The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a standardized test used by many graduate programs in the United States as an admissions test. The MAT is very unlike most other standardized tests given to applicants for undergraduate or graduate study. Unlike other exams, the MAT doesn’t have different sections, such as science, math, reading comprehension, etc, with different kinds of question and answer formats. It has only one section, and only one kind of question – analogies.
An analogy says that two items are related to each other in the same way that two other items are related to each other. On the MAT, one of the four items will be left blank, and your job will be to choose the answer from the list of choices that most accurately and entirely completes the analogy. Here’s an example:
Tiger Woods : Golf :: Michael Jordan :
- a. football
- b. hockey
- c. basketball
- d. baseball
This reads as “Tiger Woods is to Golf as Michael Jordan is to __________ .” The answer is c, basketball. Tiger Woods has the same relationship to golf as Michael Jordan has to basketball – Woods is widely considered to be the greatest player in the history of golf, and Jordan is widely considered to be the greatest player in the history of basketball.
We’ve used a very simple analogy to illustrate how the test works; the actual analogies on the exam are going to be more difficult than this one, with some of them being extremely challenging. Subject matter is drawn from all areas – social sciences, natural sciences, language, mathematics, humanities, etc. One question could be about concepts in geometry, the next one about fine art, and the next one about anthropology. The nature of the examined relationships also vary – they can be semantic, logical, classification, association, or mathematical.
So, while the format of the MAT is simple, the test is far from easy. You’ll have 60 minutes to answer 120 questions. The exam is scored on a scale of 200-600, and 400 is about average. Scores above 500 are extremely rare. Your score will be sent to you and up to three designated programs two to three weeks after the test.
There is a fee to take the exam, which is set by each individual testing center; it’s usually in the range of $100. There are over 500 official testing centers located all over the country, and each one sets its own dates and times for testing. You’ll need two forms of ID, one of which must be government issued and contain a photo and signature. Arrive early, as once the test begins you won’t be allowed to enter. You should take nothing with you into the testing room; not even cap or hat with a brim.
MAT Practice Questions
1. PRODUCT : (a. quotient, b. divisor, c. integer, d. dividend) :: MULTIPLICATION : DIVISION
2.SWEATER : (a. shirt, b. top hat, c. asparagus, d. looks) :: WEAR : EAT
3. MORRISON : BELOVED :: (a. Plath, b. Fitzgerald, c. Austen, d. Woolf) : THE BELL JAR
4. ANIMALIA : ANIMALS :: (a. Plantor, b. Plantae, c. Plantid, d. Plantia) : PLANTS
5. KINESIOLOGY : NUMISMATOLOGY :: MOVEMENT : (a. numbers, b. clouds, c. stillness, d. coins)
6. BUENOS AIRES : CANBERRA :: ARGENTINA : (a. Paraguay, b. Australia, c. Austria, d. Wales)
7. TIW : FRIGG :: WAR : (a. mischief, b. thunder., c. love, d. the sea)
8. CDLXI : 461 :: XCVII : (a. 117, b. 97, c. 107 d. 112)
9. MOZART : DON GIOVANNI :: PUCCINI : (a. Night on Bald Mountain, b. Son and Stranger, c. The Marriage of Figaro, d. Madame Butterfly)
10. BURMA : (a. Thailand, b. Vietnam, c. Myanmar, d. Rangoon) :: KAMPUCHEA : CAMBODIA
Answers & Explanations
1. A: Quotient. A quotient is the result of division as a product is the result of multiplication.
2. C: Asparagus. One eats asparagus; one wears a sweater.
3. A: Plath. Morrison wrote Beloved; Plath wrote The Bell Jar.
4. B: Plantae. As Animalia is the Kingdom of the animals, so Plantae is the Kingdom of the plants.
5. D: Coins. Numismatology is the study of coins as kinesiology is the study of human movement.
6. B: Australia. As Buenos Aires is the capital of Argentina, so Canberra is the capital of Australia.
7. C: Love. Frigg is the Norse god associated with love and marriage as Tiw is the Norse god associated with war.
8. B: 97. 461 expressed in Roman numerals is CDLXI as 97 expressed in Roman numerals is XCVII.
9 . D: Madame Butterfly. Puccini is known for composing the opera Madame Butterfly as Mozart is known for composing the opera Don Giovanni.
10. C: Myanmar. As the country we now know as Cambodia used to be called Kampuchea, so did the country we now call Myanmar used to be known as Burma.