Addiction Alcohol Use How to Take and Score the FAST Alcohol Screening Test By Buddy T Buddy T Facebook Twitter Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. Learn about our editorial process Updated on September 17, 2020 Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Andrea Rice Print FatCamera / Getty Images The FAST alcohol screening test screens patients for hazardous drinking in busy medical offices and emergency rooms. It's specially designed to make a fast assessment. Many patients who take the FAST test only have to answer the first question. So, depending on your response to the first question of the test, you might not need to answer the other questions at all. This is what makes the FAST test potentially the shortest hazardous drinking screening tool available today. Questions on the FAST Alcohol Screening Test Here are the four questions on the FAST test: 1. How often do you have eight or more drinks on one occasion? __ Never __ Less Than Monthly __ Monthly __ Weekly __ Daily or Almost Daily 2. How often during the last year have you been unable to remember what happened the night before because you had been drinking? __ Never __ Less Than Monthly __ Monthly __ Weekly __ Daily or Almost Daily 3. How often during the last year have you failed to do what was normally expected of you because of your drinking? __ Never __ Less Than Monthly __ Monthly __ Weekly __ Daily or Almost Daily 4. Has a relative or friend, a doctor or other health worker been concerned about your drinking or suggested you cut down? __ No __ Yes, but not in the last year. __ Yes in the last year. How to Score the FAST Test To score the FAST test, use the following guide to scoring questions 1, 2 and 3: Never: 0 pointsLess than monthly: 1 pointMonthly: 2 pointsWeekly: 3 pointsDaily or almost daily: 4 points To score question 4 use the guide below: No: 0 pointsYes, but not in the last year: 2 pointsYes, in the last year: 4 points Analyzing the Results Now that you have the score, it's time to analyze the results. As a general rule, lower scores are better than higher scores. The maximum score you can get on the FAST test is 16. If a person answers "never" on the first question, they are not a hazardous drinker and the remaining questions are not necessary. If a person answers "weekly" or "daily or almost daily" on the first question, they are considered a hazardous drinker and they can also skip the rest of the questions. If a person answers "monthly" or "less than monthly" to the first question, they need to answer the other three questions to complete their full screening for hazardous drinking. A minimum score of 3 (question 1) or a combined total score (questions 1, 2, 3, and 4) of 8 or more indicates hazardous drinking. The FAST Test Compared With the AUDIT Test and Cage Test The AUDIT test, a longer screening test, is also an effective screening tool. However, it's often too time consuming to administer and score in many busy physician offices and emergency rooms. The FAST test is a short, two-phase test that has four key questions from the AUDIT test. When compared to the full AUDIT test, the FAST test detects 93–94% of hazardous drinkers detected by the longer version. The CAGE test measures alcohol dependency over a lifetime, and like the FAST test, has four questions. The FAST test, in contrast, measures hazardous drinking over the past 12 months. 4 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Jones LA. Systematic review of alcohol screening tools for use in the emergency department. EMJ. 2010;28(3):182-191. doi:10.1136/emj.2009.085324 Primary Care Alcohol Information Service. Factsheet: Screening tools for healthcare settings. Jones LA. Systematic review of alcohol screening tools for use in the emergency department. Emergency Medicine Journal. 2010;28(3):182-191. doi:10.1136/emj.2009.085324 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Screening Tests. By Buddy T Buddy T is an anonymous writer and founding member of the Online Al-Anon Outreach Committee with decades of experience writing about alcoholism. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Get Treatment for Addiction Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.