This is an important question for students to consider, and a lot of great advice can be found in these GRE and GMAT articles (it applies to the MAT too). But let’s also go over some particular concerns about how long you should study for the Miller Analogies Test.
What test score do you need?
This was covered in our blog on “What is a Good Miller Analogies Test Score,” but it is worth repeating here: find out what the average MAT score for your actual school is! You should find this out right at the start of your studies by either using Google or directly contacting the school. Knowing the average score will help you decide how long you should study for the MAT.
Where are you starting from?
How long you should study for the MAT depends a lot on your current abilities. The goal of studying is to move you from where you’re starting at to where you need to be for your school. To get a sense of where you are starting from, you should take a practice test. This will require a purchase of either a text such as Kaplan MAT or an official practice test from Pearson. The official practice tests are more expensive, but they are the closest thing available to the actual exam. To get the best estimate of your abilities, read through the Miller Analogies strategy guide (it is short), do the practice problems in the guide, and then take a practice test. Make sure you follow the standard time limit (60 min).
So how long should I study for the Miller Analogies Test?
If you are familiar with the Miller Analogies Test Score Percentiles, you know the distance between an average score and a high one is quite small. You only need to get an additional 5-10 questions correct to increase your score substantially. For most students, getting just 5-10 additional questions correct will make them successful.
If you score between 400-409 (or better) on your practice test, five to ten additional correct answers will move you into the 70th-80th percentiles. A month of study should be considered the minimum for trying to improve this much. Two months of study would be preferred, and I highly encourage studying for this period of time.
Things to consider
How long you study is not just about the amount of weeks you are studying for, but also how much time you actually spend studying. If work or school forces you to study for less than an hour per day, you will almost certainly need a longer study period: two to three months.
If your practice test score is more than 20 points below the score you need, you would again want a longer study period of two to three months.
Lastly, the information on the MAT is strongly focused on topics taught within schools in the U.S. If you are an international student, especially if English is not your first language, you will probably benefit from additional study time.
Outside of these special considerations, 1-2 months should be the standard for most students.