A memory device is disclosed which includes memory cells having m possible states, where m is at least 2. The memory device includes a multiplexed pair of output paths, wherein each output path is coupled to sense the state of a memory cell and includes a read path circuit, a column load circuit, and a comparator. Provided between the pair of output paths is a switching circuit for coupling the comparators to one another in response to a control signal. For single-bit read operations, each output path senses and outputs the data of the associated memory cell, and the control signal is inactive. When the control signal is active, the read path circuit and column load circuit of one of the output paths is disabled and the switching circuit couples the other read path circuit to the second comparator such that the state of the memory cell is sensed by two comparators.