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What content areas does the MAT cover?

In order to understand the analogical relationships among the four terms in any MAT question, you first need to know what those terms mean. Thus, to a great extent the MAT is a vocabulary and subject-matter knowledge test.

In designing MAT test questions, the test makers draw upon the seven broad content areas listed and described below. Some of these areas account for a greater number of test questions than others. Keep in mind, however, that there is no fixed percentage for any area. For instance, one MAT exam might include more Humanities than Social Science questions, while on a subsequently administered exam just the opposite might be the case.

Each content category listed on this page links to a series of MAT-style practice questions involving the category.

General Vocabulary
A significant percentage of questions on your MAT will involve general vocabulary, as distinguished from the vocabulary used in any of the specific academic fields listed below. Expect to encounter the same kinds of words as those that typically appeared in analogy questions on the old version of the SAT I or that appear on the current version of the GRE General Test.

General Knowledge
Some questions on your MAT will involve terminology that is part of general, everyday knowledge, as distinguished from information related to any of the specific academic fields listed below. Rote vocabulary training is unlikely to help prepare you for these questions.

Humanities
A significant percentage of questions on your MAT will focus on the humanities — a broad field that includes literature, philosophy and the fine arts.

Social Sciences
A significant percentage of questions on your MAT will involve the social sciences: history, political science, geography, sociology, economics, and psychology.

Natural Sciences
Some questions on your MAT will involve the natural sciences: biology, chemistry, physics, the earth sciences, and astronomy. Expect fewer of these questions than questions involving either social science or the humanities.

Mathematics
A small number of questions on your MAT will focus on mathematics: basic arithmetic, number theory, descriptive statistics, algebra, and geometry. Though a mathematics question might focus on terminology, far more common are questions involving numerical relationships such as proportion (equivalent ratios or fractions), equality, or inequality.

Non-semantic
A small number of MAT questions will involve non-semantic word relationships, which means that the connection between the words has nothing to do with their meaning. This type of MAT question typically focuses either on letter patterns or on phonetics (how a word is pronounced when spoken).