memory, or thinking disorders. It evaluates
your thinking skills and helps doctors know how well your brain is working.
This online dementia home self-assessment tool has been
scientifically evaluated and has shown good results in accurately identifying
What is the SAGE Test?
The SAGE test for dementia is a written test used for people
who are at risk of dementia or who are suspected of developing symptoms of
Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia.
SAGE stands for the Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam and was also known as the OSU Memory Test because it was developed at the Wexner Medical Center of Ohio State University.
SAGE is pretty simple and usually takes between 10 and 15
minutes to complete. The questions include:
- Orientation (knowing the date)
- Simple math
- short term memory
- names of objects or animals
- Problem-solving ability
- The clock test
To clarify, here are some sample questions that may be
included in the SAGE test.
- How many nickels are in 60 cents?
- Write down the names of 12 different animals.
- How are a bicycle and a train similar?
The idea is to test multiple areas of cognition, or how well
a person is thinking, as the death of brain cells from dementia affects a
person’s ability to understand or communicate in a measurable way.
For example, the test includes drawing 3D boxes as people
with dementia have difficulty with spatial recognition.
The SAGE is available in English (US), English (New
Zealand), Dutch, Spanish, Italian, and Croatian. A digital version of the SAGE
test is also available and has been shown to provide similar results for
participants in a research study designed to test its validity.
Who should take a SAGE Test online?
If you’re wondering whether to ask your loved one to take
the SAGE, look out for the earliest symptoms of dementia:
- Difficulty with familiar tasks
- lose sight of time or place
- Problems finding the right words
- Often lose things
- Inability to make decisions
- Extreme mood swings
Is it important to take a SAGE test?
You may want to take SAGE if you are concerned about having
cognitive problems. Or, you may want your family or friends to take the test if
they have memory or thinking problems.
The difficulties listed can be early signs of cognitive and
brain dysfunction. While dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can lead to these
symptoms, there are many other treatable conditions that can also cause these
It is normal to experience memory loss as you get older and
to take longer to remember events. If the changes you are experiencing are
worrying you or others around you, SAGE can be a helpful tool in assessing
whether further assessments are needed.
Remember, SAGE does not diagnose a specific condition. SAGE
results don’t tell you if you have Alzheimer’s, mini-strokes, or a range of
other conditions. However, the results can help your doctor determine if
further evaluation is needed.
The SAGE only requires that the test be printed and then
filled out. No training is required to administer the SAGE. It’s much easier than
neurological exams and even saves a visit to the doctor’s office.
Can SAGE Test really detect dementia?
Ohio State researchers rated study participants using SAGE
and then rated the same subjects using other established assessment tools.
The test has a sensitivity of 79 percent and a false positive
rate of 5 percent in detecting cognitive impairment in normal subjects.
An easy-to-use tool can be helpful if you are concerned
about possible early signs of dementia. The SAGE is a quick, easy test that
tells you if further steps should be taken, and it’s been shown to be effective
at identifying thinking problems that may indicate Alzheimer’s or related
It is important to note that the SAGE is not intended for
home diagnosis. Rather, the results should be analyzed by a doctor who can properly
evaluate the test and decide whether further tests are needed.
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias are difficult to
diagnose, but with the SAGE it is possible to get a good idea of whether or
not a person has the disease.
In other words, the results of the SAGE are an indicator
that a doctor can use to help diagnose. In fact, the test does not include an
answer sheet as there are several correct answers and the results are best
analyzed by doctors.
How accurate is SAGE Test?
Studies have shown that SAGE is an accurate indicator of
whether someone has dementia. When hundreds of people aged 60 and older were
given the SAGE test, it was predicted whether or not they would develop
dementia with an accuracy of about 95 percent.
Without actually going to the doctor’s office, the SAGE is
the most accurate way to find out if someone is developing early signs of
What are the SAGE Test requirements?
You don’t need any special equipment to take SAGE – just a
pen and paper. Just click the link to download the test. Print it out and
answer the questions in ink without the help of others.
Do not look at the clock or calendar during the test. If you
have any questions about an item, just do the best you can.
