There isn’t “one list” of historical events to study for the Miller Analogies Test. As in everything else, the MAT is free to pull terms from some very broad areas. That being said, there are some high leverage areas that, if you focus on them, will likely help you answer a good deal of history focused questions.
Technically speaking, most subjects have a relevant history course. For example, art history or history of science. I’m going to exclude these subsets from this discussion. Not because an art history question can’t come up on the MAT, but because the MAT resources normally limit the title “history” to what would be covered in topics like U.S. History, Western History, or World History.
I should specify that the MAT is primarily focused on how these subjects are taught in the U.S. The focus is on a U.S./Western history.
There are a few broad categories that questions about historical events fall into:
- Documents & Doctrines
- Colonial Exploration
In any of these categories, only the most popular events matter. I am counting “documents & doctrines” because they often want to know “when” it happened or who authored it.
You won’t need to know more than the year something happened (often just the century), its purpose (if a document), and where it happened. For example, the first amendment protects speech and the second protects the right to bear arms. A completed MAT analogy might look like this:
I : Speech :: II : Arms
First : Speech :: Second :: Arms
All you would need to answer such a question is knowledge of the amendments name (i.e. first, second, third) and a general idea of its purpose.
Historical Event List
Here are some common events for MAT questions:
- Founding of British Colonies in North America (dates and colony name)
- Founding of United States of America
- Magna Carta
- Declaration of Independence
- U.S. Constitution
- Bill of Rights
- U.S. Constitutional Amendments
- Manifest Destiny
- Emancipation Proclamation
- Monroe Doctrine
- Roosevelt Corollary
- Truman Doctrine
- Peace treaties for U.S. wars
- Revolutionary War
- French and Indian War
- Spanish American War
- U.S. Civil War
- World War I & II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Cold War
This list is not exhaustive. For a more exhaustive list, I would suggest purchasing either Kaplan or Barron’s MAT official guides (both are cheap).
It’s important to emphasize that you are not going in-depth with the above. Know the name, the date (often just the century), the purpose (a few words), and one or two important figures. The amount of information should be easily memorable through flashcard study. If it’s not, you are trying to memorize too much.
Putting it in Perspective
Please read the following two posts to get a better idea of how to study without going unnecessarily deep in any one area (something to avoid when looking at history):
MAT Test Secrets (Focus on the low vs. high context section)