The CTT was developed to meet the need for a test with the sensitivity and specificity of the standard Trail Making Test (TMT), but one that was as free as possible from the influences of language and cultural bias. The CTT retains the psychometric properties of the standard TMT, but it substitutes the use of colour for the use of English alphabet letters, making it more suitable in cross-cultural and other special needs contexts. Instructions may be presented either verbally or with visual cues. Respondents ages 18 years and older must be able to recognise Arabic numerals from 1 to 25 and to distinguish between the colours pink and yellow. Research has shown the CTT to be comparable to the original TMT. Validity of the CTT has been documented in a variety of clinical and neuropsychological populations.
The CTT uses numbered coloured circles and universal sign language symbols. The circles are printed with vivid pink or yellow backgrounds that are perceptible to colourblind individuals. For the Colour Trails 1 trial, the respondent uses a pencil to rapidly connect circles numbered 1 through 25 in sequence. For the Colour Trails 2 trial, the respondent rapidly connects numbered circles in sequence, but alternates between pink and yellow colours. The examiner uses a stopwatch to record the length of time to complete each trial along with qualitative features of performance indicative of brain dysfunction, such as near-misses, prompts, number sequence errors, and colour sequence errors on the CTT Record Form.
Administration and scoring may be accomplished by individuals without formal training in psychology. The CTT Professional Manual presents age- and education-corrected normative data derived from a sample of 1,528 participants. Interpretation of CTT scores in patient care settings requires professional training in clinical psychology, school psychology, neuropsychology, or related fields. Form A is the standard test form on which normative data were collected. Therefore, Form A is the only form that should be used for clinical evaluation. Forms B, C, and D of the CTT are considered experimental versions at this time, and should be used only in research settings.
Note: a stopwatch is required for administration