Objective: Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is characterized by memory impairment with preserved daily functioning and is thought to be a transitional state between normal aging and dementia (Petersen, 2004). Individuals with MCI show poor encoding, retention, and consolidation of new information. Little research has investigated recognition discriminability in MCI. Our objective was to investigate different types of recognition discriminability (i.e., source, semantic, & novel) in MCI and typically aging adults (NCI). Method: Thirty-two MCI and 103 NCI cases were drawn from a population-based study. Measures of source, semantic, and novel discriminability were derived following the 20-minute delayed recognition trail from the California Verbal Learning Test-II. Mixed Model ANCOVAs comprised of one between group variable (MCI vs. NCI) and three within group variables (Source, Semantic, & Novel discriminability) were performed. Immediate recall performance during the initial wordlist learning trials and 3MS scores were co-varied. Results were analyzed with a set of a-priori t-tests. Results: Despite the total recognition discriminability being equivalent for both groups, the MCI group had significantly more difficulty with semantic discriminability than other types of discriminability. Novel discriminability was equivalent between groups and stronger than other types of discriminability. Conclusion: Novel discriminability appeared to be preserved in MCI suggesting that increasing the distinctiveness of learned information may help with recognition discriminability in individuals with MCI. In contrast, semantic discriminability was significantly reduced in MCI suggesting that disruptions in semantic networks may be a feature of MCI that contributes to inefficient learning and recall.