The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a standardized test normally used for graduate school admissions. The test is composed entirely of analogies. To do well on the MAT, it helps to understand that its analogies fall into several different categories.

MAT analogies are all about relationships, and familiarizing yourself with some of the general categories of relationships on the MAT can make it easier to identify them in questions.

The MAT officially lists four types of relationships: Semantic, Classification, Association, and Logical/Mathematical. The names for these types are not as simple and descriptive as they could be, so it helps to group the MAT analogies into these five major categories:

  • Description

  • Type

  • Parts

  • Similar/different

  • Playful

For example, type analogies deal with classifying things and thinking about their types. Here’s one example:

  1. _________________ : BEAR :: ANACONDA : SNAKE

    1. (A)grizzly

    2. (B)vicious

    3. (C)furry

    4. (D)cunning

In this 1:2,3:4 analogy, an anaconda is a type of snake, as a grizzly is a type of bear. Notice that you can use “type of” to think about the relationship between the terms in this example. Here’s another type analogy:

  1. INSECT : MOSQUITO :: SPIDER : _________________

    1. (A)crawl

    2. (B)black

    3. (C)black widow

    4. (D)eight

As in the previous analogy, this analogy is also 1:2,3:4. Notice, however, that the direction of the relationship between the related terms is different than in the previous example. A mosquito is a type of insect, as a black widow is a type of spider.

It’s still a type analogy, though, and thinking about the relationship between related terms using “type of” is still useful. Here’s one more type analogy example:

  1. FERRARI : PORSCHE :: DIAL : _________________

    1. (A)soap

    2. (B)Ghana

    3. (C)Ivory

    4. (D)number

This 1:2,3:4 analogy also fits into the type category. The first two terms are related because Ferrari and Porsche are both automobile brands, as the second two terms — Dial and the correct answer, Choice (C), Ivory, — are both brands of soap.

This example is a bit different than the first two type analogy examples because the related terms fit into the same category. You can still use the phrase “type of” to help you think about the relationships involved.

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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