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MAT Practice — Analogies Involving the Natural Sciences

Some of the 120 analogies (questions) on your MAT will test your knowledge of the Natural Sciences — a broad field that includes biology, chemistry, physics, the earth sciences and astronomy. On this page are five MAT-style practice analogies involving natural science. 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. class, b. family, c. order, d. kingdom) : PHYLUM :: GENUS : SPECIES

  2. MEIOSIS : SEXUAL :: (a. mitosis, b. binary fission, c. homeostasis, d. cytokinesis) : ASEXUAL

  3. SEDIMENTARY : (a. detritus, b. ore, c. breccia, d. conglomerate) :: IGNEOUS : MAGMA

  4. ATMOSPHERE : STATOSPHERIC :: ELECTROMAGNETIC SPECTRUM : (a. covariant, b. Doppler, c. infrared, d. dipolar)

  5. (a. gravity, b. seasons, c. wave, d. rainfall) : TIDE :: ORBIT : ECLIPSE

Answers and Explanations
[Types of Relationships in MAT Analogies]

  1. The correct answer is (d). In the heirarchical system (taxonomic rank) for classifying biological life, phylum is immediately subordinate to kingdom, while species is immediately subordinate to genus. (Analogy type: classification)

  2. The correct answer is (b). Meiosis is a type of cell division necessary for sexual reproduction. Binary fission is one type of process by which asexual reproduction can occur. (Analogy type: classification)

  3. The correct answer is (a). Igneous rocks are formed by the cooling and solidification of magma (lava). Sedimentary rocks are formed by the settling and accumulation of detritus (organic material) and minerals. (Analogy type: association)

  4. The correct answer is (c). The word stratospheric refers to the stratosphere, which is one of the lower regions of the Earth's atmosphere. The word infrared refers to one of the lower (longer-wave) regions of the electromagnetic spectrum. (Analogy type: classification)

  5. The correct answer is (a). A tide is an observed effect of gravity — specifically, the gravitational pull of both the Moon and Sun, while an eclipse is an observed effect of the particular orbit cycles of both the Earth (around the Sun) and Moon (around the Earth). (Analogy type: association)