You may remember the Montreal Cognitive Assessment test, or MoCA, as the test that Trump supposedly "aced"—especially since he has barely stopped speaking about it ever since.
You know, the one the entire internet joined together to mock him for recently?
Well, one of the doctors who designed the test, Dr. Ziad Nasreddine, said in an
interview with MarketWatch earlier this week that the test is "supposed to be easy." And despite what the President seems to think, the test has nothing to do with intelligence.
As Dr. Nasreddine explained:
"This is not an IQ test or the level of how a person is extremely skilled or not. The test is supposed to help physicians detect early signs of Alzheimer's..."
"The purpose is to detect impairment; it's not meant to determine if someone has extremely high levels of abilities."
Nasreddine also emphasized the simplicity of the test..
“It is supposed to be easy for someone who has no cognitive impairment."
Indeed, several psychologists, doctors and other medical professionals who routinely administer the test have taken to Twitter to echo the fact that passing this test isn't much of an achievement.
I'm a psychologist. I've administered this test (the MOCA) hundreds, if not thousands of times. Let me tell you, br… https://t.co/heyQA1heVj— chuuch (@chuuch)1595178190.0
But Nasreddine also said that the ridiculing of the test in recent weeks misses the point.
It may be simple, but it's anything but for the people the test is intended for.
For instance, one aspect of the test requires the test taker to recall five words they were assigned 10 mins earlier. For someone with dementia, Alzheimer's or similar conditions, that simple task is an uphill—or maybe even impossible—battle.
As Nasreddine put it:
"That's the most difficult part of the test for someone who has cognitive impairment... There are 'traps' that patients who have cognitive impairments fall into with this test."
But on Twitter, of course, people were far more focused on the silliness of Trump's repeated boasts about the test.
@nycjim Did anyone notice that he said the test has 35 questions. I look at the test. There are 30 questions. N… https://t.co/XnKIbnFExi— Invisible Stealth Resister (@Invisible Stealth Resister)1595305024.0
So basically whoever administered this test to Trump is saying that rarely do they see someone who acts so much lik… https://t.co/QjRnK5ZwVt— Liz Mair (@Liz Mair)1595284423.0
But in his interview with Wallace America’s moron-in-Chief made it sound like he’d aced the GMAT! My 3 yr old grand… https://t.co/J02Kaneyps— GRITS1951 (@GRITS1951)1595387021.0
If he even took the test. If he didn’t want to could you see him acquiescing? Also let’s not forget he wrote his… https://t.co/yRvaRkNRzA— Kiwi_CGFX (@Kiwi_CGFX)1595398243.0
After I got hit by a car and had a brain hemorrhage I was given this test, got nothing wrong. I was still nowhere n… https://t.co/iENr9pVbl8— Nick Armstrong (@Nick Armstrong)1595281750.0
Hey @POTUS. You keep bringing up the 'cognitive abilities' test you aced. You realize the ACTUAL DOCTOR BEHIND THE… https://t.co/HU2iEXN76N— Kai (@Kai)1595283786.0
Use of a #MoCA to conclude one is "cognitively intact" or "aced a test" is akin to use of an elementary school rule… https://t.co/WCgpdW6YfA— Rgand007 (@Rgand007)1595290736.0
In a related story, Trump was overheard bragging about counting to 20 without even taking off his shoes . . . https://t.co/EQlMk4sVt6— Glenn Kirschner (@Glenn Kirschner)1595419410.0
I see the president is bragging about “acing” the MoCA again. I’m a doctor, we use this test all the time. You can’… https://t.co/6jxRE5dETP— Ty Berry (@Ty Berry)1595181664.0
Laughter and controversy aside, Nasreddine also pointed out that given the ages of both candidates—Trump is 74 and Biden is 77—the question of cognitive impairment is a valid one.
"Statistically, one person out of four could have cognitive impairment or dementia at age 75. So it is a pertinent question, and it's not surprising that this is becoming an issue this election."
Here's hoping they both continue to "ace" the MoCA, then.