The average time for this four-sided test is 10 to 15
minutes, but there is no time limit. Several forms are provided to reduce the
effect of the practice on patients who may take the test multiple times. These
are useful when a large number of people need to be examined quickly at the
When you’re done, take your answer sheet to your doctor so
they can evaluate and talk to you about the results. Depending on your score,
your doctor may order follow-up tests or simply keep them so they can see if
there are any changes later.
How to administer the SAGE Test
Step 1 – Download and print the test. There are four different
versions of the SAGE test, but you only need one. They are
interchangeable and all of the same length (12 questions).
The test is also available in multiple languages, including
Spanish. You may find online versions of the SAGE test, but the test-taker’s
computer literacy or lack of knowledge may affect the results.
Therefore, it is recommended to use a printed version. You can download any of the versions below.
Step 2 – Use a pencil with an eraser, the printed
pages, and nothing else for the test-taker. A drawing is required for the test,
so an erasable pen can help limit the test-taker’s frustration.
Step 3 – Give the test taker as much time as they
need to complete the test. When evaluating the results, neither the time nor
the time is taken into account. The average time required is around 15 minutes.
Do not pressurize the test-taker or set a timer.
Step 4 – Don’t give support or answer questions. The
test is self-explanatory and answering questions or providing support will
negatively affect the results. When a question is difficult to understand, the
person taking the exam must do their best.
Step 5 – Review the results. While the SAGE test is
to be assessed by a doctor, any adult can see the answers and get an idea of
the test participant’s performance.
Reviewing the work of a loved one gives family members an
overview of the test taker’s cognitive skills that they may not otherwise have.
If the reviewer can determine that all of the answers are correct, he or she
probably does not need to see a doctor.
However, it might be a good idea to take the test again in a
year to see if the results have changed.
Step 6 – If upon reviewing the test-taker’s work, it is clear that they have some cognitive problems, an appointment should be made with a family doctor.
A specialist is not required at this point. Instead, take the completed test to a GP to evaluate and interpret the results and determine the next steps, including whether to schedule an appointment with a neurologist who specializes in treating the brain.
SAGE Test Results Interpretation
The maximum score on the SAGE is 22, and any score below 17
is considered an indicator of thinking difficulties that should be checked by a
specialist. A score of 15 or 16 indicates that the person may have mild cognitive
impairment or an MCI.
Fourteen or fewer indicate likely dementia. However, an
answer sheet is not provided and assessment is left to GPs or specialists.
However, when reviewing the completed test, it should be
clear to the examiner whether the test-taker is having difficulty answering the
questions or performing the tasks correctly.
The researcher can add one point to the score if the
participant is over 80 years old and another point if the participant has less
than 12 years of education.
SAGE Test scoring
- Values of 17-22 are in the normal range.
- Values of 15-16 indicate that mild cognitive
impairment is likely.
- Scores of 14 and below indicates a more serious
cognitive problem such as dementia.
You can commence the SAGE Test by downloading it on the link below
What should I do after the SAGE Test?
After you complete the test, take it to your Physician. Your
doctor will evaluate it and interpret the results. If indicated, your doctor
will order some tests to further evaluate your symptoms or refer you for
If your score doesn’t indicate a need for further evaluation,
your doctor can save the test as a reference for future use. This means you can
do the test again in the future and the doctor can determine if there are any
changes over time.
You will not find an answer sheet here with which you can
evaluate yourself, as many of the questions in the test were answered correctly
several times. SAGE should be evaluated by your doctor.
SAGE Test | FAQs
Is the SAGE test accurate?
Studies have found that SAGE is an accurate indicator of whether someone has dementia. When hundreds of people aged 60 and up were administered the SAGE test, it predicted whether or not they developed dementia with about 95-percent accuracy
How is the sage test scored?
There is a maximum score of 22 on the SAGE test and points are given for correct answers.
What is a sage test?
The Self-Administered Gerocognitive Exam (SAGE) is a brief self-administered cognitive screening instrument used to identify mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from any cause and early dementia.
Many people resist going to the doctor even when there is an
obvious problem. The online SAGE test can be carried out comfortably from home
in a short time. Completing a completed SAGE test form at the doctor’s is an
active way to deal with a potentially fully treatable medical problem.