Analogies demonstrate relationships between terms. The analogies used in the MAT are expressed in the form of equations. The analogies in the MAT are written as follows:
“A : B :: C : D.” This can be interpreted as “A has the same relationship to B that C has to D.” Alternately is can be interpreted as “A has the same relationship to C as B has to D.” Both interpretations can be used to solve an equation, but sometimes only one interpretation will prove useful. The first term in an equation is never related to the final term in the equation. That is, A is never related to D. In any equation, there is only one valid solution.
In each MAT question, one term is missing from the analogy equation. The candidate is given a choice of four possible answers to complete the equation. Although most terms in an analogy are in the form of words; numbers and symbols may also be used in these equations. The missing term may occur anywhere in the equation.
- Boots : (a. b. c. d.) :: Gloves : Hands
- (a. b. c. d.) : Feet :: Gloves : Hands
- Boots : Feet :: (a. b. c. d.) : Hands
- Boots : Feet :: Gloves : (a. b. c. d.)
The correct equation is “Boots : Feet :: Gloves : Hands” because boots are worn on the feet and gloves are worn on the hands. This equations could also have been expressed as “Boots : Gloves :: Feet : Hands.”
The equations in the MAT are solved in fours steps.
- The candidate should read the three terms given in the equation.
- The relationship between the two given pairs should be determined.
- The candidate should think of a term that will complete the equation without looking
at the possible answers.
- The candidate should look at the possible answers and choose the one that fits in with
his or her solution.
If none of the answers seem to complete the equation, the candidate may have to repeat these steps and rethink the relationships between the terms. If the candidate is reading “A is to B as C is to D” it may help to read the equation as “A is to C as B is to D.”