What is the MAT?
Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a test taken by students who wish to acquire admission in a graduate school. Unlike many other standardized tests, the MAT has a very narrow focus. As indicated by its name, the MAT focuses on analogies. Analogies can be drawn between things that have some similar features or can be compared in certain ways.
The MAT does not have a complex format and students only need to answer 120 questions based on analogies within 60 minutes. A larger number of questions on the test are based on verbal analogies, while a few questions also test students on their understanding of mathematical analogies. In order to ace the MAT test, students require a good understanding of the relationship between different words.
Besides the familiarity with words and their relationship, students need to be aware of liberal arts. They need to be familiar with disciplines such as philosophy, art, art history, and literature. MAT also requires students to have a fair amount of knowledge of science and math. Students have the option to take the MAT either on computer or by using pen and paper. The scoring of the test is done on percentile basis and students can get their results within a few weeks. Typically, students can register for the test through their college or they can register online.
GRE vs. MAT
Students who are applying for graduate programs may be given a choice to either take the MAT or GRE. Since both tests are quite different and have distinct ways of testing students, students may have to select a test which is more suitable for them. The following information should help you select the right test for your graduate school admission process.
· The MAT only tests students on analogies and nothing more.
· A wide variety of topics are included in the MAT and students need to have a good grasp of subjects such as:
o Science and math
o History and geography
o Vocabulary and grammar
o Art and Literature
o Current events
· Students having a comprehensive background of liberal arts are much more likely to perform well on the MAT.
· The MAT is more challenging as compared to the GRE, as it covers a wide variety of topics from different areas.
How to prepare for the MAT
The following tips may help you score big on the test.
· It is good to start preparing for the MAT at least 3 to 6 months before you take the test. The test requires a strong understanding of analogies. Students need to spend ample time to prepare and practice the test questions.
· Taking a practice test in the beginning is a good strategy because it will let you know about your strengths and weaknesses.
· Like many other standardized tests, flash cards are quite useful for the MAT. You can make flash cards of those topics or areas that you find difficult.
· Go through your flash cards three to four times a day
· Write the analogy on one side and the answer on the opposite side
· Try to answer the question before checking the correct answer
· Read your answers aloud as it helps you learn better
· In order to understand the structure of analogies, you would need to consult a good MAT prep book. It would be better to learn different types of analogies such as mathematical, logical and those that are grouped by association.
· It is also important that you improve your vocabulary by reviewing word lists at least once a day. If you are unable to understand the meaning of words on the test, it would be extremely hard to answer the questions correctly.
·You can keep a check on your progress by taking practice tests over time. With the help of practice tests you will know how much you have improved and the weak areas where you require more effort.
· If you find that your score is not getting any better, you have the option to sign up for the MAT preparation classes.
Test-taking Tips for the MAT
You can find a number of test taking tips in the MAT prep books to perform well on the test. However, some of the tips are really important and students have better chances of acing the test if they have these tips in mind.
1. Spend your time wisely
Students need to answer 120 questions in 60 minutes. This means that they only have 30 seconds to answer each question. If students fail to pace themselves properly, they may be tempted to spend more time on the difficult questions, which can result in leaving out the questions they could have answered correctly. After answering ten questions, you would need to check the time.
2. Make a sentence to understand the relationship
You would need to find a relationship between the two capitalized words written on one side of the analogy. Once you have determined the relationship between these two given terms, make a sentence using those terms. With the help of a sentence, you will understand the crux of the relationship between them. The relationship should not be so broad that all the answers fit in and it should not be too specific that none of the answer seems like the correct one.
3. Eliminate some options to reach the right answer
In order to quickly reach the right answer, you would need to eliminate those options that seem to have no relationship with the capitalized terms in the question. Mostly, one answer is such that it is totally irrelevant to the relationship given in the question.