If you haven’t done much research into graduate applications yet, “when should you take the Miller Analogies Test?” is a common question to have. Here are some guidelines to help you make the right decision.
When is the MAT available?
You actually don’t have to concern yourself too much with this. The MAT is offered around the year and at multiple test centers in most states. As long as you schedule your exam a month or so ahead of time, you will likely be able to get the exact date and time slot you want. See our article on “Where to take the MAT” for more information.
Graduate School Deadlines
This is the first place you should look when deciding when you should take the MAT. It’s important that you identify the schools and programs you plan to apply to so that you know when the deadlines are. Different schools have different deadlines; this makes it important to check directly with the school you plan to attend. It takes about 10-15 days for Pearson to send out you MAT scores. At a minimum, you need to take the MAT 15-20 days before the application deadline so that scores definitely arrive on time.
A lot goes into determining how long you need to prepare for the MAT. This is the other big concern when deciding when you should take the exam. You need to provide yourself enough time to fully prepare. I’ve written about this at length in our post on “How Long Should I Study for the MAT.”
In general, you will need 1-2 months to prepare for the exam. One month is the minimum for seeing some improvement while 2 months is preferred. Most students can improve if they give themselves 2 months, and it reduces study stress having this amount of time.
This means, ideally, you will schedule your exam 81 days before your application deadline. That is 60 days of prep, 1 day taking the exam, and 20 days for scores to arrive at your school on time.