The test starts with the Repeat Task. The patient is presented with a list of pre-recorded sentences in quiet or in noise at a fixed signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR). The patient is asked to repeat each sentence and commit the content of the sentences to memory. The Recall Task starts 15 seconds after all 6 sentences in a list have been repeated. The patient freely recalls sentence content from the last list that s/he heard. When the patient indicates that s/he cannot recall any more, s/he rates how effortful s/he finds the listening situation on a 10-point anchored rating scale. The patient is also asked to provide an estimate of tolerable time—how long (in minutes) s/he is willing to spend concentrating on the talker under the specific noisy conditions.
A unique feature of the RRT is that a patient’s responses can be compared to those with normal hearing with no cognitive impairment. When the individual results are compared to data collected from normal hearing patients, it may help set realistic expectations and direct the focus of rehabilitation. The test may be used to document the level of difficulty experienced by the patient (unaided testing), measure the success of amplification (hearing aids and cochlear implants, aided testing), and the relative benefit of specific hearing aid features such as noise reduction and directional microphones. Additionally, one may group patients by performance (such as Recall) for research purposes.