Key Point

Your scores help your health care providers decide when it is safe for you to return to school and physical activity. You might need to take the test several times before you’re allowed to go back to your normal activities.

You’ll be given an ImPACT computer test so we can see how your brain is working after you’ve had a concussion. You need to be at least 12 years old to take this 30-minute test.

The test studies your memory and measures:

  • How long you can focus on a task
  • How fast your brain is working
  • How fast you can respond

Word Memory

You’ll be shown 12 words. Then after you’ve looked at the words twice, you’ll be shown 24 words, one at a time. You’ll be asked if the word you are viewing is one of the 12 words you’ve already seen. (Some of the words might look or sound alike.)

You’ll take this Word Memory test again at the end of the full test session.

Design Memory

You’ll view 12 squiggly lines. Then after you’ve looked at the lines twice, you’ll be shown 24 lines, one at a time. You’ll be asked if the line you are viewing is one of the 12 squiggly lines you’ve already seen. (The squiggly lines might be upside down or backward.)

You’ll take this Design Memory test again at the end of the full test session.

X’s and O’s

You’ll see a screen filled with X’s and O’s, three of which will be yellow. You’ll need to remember where the yellow X’s and O’s are.

Before the X’s and O’s test you’ll take a speed test which will distract you from remembering where the yellow X’s and O’s were.

When you see a blue square, push the letter P on the keyboard. When you see the red circle, push the letter Q. Do this as quickly as you can.

After you do the speed test, the screen of black X’s and O’s will reappear. You’ll have to pick the X’s and O’s which were previously shown to you in yellow.

Symbol Search

You’ll see the numbers 1 through 9. Above each of the numbers will be a shape. You’ll be shown a shape and then you’ll need to indicate which number is under that shape.

After you’ve done this for a few minutes, the numbers and matching shapes will no longer be shown. When you’re shown a shape, you’ll need to indicate which number it was above.

Color-Word Match

You’ll see the words “red,” “green,” and “blue” displayed in different colors. Select the words displayed in the colors that they name.

Three Letters

You’ll be given a list of three letters. You need to remember the letters and the order they were in. Then you will see a list of numbers from 1 to 25. You must click on the numbers counting backward from 25 as fast as you can. Then you’ll be asked to type in the three letters you were shown earlier.

Results

Your health care provider will compare your results with the results of other people your age. The scores tell us when it’s OK for you to return to school and physical activity. You might need to take this test several times before you’ll be allowed to go back to your normal activities. You can take the test once a week.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team.