I think the most common Miller Analogies Test pitfalls revolve around studying. If you study well, you’ll do well. So let’s look at common study mistakes to avoid.
1. Too Little Study Time
About half of students underestimate how much time they will need to improve. I recommend setting aside 1-2 months to study for the MAT. Although many of us start out with the intention to study 8 hours a day for 2 weeks, aiming to knock it out quickly, this is a bit idealistic.
In reality, if you’re studying intently, the average person can stay focused for about four hours straight. Not to mention, many of you have to balance studies with work, school, and the various aspects of daily life. Setting aside two months for the MAT means you can comfortably study 15-20 hours per week without having to pull all-nighters or letting other responsibilities fall behind. Give yourself time.
2. No Study Plan
At first glance, the MAT seems designed to overwhelm you. They can literally pull terms from just about anywhere. This might convince you either that the MAT is something you cannot study for or that you have to just start studying everything. Neither of these is true.
I’ve written about this elsewhere, but getting just an extra handful of questions right on the MAT–5-10–can move you from the 50th to the 70th percentile or even higher. And on a test of cognitive ability, that is a big deal. So our goal is precise and there are clear steps you can take to create a study plan that achieves this. I’ve written about them here:
3. Poor Accountability
Let’s say you give yourself two months to study and you also read the article I just suggested (along with suggested links within). On paper, you now “know” everything about how to prepare for this exam. But is that enough?
The thing is that most of us do not have a photographic memory. We are not going to remember every piece of advice you read here or in study guides. And where we cannot remember what we’re “supposed” to do, we’re going to fall into our natural study habits. And while some of us have great habits, the rest of us don’t.
So instead of reading the information and moving on, leaving it up to memory, think about how you can take it with you into each study session. Put the advice into key points, in words you understand best. After each article, ask yourself, “What does a study session look like if I apply this?”
Build an outline of a “perfect” study session that uses the best practices you have learned here.
You have to hold yourself accountable to these guidelines if you want results. Every time you study, look at your outline. Now, of course, you won’t be able to follow it perfectly every time. However, you will be successful more often than you might imagine, and it will make a difference.