Home Politics Joe Biden’s Memory Saga: What Are His Chances for Passing a Cognitive Test?

Joe Biden’s Memory Saga: What Are His Chances for Passing a Cognitive Test?

by Scott Kacsmar
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Joe Bidens Memory Saga

Joe Biden’s memory saga is the U.S. election story that does not go away. It really is impossible to not be a topic as we know that most elderly people experience some degree of memory loss as part of the aging process.

Biden is 81 years old. It would be an outlier if his memory was as sharp as it was when he first entered politics, which some may say was during the Boston Tea Party. But as long as Joe isn’t up there saying he voted for Lincoln in the 1860s, we probably don’t have anything to worry about as he manages the most stressful job in the world.

Fortunately, there are a couple of trusted tests to measure just how severe the memory loss is and if the person may be experiencing dementia. These tests are rated on a 30-point scale, and a top-rated sportsbook like BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review to learn more) actually has bets available for how Biden will fare on his cognitive test.

We explain the difference between the tests and make our best bets for Biden.

Types of Cognitive Tests

Let’s start by pointing out there is no single test to diagnose dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in a patient. Doctors use a series of tests for that, and it usually takes a deterioration in performance over time to diagnose.

There are 2 widely used cognitive tests in the medical field.

The older one is the Mini-Mental State Exam (MMSE), which was introduced in 1975 by psychiatrist Marshal Folstein. This test examines orientation, word recall, language abilities, attention, calculation and visuospatial abilities.

A newer test was created in 1996 called the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). It is believed to do a better job than the MMSE when it comes to identifying certain deficits, especially in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The MoCA tests a lot of the same things as the MMSE, but it includes more in-depth tasks like asking the patient to draw a clock and a trial test where they must connect dots. It was originally used on patients with milder forms of Alzheimer’s, but it has since been used for other cognitive issues.

The MMSE and MoCA are both brief tests that are graded on a 30-point scale. The MMSE is the shorter test between the two, taking about 7-to-8 minutes to complete. It can take 10-to-12 minutes to complete the MoCA since it can involve those drawing tasks.

There are other tests, but these are the most commonly used ones. The MMSE is more likely to be administered, especially when the doctor is pressed for time. The value comes from doing the test on repeated visits, looking to see any potential decline.

When former president Donald Trump bragged about his cognitive test during his presidency, he boasted about being able to remember and repeat the words ‘Person, woman, man, camera, TV’ as part of the word recall portion of the test.

Given it was 5 words, that was likely a MoCA test. The MMSE only asks for 3 words to be recalled. MoCA is the more sensitive test, but it may not be the better choice in patients with more severe conditions as the questions are harder.

A sign of how difficult memory issues can be, a person could theoretically score highly on the MMSE but still not be able to recognize their relatives. This is why a series of tests are often used, including tests beyond the MMSE and MoCA.

Biden Has Skipped Cognitive Tests Before

To the best of our knowledge, Joe Biden has not been taking any type of formal cognitive testing such as the MMSE and MoCA. In 2020, when he was running for president, Biden said “No, I haven’t taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?” to a reporter when asked about the test.

Biden continued and got a bit frisky with his analogy. “Come on, man. That’s like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test whether you’re taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”

Biden’s logic in doing the job is proof enough of his cognitive ability. He has often said “watch me” as his reply to if he is mentally fit at 81 years old to be president.

In February 2024, President Biden had a physical, but it did not include a cognitive test. Biden also has available medical records from November 2021 and February 2023 that also did not include any cognitive test results.

To be clear, there is no legal requirement that the president must take any cognitive test. In fact, Donald Trump may be the only U.S. president to ever acknowledge taking a mental acuity test, and certainly the only one to share his results, which were reportedly a perfect 30-for-30.

If physicals are in fact annual and Biden has already got his out of the way for 2024, then there is a chance he never takes one during his presidency.

Biden’s Test Results If He Takes One

Just in case Biden does take a test before the end of 2024, BetOnline has odds on how he will score on the 30-point scale:

  • 20-24 (+190)
  • 25-30 (+225)
  • 13-19 (+225)
  • 12 or less (+500)

There is also a bet at BetOnline on whether Biden will pass his test with ‘No’ (-250) leading ‘Yes’ (+170).

A score of 26-30 is considered normal for the MoCA. For a MMSE test, Biden must score at least 24 points to pass, and the bet says a minimum 24 is the needed number for passing. If Biden does not take a test and publicly reveal his results by December 31, 2024, then the bets are void.

In reviewing the odds here, it would seem likely that Biden scores somewhere in the 20-to-30 range. That’s assuming honest results would be published, because this feels like something they could easily fudge and no one would have a clue if it was legitimate. Just like how you would scoff today at Trump saying he scored a perfect 30.

However, the real value here would seem to be Biden passing at +170 odds. If there is a good chance he gets in the 25-30 range, then that would be passing. He even gets the 1-point leeway with 24 considered a passing score for this bet.

Therefore, our top choice would be to take Biden passing the test. If we had to choose an actual score, we’d stick with the chalk pick of 20-24 with the most likely to report Biden at a 24. Not perfect, but just in the range of being normal.

Top Pick: Biden to Pass Test – Yes (+170) at BetOnline

Other Pick: Biden Scores 20-24 (+190) at BetOnline

author avatar
Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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