I’m not surprised that Alzheimer’s Scotland gave a “cautious response” to the test you described (your report, 13 January).
Like the discredited intelligence tests of the past, the questions cannot give a fair assessment of a person’s thinking processes because the responses will vary so much according to an individual’s interpretation of the question which, in many cases, will be just as valid as the limited acceptable responses dictated by the marking process.
Social and ethnic backgrounds will also influence the answers delivered.
In addition, the test is American, so there are inbuilt semantic differences between the two languages – eg, does “school” just mean the education received between the ages of 11 and 16 or does it include college or university level?
In the question on date, the template shows the American system of month, date (not day), year, where we use day, month, year.
One of the two pictures is ambiguous, too, especially for a person with poor eyesight: the second could be a volcano erupting or the atom bomb being exploded. Question 3 is downright perplexing. If the required answer has something to do with measuring things, that should be made clearer in the wording of the question.
I should hate to be subjected to and judged by such a superficial and poorly thought out test. It should be thrown in the bin where it belongs.
Whoever devised the DIY test for Alzheimer’s clearly has problems with their thinking, as Question 3 states: “How area (sic) a watch and a ruler similar?”
We “oldies” may be at more risk of dementia but at least we were taught to write properly and proof read our work!
Now, where did I put my car keys?
(Dr) Mary Brown