The Miller Analogy Test (MAT)
What Is the Miller Analogy Test (MAT)?
The Miller Analogy Test is a test required by some universities as part of their admissions process.
It tests for high-level analytical skills and identifies those students whose abilities are more than memorizing and repeating what they have learned.
This aptitude test looks at how well you can establish relationships between ideas across a variety of subjects such as humanities, vocabulary, social sciences, general knowledge and math.
The test is produced and issued by Pearson.
There are 120 questions in total; 100 of them are assessed, while 20 are experimental.
You will not be told which ones are experimental, and you have 60 minutes to complete the test.
Over 1,500 institutes across the US and Canada accept MAT scores.
The areas that may appear on the test are:
- General – Life experience, work, business and culture
- Mathematics – Quantitative, computation and numerical
- Language – Word meanings, grammar and vocabulary
- Natural Science – Chemistry, physics, ecology, biology and astronomy
- Social Sciences – Sociology, economics, psychology, political science and anthropology
The relationship areas that are assessed are:
- Semantic – Synonyms, meanings, expression, definition, word parts, antonym, degree, contrast and intensity
- Classification – Whole/part, hierarchy, category membership, classification
- Association – Order, object/characteristic, purpose, sequence, function, transformation, creator/creation and agent/object
- Logical – Letter or sound patters and mathematical equivalence
The best way to look at an analogy is to think – 'Term A is related to B, the same way C is related to D'.
Example Question 1 – General Knowledge
Barcelona: Euro :: Cairo:
Example Question 2 – Mathematics
Triangle: Hexagon :: Pentagon:
Example Question 3 – Language
Proud: Haughty :: Sententious:
Example Question 4 – Natural Science
Igneous: Lava :: Sedimentary:
Example Question 5 – Social Science
Achilles: Homer :: Crusoe:
Example Question 6 – Non-Semantic
Snozzle: Nozzle :: Pacer:
The correct answers are:
1. A – Cairo is in Egypt, and the currency is Egyptian Pound.
2. C – A triangle has half the sides of a hexagon and a pentagon has half the sides of a decagon.
3. D – 'Haughty' is an extreme interpretation of 'proud'. 'Sententious' is an extreme interpretation of 'unapologetic'.
4. A – Igneous rock is made from lava, sedimentary rocks are made from magma.
5. D – Achilles is the lead character in the Illiad, written by Homer. Crusoe is the lead character in Robinson Crusoe, a novel by Defoe.
6. B – 'Snozzle' and 'nozzle' rhyme, as does 'pacer' and 'racer'.
During the Test
You only have an hour to complete this test, so don’t dwell on any difficult questions; move on and come back to them later.
Before looking for the answer, consider the three items in the question first. Try to find what the connection could be.
Once you think you’ve found it, look at the answer options to see if any suit your connection.
If the answer or relationship does not seem obvious, then try to eliminate the words that appear most illogical.
If you really can’t decide on a solution, take an educated guess. You don’t lose any marks for incorrect answers.
MAT Registration Process
All tests are to be completed at a designated Controlled Testing Center (CTC).
There are over 500 CTCs in America and Canada. There are also CTCs in South America, the Caribbean and the Bahamas, as well as Japan and the Philippines.
The full list of CTCs can be found on the Pearson website.
Each CTC creates its own testing schedule and test fee.
Before choosing and booking a CTC, check with the institutes you have applied to for the application deadline.
It takes 10 to 15 business days for your results to be verified and sent out. Make sure you also leave enough time for re-sits.
Ideally, you do want to pass the first time around, but if for some reason a re-sit is needed, then you don’t want to feel rushed or miss a deadline.
Contact the CTC directly for:
- Testing fees and schedules
- Registration procedures
- Test procedures
The CTC may ask you to register on-site before the test or to send the necessary documents electronically.
Regardless of the CTC, all test fees include one official score report and three official transcripts.
Any additional fees are to be paid directly to Pearson. Additional fees might include:
- Alternative test site fee for those living more than 100 miles from a CTC – $149
- Replacement score report – $25
- Additional transcripts – $25 each
- Score verification – $35
You must follow the guidelines of the CTC exactly. Any failure to comply will result in your test being canceled.
