MAT Test

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The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) was first developed by Dr. W. S. Miller in 1926. Through the 1940s, the exam was administered to incoming graduate students at the University of Minnesota. In 1947, The Psychological Corporation began administering the test, and its use spread to graduate programs nationwide.[1]

In 1970, The Psychological Corporation was acquired by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,[2] which later changed its name to Harcourt Assessment, Inc. Harcourt Assessment continued to administer the exam[3] until it was acquired by Pearson in 2008,[4] making Pearson the current maintainer of the approximately 90 year old Miller Analogies Test.[1]

Function of the Test

MAT Study Guide

The MAT is primarily used as an entrance examination for candidates applying for admission to graduate programs in the United States. The exam measures candidates' critical thinking skills in recognizing the connections between ideas. It also indirectly measures candidates' vocabulary and general knowledge in the areas of the humanities, language, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.[5][1] For example, Pearson provides the following sample item:

Table : Bill :: (a. chair, b. direct, c. gesture, d. shelve) : Motion[1]

To arrive at the correct answer, d, candidates must recognize that the word "table" can be used as a verb, and that it collocates with the noun "bill" in the context of legislation. The meanings of the phrases "table a bill" and "shelve a motion" are similar, as both phrases indicate delaying or setting aside some kind of proposal.

Along with the GRE, the MAT is one of the most common entrance examinations for graduate studies in the United States. Between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011, 125,910 people took the MAT for the first time.[1]

Test Administration

MAT Flashcards

The MAT is available year-round and is offered by over 500 Controlled Testing Centers (CTCs) worldwide. Pearson reports that each CTC determines its own schedule, testing fees, registration procedures, and test administration procedures, so candidates must seek this information out when scheduling the examination at any given test site.[5] Regardless of who administers the exam, the MAT is always a computer-based test.[5]

The test comprises 120 multiple choice analogy questions, and candidates have 60 minutes in which to complete the exam.[5] The short length of the MAT is sometimes presented as an advantage over comparable graduate entrance exams such as the GRE.[6]

Candidates receive a preliminary score report immediately after completing the exam, and offical score reports follow approximately 10-15 days later. At the time of testing, candidates may select up to three schools to receive official score reports, or may pay additional fees to have scores reported to more than three schools.[5] There are no restrictions on how often or how many times candidates may take the MAT, but full examination fees must be paid for each retest.[5]

Candidates with disabilities who require special testing accommodations should contact Pearson directly with the accommodations request and necessary documentation.[7]

Test Format

Sections of the MAT Test
Section Description
General Culture, work, business, life experience
Humanities History, fine arts, literature, philosophy, religion, music
Mathematics Numerical, quantitative, computation
Language Vocabulary, word meanings, grammar, usage
Natural Sciences Biology, chemistry, physics, ecology, astronomy
Social Sciences Psychology, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology

Test Structure

The MAT is composed of 120 multiple choice items, 20 of which are pretest questions that will not count for anything when scored. All 120 questions are analogy questions that have to do with four different relationships: Semantic, Classification, Association, and Logical/Mathematical. There are also six content areas involved: General, Humanities, Mathematics, Language, Natural Sciences, and Social Sciences. The time allotted to complete all 120 questions on the exam is one hour. [8]

Test Environment

On the day of the exam, test-takers are expected to arrive on time. If late, admission into the exam may not be granted. For admission, two forms of ID must be presented, one of which must be a government-issued drivers license, passport, or other government-issued identification card. Books, notes, electronics, foods and beverages, and bags are not allowed into the testing room. Pencils are the only writing utensils allowed, and scratch paper will be provided by the testing center. [9]

Test Content

  • Sample MAT Questions
For each of the following questions, you will find three capitalized terms

and, in parentheses, four answer choices designated a, b, c, and d. Select

the one answer choice that best completes the analogy with the three

capitalized terms.

  1. Auspicious : Ominous :: Parsimonious : _______
    A. spendthrift
    B. frugal
    C. licentious
    D. secular
  2. Cranium : Head :: _____ : Arm
    A. femur
    B. clavicle
    C. ulna
    D. sternum
  3. Cancer : Capricorn :: ________ : South
    A. east
    B. west
    C. north
    D. south
  4. Isosceles : Scalene :: Rectangle : ______
    A. circle
    B. square
    C. geometry
    D. octogon
  5. Bed : Roses :: ______ : Eggs
    A. covey
    B. parcel
    C. clew
    D. clutch
  6. Kabul : Afghanistan :: _______ : Canada
    A. Quebec
    B. Vancouver
    C. Ottawa
    D. Toronto
  7. Morse : Code :: Bell : ______
    A. phonograph
    B. telephone
    C. fire engine
    D. jingle
  8. Pop Art : Surrealism :: Warhol : _______
    A. Manet
    B. Picasso
    C. Seurat
    D. Dali
  9. Hades : Underworld :: Poseidon : _______
    A. sea
    B. Neptune
    C. war
    D. arrow

More free MAT practice test questions.


The MAT comprises 120 analogy test items, 100 of which are scored and 20 of which are pretest items being assessed for inclusion on future versions of the MAT.[1] Candidates receive a scaled score from 200 to 600 with a mean score of approximately 400. This scaled score accounts for varying levels of difficulty across different forms of the MAT such that scores from candidates who took easier forms of the test may be compared fairly with scores from candidates who took more difficult forms of the test.[5]

There is no single passing score on the MAT. A candidate's score on the MAT is just one portion of the graduate admissions process, and different graduate programs may determine their own preferred score ranges, cutoff scores, or score weighting in determining a candidate's admissions status.[5]

Answers to Sample Questions

1;A 2;C 3;C 4;B 5;D 6;C 7;B 8;D 9;A

Related Tests


  1. ^ a b c d e f Pearson - MAT Basics: Test Structure and Score Interpretation December 27 2014
  2. ^ Pearson Assessment - About Us December 27 2014
  3. ^ Harcourt - Introduction to the Miller Analogies Test December 27 2014
  4. ^ Sale of Harcourt Assessment to Pearson December 27 2014
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Pearson - MAT Candidate Information Booklet December 27 2014
  6. ^ NCSU - MAT Or GRE Standardized Testing December 29 2014
  7. ^ Pearson - Miller Analogies Test - Documentation Needed to Request Accommodations December 27 2014
  8. ^ MAT Handbook 23 December 2014
  9. ^ Taking the MAT] 23 December 2014