The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is used for graduate school admissions. The test is comprised entirely of analogies — 120 of them to be exact. However, although the MAT has 120 questions, only 100 of them count towards your score.

The MAT’s publisher uses the other 20 questions for future exams. Since the difficulty level of the MAT’s questions increases as the test progresses, the publisher needs to know where to put the difficult questions and where to put the easy ones.

Seeing how many people get each experimental question right helps. If most people get a certain experimental question right, that question will appear closer to the beginning of a future MAT. If most people got the question wrong, it will appear closer to the end of a future exam.

The MAT’s publisher uses this method so that a MAT given this year has a similar difficulty level to a MAT given last year. It’s also a more accurate way of determining which questions are truly hard and which are easy, instead of just having a committee of people vote on each question’s difficulty level.

Keep in mind as you take the MAT that you won’t know which questions are experimental, so answer them all as if they’re real.

One of the most important points to remember about the MAT is that questions left blank are automatically counted as wrong. Unlike some standardized tests, on the MAT, there’s no penalty for guessing. Make extra sure you at least answer every question, even if it’s a random guess because you’re running out of time.

It’s all too easy to get wrapped up in a question as time is running out and then forget to answer a few questions. Don’t let this happen to you! Always save a couple minutes at the end of the test so that you have time to answer every question, even if you have to guess randomly on some of them.

Also remember that later questions aren’t worth more; every correct answer improves your score by the same amount.

If you really think you failed the MAT after taking it, or if something goes horribly, tragically wrong for you that day, you can exercise what is known as the “no-score” option. This cancels your score — no one will even find out that you took the test.

However, you won’t get your money back and you won’t be able to find out how you did on the test. So use this option only as a last resort.

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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