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MAT Analogy Subcategories: Classification Analogies

Our previous blog focused on Semantic analogies (please read if you have not already). The next of the MAT analogy subcategories is Classification.

Classification Analogies

This type of analogy is concerned with the hierarchy of words and concepts. A “hierarchy” is way of ordering things so that similar concepts are grouped together and then placed within larger concepts. If you have ever seen an evolution tree, biology kingdoms, or the breakdown of an essay outline into headings and subheadings, you have seen a hierarchy.

This type of analogy will challenge you to correctly identify how terms relate within a hierarchy. You can expect 20-24 percent of the MAT exam to be classification analogies.

Subcategory 1: Category

One term represents the subordinate or super-ordinate class of the other term. So one term represents a class, and the other represents an example of that class.

Real : 1                            1 is a type of real number.
Phylum : Kingdom   A phylum is a subdivision of a kingdom.
Ethics : Deontology  Deontology is a type of ethics.

As an MAT question:

Ethics : Deontology :: (a. philosophy b. psychology c. epistemology d. habitual) : Behavioral

First we create a bridge between the two related terms:

Deontology is a branch of Ethics.

Then we match it,

Behavioral is a branch of _____

In this case, the answer is “D”; behavioral is a branch of psychology.

Subcategory 2: Membership

Both terms are members of the same class or category.

Wall : Windows     Both are parts of a house.
Wolves : Jackals   Both are examples of the same biological family.

As an MAT question:

Wolves: (a. scissors b. katana c. desert d. forest) :: Jackals : Scimitar

Be careful when making a bridge for classification questions that you do not go too specific. For example:

Wolves and Jackals are in the same biological family.

“Biological family” is too specific for the bridge. It may be that the other two terms are put of the same group, class, family, idea, etc., but not necessarily a “biological family.” So focus on the fact that they both have membership in the same category:

Wolves and Jackals are in the same category.

Similarly, scimitar and answer choice “B” (katana) are in the same category: they are both bladed weapons.

Subcategory 3: Whole/Part

One term is part of the making or building of the other.

Atom : Matter          Atoms are the building blocks of matter.
Gram : Kilogram    A kilogram is made out of a thousand grams.

As an MAT question:

Gram : Byte :: Kilogram : (a. kilobyte b. ounce c. dram d. pound)

Here is the bridge,

A Kilogram is made of Grams
A_____ is made of Bytes

The answer is choice “A”: a kilobyte is made up of bytes.

For more information on analogy subcategories see our previous blog and read through the official MAT study guide. Also, if the idea of building a bridge is unfamiliar to you, please see “best ways to figure out the relationships in MAT analogies.”

About Bertrand

Bertrand is a remote tutor and a MAT blogger for Magoosh. He received a B.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University and studied education theory at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. He has been studying and working in education since 2010. Born and raised in New Jersey, he now resides in Philadelphia. When he isn’t helping students study or writing blogs for Magoosh, he spends his time practicing mixed martial arts and reading as much as his schedule permits.

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