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What is the MAT, and who must take the exam?

The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is a 60-minute exam consisting of 120 partial analogies. For each of the 120 test items your task is the same: complete the analogy by selecting the best of four options.

The MAT was developed for the purpose of gauging scholastic aptitude at the graduate level by measuring high-level analytical abilities. Specifically, the MAT measures the following:

  • Your ability to recognize relationships between ideas (analogistic relationships)

  • Your English-language fluency (vocabulary, grammar, usage)

  • Your general knowledge of the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and mathematics

Today the MAT is designed and administered by Pearson Inc. (a for-profit education company) under its Psychorp™ brand.

Some graduate programs require MAT scores to support a candidate's application. However, a far greater number of graduate programs accept either MAT or GRE General Test score reports. Social-science and humanities programs are far more likely than natural-science programs to either require MAT score reports or to accept them as an alternative to GRE score reports.

Though MAT score reports are most often used for supporting graduate-admission applications, they are also used to support financial-aid applications for graduate study and, less commonly, to assist college advisors and counselors in making course placement decisions.