What is an MAT analogy?

Analogies used to be a common feature on standardized testing, but they have largely been removed in recent years. Some students interested in the MAT may be wondering, “what is an MAT analogy?” Let’s take a look at what makes a statement an analogy.

What is an analogy?

I’ll stick closely to what the MAT describes as an analogy in both the official study guide and the candidate information booklet.

An analogy is a statement that suggests two terms are related to each other in the same way that two other terms are related to each other. Analogies on the Miller Analogies test are written as equations or statements that correspond to the form: “A : B :: C : D.”

An analogy such as this can be read in one of two ways: “A is related to B in the same way that C is related to D” or as “A is related to C in the same way as B is related to D.” This is an important note when answering questions on the MAT; MAT analogies will never relate A to D or B to C. When looking for connections, you can ignore this latter formulation.

Analogies on the MAT

On the MAT, analogies will correspond to the above equation form, but–instead of being complete–one of the terms will be missing; here is an example:

Napoleon : France :: Hannibal : (a. Carthage b. Iberia c. Persia d. Iran)

Presented with an analogy like the above, it will be up to you to discern which two of the three terms are related, forming a relationship pair. With the “A : B :: C : D” rules in mind, we know that the above must conform to one of the following:

• Napoleon is related to France in the same way Hannibal is related to ____ (A to B and C to D)
• Napoleon is related to Hannibal in the same way France is related to ____ (A to C and B to D)

In this case, Napoleon is a famous leader/general of France. Similarly, Hannibal is a famous leader/general of Carthage (choice A). This, then, is the A to B and C to D connection.

For more information on analogies, be sure to read through the official study guide, the candidate information booklet, and the Magoosh MAT blog!