Content Areas Study Guide for the MAT

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First, an Introduction to the Miller Analogies Test® (MAT®)

There is a brief review of the analogy concept and a broader explanation of how analogies are approached in the MAT® test at the beginning of our MAT® study guide on Semantic Relationships. Here’s a link to that information.

General Information About Using Content Area Knowledge

The MAT® test can be broken down into questions that involve four different types of word relationships: semantic, classification, association, and mathematical/logical. These relationships are drawn from the vast array of knowledge contained in these fields of study:

  • General (Life Experience)
  • Humanities
  • Language
  • Mathematics
  • Natural Sciences
  • Social Sciences

It’s taken you a whole lifetime to learn what you know in each of these areas and it would be impossible to have time to review all of it. However, you can learn some basic review techniques and suggestions to make sure you can access the content you’ve learned during the test.

It will also help to know what categories of information are contained in each of the six areas of study listed above, so this study guide breaks them down for you. This way, as you have time, you can find basic and broad information on the topics you know the least about.


These analogies involve terms, concepts, and information not necessarily associated with a particular content area, but believed to be common knowledge among educated adults simply from exposure to American culture and general reading.

Life Experience

This is an extremely broad category that can incorporate just about anything someone might pick up simply by living in the U.S. Related analogies might involve topics as wide-ranging as sports, celebrities, remarkable objects, recognizable groups, or popular entertainment.


ASPARAGUS : VEGETABLE :: VENISON : (a. mutton , b. meat , c. entrée , d. broccoli )

Among the three given words, you can identify a relationship between the first and second terms: ASPARAGUS is a type of VEGETABLE. So, the missing term must be something of which VENISON is a type. The answer is “meat.”

PLIABLE : (a. flexible , b. corrupted , c. tough , d. brittle ) :: BEND : BREAK

The relationship found among the given three words is between the first and the second: Something that is PLIABLE is easy to BEND. So, the missing term must be a word which indicates that something is easy to BREAK. The answer is “brittle.”


The workplace can be another source of material for MAT® analogies and might draw on various aspects of working environments, such as work-related vocabulary, business scenarios, workplace policies, workers’ rights, employee responsibilities, or different industry norms.


INSURANCE : (a. optician , b. actuary , c. undertaker , d. theologian ) :: REAL ESTATE : APPRAISER

Among the given three terms, you can identify a relationship between the last two: An APPRAISER is essential to the REAL ESTATE industry. So, the missing term must be a profession that is essential to the INSURANCE industry. The answer is “actuary.”

SUITS : TAILOR :: (a. dresses , b. hat , c. shoes , d. buckles ) : COBBLER

Among the three given words, you can identify a relationship between the first two: A TAILOR makes SUITS. So, the missing word must be what a COBBLER makes. The answer is “shoes.”

General Reading

MAT® topics can be pulled from the kind of information one might encounter during recreational or light reading. This can include diverse publications such as magazines, newspapers, bestsellers, etc.


THE WINDY CITY : (a. Los Angeles , b. Chicago , c. Denver , d. Columbus ) :: THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE : PHILADELPHIA

Among the three words given, you can identify a relationship between the last two: PHILADELPHIA is known as THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE. So, the missing word must be the place known as THE WINDY CITY. The answer is “Chicago.”

(a. acrophobia , b. hemophobia , c. odontophobia , d. hypochondria ) : BLOOD :: AEROPHOBIA : FLYING

Among the last three words in the analogy, you can identify a relationship between the final two: AEROPHOBIA is the fear of FLYING. So, the first word must be a term meaning the fear of BLOOD. The answer is therefore “hemophobia.”


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