Mini Mental State Examinations

Download this free Mini Mental State Examination to assess your patient’s cognitive deterioration and monitor their cognitive development.

By Nate Lacson on Jul 15, 2024.


Fact Checked by Katherine Ellison.

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What is the Mini-Mental State Examination?

Marshal Folstein et al. developed the Mini-Mental State Examination, or MMSE, in 1975. It is a brief test that assesses cognitive impairment, such as trouble understanding, thinking, concentrating, or remembering, that can affect an individual's daily life.

An MMSE contains 11 questions that assess the following areas:

  • Memorizing and recalling a list of items
  • Composing short sentences with proper grammar
  • Replicating a specific drawing from the examination
  • Recognizing the current day, date, month, year, and season accurately
  • Identifying current location

Mini-Mental State Examinations are widely used in the healthcare industry, but clinical diagnosis shouldn't be solely based on MMSE. Instead, it should be used as a guide if an individual needs further evaluation or monitoring of cognitive deterioration. It can also be used alongside other tests for a more comprehensive assessment.

Mini Mental State Examinations Template

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Mini Mental State Examinations Example

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How to use our Mini-Mental State Examination template

This Mini-Mental State Examination can look overwhelming, so we made it easy to understand by providing an example. Here's a step-by-step guide outlining how to use this printable assessment.

Step 1: Download the PDF

Download the Mini-Mental State Examination PDF to your device to get started. You can click on the link to download or search for the MMSE in Carepatron's template gallery.

Step 2: Brief your clients

Explain the purpose of the examination to your clients so they know what to expect.

Step 3: Conduct the examination

Practitioners can use this assessment during an online or an in-person session. It is also editable online, so you can store your clients' records digitally.

Step 4: Analyze the results

Determine the client's MMSE score. The MMSE has a total score of a maximum of 30 and a lower MMSE score is indicative of cognitive impairment.

How do you score a Mini-Mental State Examination?

The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is a tool designed to quickly evaluate cognitive function. The test comprises a series of questions and tasks that target key cognitive domains, with each section contributing to a cumulative maximum score of 30 points.

Scoring the MMSE

The scoring process is straightforward, with specified points allotted to each component of the test:

  • Orientation (10 points): This section assesses a patient's orientation to time (5 points) and place (5 points), with each correct piece of information earning a point.
  • Registration (3 points): Involves the clinician stating three unrelated objects clearly and slowly, after which the patient has to repeat them back correctly to earn points.
  • Attention and calculation (5 points): The patient is asked to subtract 7 from 100 continuously down to 65, with each correct subtraction earning a point. Alternatively, the patient can be asked to spell "world" backward.
  • Recall (3 points): This involves remembering and correctly repeating the three unrelated objects stated in the registration section.
  • Language and praxis (9 points): This section assesses multiple domains, including naming objects, following verbal and written instructions, writing a sentence spontaneously, and instructing them to copy and draw polygon shapes (1 point each).

Interpreting the score

Scores range from 0 to 30, with a higher total score indicating better cognitive function. The most commonly used cut-off for normal cognitive functioning is 24 out of 30, with lower scores suggesting cognitive impairment.

However, it's essential to consider cultural, educational, and linguistic factors during the interpretation stage. Some might be unable to perform a specific task because of these limitations. Patients should not be diagnosed based solely on their MMSE scores (Folstein et al., 1975). This tool serves as an initial step in evaluating cognitive impairment, and it is most effective when used in combination with other tests and clinical information.

If you need a guide in scoring the MMSE, feel free to check out or download our template below.

Download the Mini-Mental State Examination scoring template here

When should you use a Mini-Mental State Examination?

The MMSE can be a useful tool in a variety of clinical settings and situations. Here are some common instances when it may be appropriate to administer the MMSE:

  • Cognitive screening: The MMSE can be used as a routine cognitive screening measure for older adults, particularly those who are at risk of developing cognitive impairments, such as individuals with a family history of dementia or those with chronic health conditions that can affect cognition.
  • Suspected cognitive impairment: If a healthcare practitioner suspects that a patient may be experiencing cognitive decline, the MMSE can provide valuable insights into the individual's cognitive functioning and help guide the diagnostic process.
  • Monitoring cognitive changes: The MMSE can be used to monitor changes in a patient's cognitive function over time, particularly in individuals with known cognitive impairments, such as Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.
  • Pre-operative and post-operative assessment: The MMSE can be used to assess cognitive function before and after surgical procedures, which can help identify any cognitive changes that may occur as a result of the intervention.
  • Differentiating between delirium and dementia: The MMSE can be a useful tool for distinguishing between delirium, an acute, reversible change in cognitive function, and dementia, a more chronic and progressive condition.

Who can use this printable Mini-Mental State Examination?

MMSE is widely used in the healthcare industry, making it a valuable tool for:

  • Physicians
  • Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Licensed clinicians
  • General practitioners 

If your specific healthcare specialization isn't included on the above list, this doesn't mean that you can't use the Mini-Mental State Examination. Provided you are qualified and trained to administer and interpret the results of an MMSE, you will be able to conduct the examination. 

Benefits of using our free Mini-Mental State Examination template

Quick screening tool

MMSE is designed to be a quick screening tool for cognitive impairment. This is why it's a widely used resource for healthcare professionals: its simplicity makes it easy to screen patients.


MMSE provides a standardized set of questions, scoring methods, and interpretation for healthcare professionals. 

Early diagnosis

Mini-Mental State Examinations can give you a glimpse of a patient's cognitive function. If the score is low, you can use that as a starting point for further evaluation and early intervention.


Folstein, M. F., Folstein, S. E., & McHugh, P. R. (1975). Mini-mental state : A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12(3), 189-198.

What is the MMSE designed to assess?
What is the MMSE designed to assess?

Commonly asked questions

What is the MMSE designed to assess?

The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) is designed to screen for cognitive impairment. It assesses various aspects of cognitive function, including orientation to time and place, immediate recall, short-term memory, language abilities, and basic motor skills.

Are there any limitations to the MMSE?

Yes, the MMSE can be less sensitive to mild cognitive impairment and may not adequately assess all aspects of cognitive function. Educational, language, and cultural differences can also affect scores.

Does a low score on the MMSE always indicate dementia?

No, a low score on the MMSE does not automatically indicate dementia. Scores can be influenced by various factors, including educational level, language barriers, and physical conditions. Further assessment is necessary for a diagnosis.

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