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Miller Analogies Test vs GRE

Provided that the school you are applying to accepts both exams, you may be wondering what the differences between the MAT and the GRE are? Certainly, you will want to select the exam that allows you to better showcase your abilities. Let’s look at some important distinctions–

Miller Analogies Test vs GRE: Format


The GRE is divided into three sections: quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and analytical writing. Quant covers most of the major math subjects with the exception of calculus or trigonometry. Just about anything else is fair game: arithmetic, algebra, geometry, etc. (GRE math breakdown).

Verbal reasoning will focus strongly on your vocabulary and on your overall reading comprehension. Most questions will depend on your ability to comprehend high quality writing about college level subject matter. While you will not need to know any specific topics beforehand, you will need the ability to discern meaning from a variety passages presented during the exam.

Verbal and quant feature a good variety of questions types: sentence completion, reading comprehension, comparison, multiple choice etc. Here’s a useful GRE infographic. The GRE also features an analytical writing section comprised of two essay prompts.


Compared to the GRE, the MAT seems a little more straightforward. The MAT consists of 120 analogy questions. Each question will present the student with an incomplete analogy:

Darwin : evolution :: Einstein : (a. relativity b. gravity c. quantum physics d. thermodynamics)

It will then be up to the student to decide how two of the three given terms are related, and then they must choose a fourth term that creates a pair with the same relationship. In the above case, Darwin is popularly known for the theory of evolution; in the same way, Einstein is popularly known for the theory of relativity (choice “a”). Every question on the MAT takes this form. However, the content of these analogies can pull from any subject, from the  humanities to science:

MAT Subject Breakdown - Magoosh

You can also access Pearson’s description of these subjects.

Miller Analogies Test vs GRE: Time & Cost

The GRE exam lasts just under four hours. In comparison, the MAT is relatively short, taking just an hour. The GRE also costs $195 which is about twice the cost of taking the MAT. In terms of cost, GRE study materials also tend to be slightly more expensive, but you get more to choose from and higher quality. MAT materials are cheaper on average, but there are less high quality options for study support. You also pay a premium for MAT official practice tests.

Miller Analogies Test vs GRE: Which should you take?

The MAT is excellent for students who are verbally focused, have a wealth of general knowledge, enjoy puzzles and prefer learning broadly. Additionally, students who dread math or writing will get to largely avoid them. There is also the benefit of a short exam for students who fatigue quickly.

The GRE is a great choice for students who have a broader range of skills, who may want to demonstrate their superior math or writing ability, and who prefer studying a smaller range of topics but with greater depth. Further, if you have always performed better on typical test questions than on the type of puzzles or brain teasers associated with IQ tests, the GRE might be a better choice.

Both exams offer pros and cons; consider the above carefully. For more information on the exams, you can visit our GRE and MAT blogs as well as the test maker websites: ETS & Pearson.


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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