On the day of the test, make sure you arrive on time and provide the necessary documents.
- Social Security Number (or Social Insurance Number for Canada)
- One primary form of ID – Passport, drivers license or government-issued ID card
- One secondary form of ID – Credit card, utility bill, library card, student ID
It is highly recommended that you bring with you as many appropriate forms of ID as you can. If, for some reason, the administrator does not accept one of your documents, you will not be able to sit the test.
If this happens, you will not be refunded and you will have to go through the registration process again at a later date. So, bring backups with you.
You will also need the details of three institutes you wish to send your results to.
Test Scores and Score Card
Test scores for the MAT range from 200 – 600. The mean score is 400.
The minimum requirements are set by the institute you wish to attend. What may be considered a high score for one place may well be a low score for another.
As all tests are computer-based, you will receive a preliminary test score on submitting the test. You will receive your official scorecard 10 to 15 business days later, after they have been checked and verified.
Before submitting your test, you will see a 'Do not process this score' button.
If you chose not to have that paper scored, then take this option – you, and none of your universities, will receive any information regarding that test.
You will not be refunded the test fees should you decide not to generate a score.
Your official scorecard will have three scores:
Scaled Score – This is your standardized score based on the questions you answered correctly and the difficulty of your test.
Intended Major Percentile Rank – This score shows the percentage of those that received a scaled score lower than a given score. The norm group is based on those applying for that specific major field. If your percentile rank is 78, then that means your score was 78% higher than others applying for the same course.
Total Group Percentile Rank – Similar to the percentile above but the results are taken from the norm of all students that have sat the MAT.
The final piece of information is the transcript recipients, which are the three institutes you chose to send your result to.
Once you have submitted this information, it cannot be changed. Should your results need to be sent elsewhere, you will have to purchase additional transcripts.
Preparing for the MAT
This test is designed to be challenging, so give yourself as much time as possible to prepare.
If you know that you are going to apply for advanced courses that require a MAT result, then start preparing right away.
Take any analogy quizzes or practice tests that you can find.
The aim here is to become familiar with the question type and the way of thinking. Start at lower levels and work your way up as you become more comfortable.
So much content is covered in this test from mathematics to history to literature. You need to have a broad knowledge-base to be able to answer these questions.
To prepare, make a note of the topics that are going to be assessed. Next, mark off the subjects that you understand and are familiar with.
From the list of subjects that you are not familiar with, take time in your schedule to focus on them.
This test doesn’t ask you to calculate any sums or answer questions about a specific event in history. It simply wants to know that you understand the words that are being presented to you in a real-world context, not just in a classroom or as a school subject.
From the examples above, you can see that you have to find a connection between the words. Therefore, developing your vocabulary is so important.
Reading different types of literature and texts helps expand your vocabulary – as well as your general knowledge – so ensure you are reading every night.
Another way to expand your vocabulary is to take some time every evening to write down the words that you used most on that particular day. Using a thesaurus, find other words that you could use instead and start adding them to everyday conversations.
Investing in MAT guides will help you to further understand what is expected of you.
If you are not able to invest in paid material, the official MAT study guide offers detailed descriptions about the types of relationships and the subject areas that may be covered.
They also have the official test practice paper.
Their content is very similar, so you don’t need to buy both, but can if you want to.
Take advantage of every resource available to you, especially the practice tests. They not only build your confidence with the question technique and time limit, but you can easily identify what subjects you need to spend more time revising.
The key to achieving the best possible score on the MAT is to be prepared.
Collect the correct and necessary information regarding target test scores and deadlines from the institutes you are applying to.
Have all the correct and necessary information from the CTC so that there is no disruption to your test.
Give yourself plenty of time to prepare by creating a schedule and sticking to it.
Invest in all the available resources and take as many practice tests as you can.
Finally, take care of your wellbeing. You can do all the preparation in the world, but if you are not well-rested, hydrating or eating well, then your concentration levels and your memory will suffer.