The graduate Miller Analogies Test is an exam, like the GRE or GMAT. The MAT is a high level mental ability test that uses problems—stated as analogies—to assess students’ verbal comprehension, analytical thinking, and inductive reasoning. Exams like the MAT are meant to help graduate schools predict your performance if you were to be accepted into their school.
The Miller Analogies Test consists of 120 analogy based questions. 100 of these questions are “operational” and count towards your score. The other 20 are “experimental,” and will not affect your score. The entire exam lasts 60 minutes, making it one of the shorter graduate exams.
Each question on the MAT comes in the form of an incomplete analogy. You will be given three terms, and it will be up to you to select the correct fourth term. MAT questions require content knowledge (biology, vocabulary, etc.) to identify the terms and analytical thinking to recognize the relationship between them.
Here is an easy example:
Crocodile : Lion :: (a. savannah b. predator c. water d. reptile) : Grass
Two of the three terms given are related. The third term will be related to one of the multiple choices in the same way. Answering an analogy requires that your first isolate and define a relationship between two of the three terms: Lions hunt in Grass for example. You then create a matching relationship with the remaining term: Crocodiles hunt in Water (answer “c”).
Analogies on the MAT will be one of three difficulties: easy, medium, and hard. The difficulty increases as you progress through the test: 1-40 (easy), 41-80 (medium), 81-120 (hard). However, it will not necessarily “feel” this clear cut. MAT analogies draw from content that is common to all U.S. undergraduate programs. If your degree is in biology, then even the difficult biology terms may be well known to you. In contrast, an easy literature term may seem completely foreign. The MAT requires a broad study approach.
Scoring on the MAT
The MAT score is comprised of three parts. There is the raw score: the number of questions you answer correctly; unfortunately, students do not have access to this score. Instead, your score report will only have a scaled score (based on the raw) and a score percentile rank. The scale score ranges from 200-600. 400 is the median score (50th percentile) for the MAT, and—due to its design—most scores cluster around 400. Increasing your score just 25 points to 425 would place you around the 90th percentile.
Learn more about the MAT
Exploring our MAT blog is a great way to learn more about the MAT. Here are some use starting blogs on scores, study plans, and the analogies themselves. I also recommend the official Candidate Information Booklet.