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MAT Practice — Analogies that Test Your General Knowledge

Some of the 120 analogy questions on your MAT will involve subjects that are of general knowledge, as distinguished from information related to specific academic fields. On this page are five MAT-style practice analogies that test your general knowledge. Further down the page you'll find an analysis of each question.

Directions: In each of the following questions, you will find three terms in upper-case letters and, in parentheses, four answer options lettered (a), (b), (c) and (d). Select the answer option that best completes the analogy with the three other terms.

  1. (a. Wall Street, b. parade, c. Manhattan, d. theater) : BROADWAY :: CASTLE : RHINE

  2. MILITARY FORT : (a. sentry, b. tank, c. moat, d. cannon) :: COAL MINE : CANARY

  3. LONDON : POUND :: RIO DE JANEIRO : (a. rupee, b. Euro, c. peso, d. real)

  4. FRYING PAN : (a. iron, b. ice, c. fire, d. pot) :: ROCK : HARD PLACE

  5. WRONG : MURPHY'S LAW :: (a. illegal, b. incompetent, c. correct, d. predictable) : PETER PRINCIPLE

Answers and Explanations
[Types of Relationships in MAT Analogies]

  1. The correct answer is (d). Broadway in Manhattan is well-known for the theaters that flank both sides of the street, while the Rhine River is well-known for the castles along its banks. (Analogy type: association)

  2. The correct answer is (a). A canary will die from oxygen scarcity before a human will. So in a coal mine a canary's function is to warn miners if they are in danger. Similarly, at a military fort a sentry's function is to warn soldiers if they are in danger (of attack). (Analogy type: association)

  3. The correct answer is (d). The currency (money) used in London and throughout England is the British pound, while the currency used in Rio de Janeiro and throughout Brazil is the real. (Analogy type: classification)

  4. The correct answer is (c). The familiar phrase "between a rock and a hard place" describes a dilemma in which a person must decide between two equally unattractive choices. The familiar phrase "out of the frying pan and into the fire" is another metaphor involving two unappealing situations. So frying pan is analogous to rock, while fire is analagous to hard place. (Analogy type: association)

  5. The correct answer is (b). Murphy's law holds that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The Peter Principle holds that people are generally promoted to their level of incompetence. (Analogy type: semantic)