Luckily, you don't need to be a science major to do well with MAT science analogies. You just need to know the basics about the major natural sciences (biology, chemistry, and physics). Some chemistry terms are familiar because we use them in everyday conversation: "reaction", "catalyst", etc. Others may be a little bit less familiar.

Overall, chemistry analogies on the MAT require knowledge of many terms you encounter in a typical high school chemistry class, plus a familiarity with the who's who of chemists throughout history. These lists fill you in on the most important chemistry terms and figures.

Chemistry terms that appear on the MAT test

Brush up on your chemistry knowledge by studying these terms and their definitions.

  • Absolute zero: Theoretical temperature, the coldest possible

  • Acid: Something that reacts with a base, with a pH of less than 7

  • Activation energy: Energy that must be overcome for a chemical reaction to occur

  • Aeration: Process in which air is mixed with a liquid

  • Anion: Negatively charged ion

  • Atom: Smallest form of a chemical element, made of protons, neutrons, and electrons

  • Atomic number: Number of protons in the nucleus of an atom

  • Barometer: Device used to measure atmospheric pressure

  • Base: Something that reacts with an acid, with a pH of more than 7

  • Biochemistry: Study of chemical processes in life forms

  • Boiling: Phase transition of a liquid rapidly vaporizing

  • Bond: Attraction between atoms that allows chemicals to form

  • Catalyst: Substance that changes the rate of a reaction

  • Cation: Positively charged ion

  • Centrifuge: Device that uses rotation to separate substances

  • Chemical reaction: Process that changes one chemical substance to another

  • Colloid: Mixed substances that are evenly dispersed

  • Combustion: Burning with fuel, heat, and oxygen

  • Compound: Pure substance with at least two chemical elements

  • Condensation: Change from a gas to a liquid

  • Conductor: Material that allows electricity to flow

  • Deposition: Settling of particles in a solution

  • Electrolyte: Electrically conducive substance

  • Electron: Elementary particle with no charge

  • Entropy: Even distribution of a system

  • Freezing: Phase transition of a liquid to a solid

  • Frequency: Number of events per unit of time

  • Gas: State of matter in which particles have no definite volume

  • Geochemistry: Chemistry of the Earth's composition

  • Indicator: Compound added to a solution that changes color depending on acidity

  • Inorganic compound: Nonbiological, or lacking carbon and hydrogen

  • Insulator: Material that resists the flow of electricity

  • Ion: Atom that has gained or lost an electron

  • Ionization: Process of converting an atom into an ion

  • Kinetics: Study of the rates of chemical processes

  • Lattice: Arrangement of atoms or molecules in a crystal

  • Liquid: State of matter that has a fixed volume but not shape

  • Melting: Phase change from a solid to a liquid

  • Mole: Measurement that contains 6.02x1023 units

  • Molecule: Neutral group of atoms held together by bonds

  • Neutron: Neutral part of an atom's nucleus

  • Nucleus: Center of an atom, made of protons and electrons

  • Organic chemistry: Chemistry of carbon-based compounds

  • pH: Measure of the acidity of a solution

  • Plasma: State of matter similar to a gas, in which some particles are ionized

  • Precipitate: Formation of a solid in a solution

  • Proton: Positive part of an atom's nucleus

  • Quark: Elementary particle of matter

  • Reagent: Substance that is added to a system to get a reaction

  • Sol: Suspension of solids in a liquid

  • Solid: State of matter in which molecules resist movement

  • Solute: The part of the solution that is put into the solvent

  • Solvent: The part of the solution that dissolves the solute

  • Sublimation: Phase transition from a solid to a gas

  • Triple point: Temperature and pressure at which three states of matter exist simultaneously

  • Valence electron: Outermost electrons of an atom

  • Vaporization: Phase change from a liquid to a gas

  • Viscosity: Measure of resistance of a fluid, or thickness

  • Yield: Amount of a product made in a chemical reaction

Important figures in the field of chemistry

The following lists important people in the chemistry field you should become familiar with before taking the MAT.

  • Avogadro, Amedeo: Italian scientist who worked in molecular theory

  • Curie, Marie: French-Polish chemist known for work in radioactivity

  • Lavoisier, Antoine: French father of modern chemistry

  • Lewis, Gilbert: American chemist who discovered the covalent bond

  • McMillan, Edwin: American chemist who first produced the transuranium element

  • Mendeleev, Dmitri: Russian chemist who invented the periodic table of elements

  • Mohr, Karl Friedrich: German chemist known for conservation of energy principle

  • Nobel, Alfred: Swedish chemist and inventor of dynamite

  • Pauling, Linus: American quantum chemist who won multiple Nobel prizes

  • Woodward, Robert Burns: American organic chemist

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Vince Kotchian is a full-time standardized test tutor specializing in the MAT, SSAT, ISEE, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. He teaches a GRE prep course at the University of California, San Diego, and has an extensive understanding of analogies and the MAT.

Edwin Kotchian is a MAT tutor and freelance writer who has contributed to a variety of test-prep material.

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