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Geography Topics to Study for the Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

You don’t have to be able to locate all the world’s countries to do well with MAT geography analogies, but the more familiar you are with a map of the world or a globe, the better. In fact, you may want to put up a map on the wall of your study room and check it out when you need a break from studying.

It’s impossible to define every geographical term in the world, but the following ones get you started.

  • 38th parallel north: Line of latitude that divided Korea after World War II

  • Adriatic Sea: Water that separates Italy from the Balkan peninsula

  • Aegean Sea: Water that separates Greece and Turkey

  • Alps: Mountain range in Europe; contains Mount Blanc and the Matterhorn

  • Amazon River: Second-longest river in the world, located in South America; greatest waterflow

  • Andes: Longest mountain range in the world, located in South America

  • Antarctic Circle: Line of latitude, south of which experiences a period of 24-hour sunlight

  • Appalachian Mountains: Mountain range in eastern North America

  • Arabian Sea: Branch of Indian Ocean between India, the Arabian Peninsula, and Somalia

  • Arctic Circle: Line of latitude, north of which experiences a period of 24-hour sunlight

  • Atlas Mountains: Mountain range in northwest Africa

  • Black Sea: Large sea separating parts of Europe and Asia

  • Cartography: The making of maps

  • Caspian Sea: Largest inland body of water, located in Asia

  • Chesapeake Bay: Largest estuary in the United States, bordered by Maryland and Virginia

  • Coordinates: A position on a map, specified by latitude and longitude, ex: 41N 73W

  • Death Valley: Desert in California; hottest and lowest location in North America

  • El Niño–Southern Oscillation: A climate pattern where the temperature of the tropical Pacific Ocean warms about every five years

  • English Channel: Water separating France from Great Britain

  • Equator: Line of latitude on Earth’s surface midway between the North Pole and the South Poles

  • Erie Canal: Completed in 1825; connects the Atlantic Ocean with Lake Erie via the Hudson River through New York and New Jersey

  • Everglades: Wetlands in Florida

  • Gaza Strip: Home to many Palestinian refugees; borders Egypt and Israel

  • Great Lakes: Five freshwater lakes on the U.S.–Canada border: Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario

  • Great Salt Lake: Largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere; located in Utah

  • Himalayas: World’s highest mountain range, located in Asia; contains Mount Everest

  • Hudson River: South-flowing river in New York, forms a barrier between New York and New Jersey at its bottom end

  • Iberian Peninsula: Region of southwestern Europe containing Spain, Portugal, and Andorra

  • International Date Line: Invisible line from the North Pole to the South Pole that separates one day from the next

  • Kalahari Desert: Desert in southern Africa

  • Kremlin: Moscow residence of the president of Russia

  • La Niña: A climate pattern where the temperature of the tropical Pacific Ocean cools about every five years

  • Lake Titicaca: Largest lake in South America

  • Lake Victoria: Largest lake in Africa

  • Latitude: The east–west lines on a map that specify north–south position

  • Longitude: The north–south lines on a map that specify east–west position

  • Louisiana Purchase: The 1803 sale of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States

  • Mediterranean Sea: Sea between Europe and Africa

  • Mesopotamia: Location of the cradle of civilization; modern-day Iraq

  • Mississippi River: Largest river system in North America; flows south through the United States

  • Missouri River: Longest river in North America

  • Mount Everest: Tallest mountain in the world, on the China–Nepal border

  • Mount Kilimanjaro: Tallest mountain in Africa (Tanzania)

  • Mount McKinley: Tallest mountain in North America (Alaska)

  • Mount Rushmore: Mountainside sculpture of four U.S. presidents in South Dakota

  • Niagara Falls: Three waterfalls (Horseshoe Falls, American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls) on the border of Ontario, Canada and New York

  • Nile: Longest river in the world; flows north through Africa

  • Oceania: Large portion of the Pacific Ocean containing thousands of islands

  • Oregon Trail: East-West wagon trail used by emigrants, traders, trappers, explorers, and pioneers, connecting the Missouri River to Oregon

  • Pacific Ring of Fire: Area around the Pacific Ocean where most earthquakes and volcanic eruptions take place

  • Panama Canal: Located in the Central American country of Panama, it was completed in 1914; connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans

  • Pangaea: An ancient super-continent; from the Greek “pan” meaning entire and “gaea” meaning Earth

  • Persian Gulf: Part of the Indian Ocean between Iran and the Arabian Peninsula

  • Prime meridian: The line of longitude set at 0 degrees; goes through Greenwich, England

  • River Thames: Longest river in England; flows through London

  • Sahara: Largest desert in the world, located in Africa

  • Scandinavia: Region of northern Europe containing Denmark, Norway, and Sweden

  • Siberia: Huge region comprising most of north Asia, location of many Soviet labor camps (Gulag camps)

  • Strait of Magellan: Connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans south of mainland South America

  • Suez Canal: Completed in 1869; connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea

  • Tibet: Region of China northeast of the Himalayas

  • Tropic of Cancer: Line of latitude that is the most northerly place the sun can be overhead

  • Tropic of Capricorn: Line of latitude that is the most southerly place the sun can be overhead

  • Volga: Longest river in Europe, it runs through Central Russia

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