Science is so broad that there are a variety of sub-disciplines. The MAT also tests sciences like astronomy and ecology, and although these kinds of analogies are more rare, it’s still a good idea to memorize the following lists. The good news is that you don’t have to know that many terms and figures.

General science terms that appear on the MAT test

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

  • Acid rain: Precipitation with a low pH that’s harmful to life and infrastructure

  • Amber: Fossilized tree resin

  • Andromeda galaxy: Galaxy closest to the Milky Way

  • Asteroid: Small body that orbits the sun

  • Astronomy: Study of celestial objects (stars, planets, galaxies, and so on)

  • Comet: Small icy body that shows a coma and tail when close to the sun

  • Constellation: Pattern of stars in the sky

  • Distillation: Way of separating the parts of a liquid mixture

  • Energy: Ability to do work

  • Galaxy: System of at least 10 million stars held together by gravity

  • Gravitation: Gravity; bodies attract each other based on their masses

  • Greenhouse effect: Heat is absorbed by atmospheric gases and redirected back to Earth

  • Half-life: Time for a quantity to reach half of its starting value

  • Heliocentric: Model in which the planets revolve around the sun

  • Igneous rock: Rock formed from cooled lava

  • Light-year: Unit of length; distance light travels in a year; about 6 trillion miles

  • Lunar eclipse: The moon covered by Earth’s shadow

  • Metamorphic rock: An igneous or sedimentary rock exposed to heat and pressure

  • Meteor: Visible path of a meteoroid in the atmosphere

  • Meteorite: Meteoroid that survives impact on the surface

  • Meteoroid: Small body in the solar system; smaller than asteroid

  • Milky Way: Our home galaxy

  • Orbit: Curved path of an object around another object

  • Plate tectonics: Theory that describes the motions of Earth’s crust

  • Pulsar: A rotating, magnetized neutron star

  • Quasar: Very bright nucleus of a distant galaxy

  • Satellite: A natural or artificial object that orbits another object

  • Sedimentary rock: Rock formed by deposits in bodies of water

  • Seismometer: Instrument that measures the motion of the ground

  • Solar eclipse: The moon passing in front of the sun

  • Solar system: The sun and all objects (planets, comets, and so on) that orbit it

  • Sunspot: Dark, relatively cool areas on the sun’s surface

  • Thermodynamics: Study of heat on other forms of energy

Important figures in the field of science

The following lists important people in the field of science you should get to know before taking the MAT.

  • Bell, Alexander Graham: American inventor of the telephone

  • Copernicus, Nicolaus: Polish astronomer who was the first to propose the heliocentric model

  • Diesel, Rudolf: German inventor of the diesel engine

  • Edison, Thomas: American inventor of the light bulb

  • Franklin, Benjamin: American inventor of bifocal glasses

  • Kepler, Johannes: German astronomer known for planetary motion laws

  • Marconi, Guglielmo: Italian inventor of the radio

  • Morse, Samuel: American coinventor of the telegraph and Morse code

  • Pascal, Blaise: French inventor of mechanical calculator

  • Ptolemy: Greek-Roman astronomer who wrote the Almagest

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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