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What is Considered a Good MAT® Test Score?

By Kathy Heydasch
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The median score of a modern Miller Analogies Test (MAT®) score is 400, on a scale of 200 to 600. A score of 500-600 would be extremely rare, so anything above 400 is considered above average. A good MAT® test score is used by graduate schools to determine the worthiness of applicants. Also, certain intellectual societies may use a good MAT® test score in order to determine acceptance of those applying.

The MAT® test score is based upon a series of 120 questions in the form of analogies. An example of an analogy question is “Bach is to Composing as Monet is to blank,” and the answer would be “painting”. Analogies are thought to be a comprehensive measure of a person’s analytical and vocabulary skills. Topics for questions contained within the MCAT® test range from math and science to art and history.

Scores for the MAT® are given in actual numbers and percentiles. A score of 420 reflects the actual number of questions answered correctly. A percentile of 65% means that 65% of test-takers scored lower than 420.

Only 100 of the 120 questions on the 60-minute test count toward the final score. This is because 20 of the questions are considered to be experimental. There is no way for a test-taker to differentiate between a legitimate question and an experimental question.

Prior to October of 2004, an MAT® test score was on a scale of 1 to 100. Then the test became computer-based, and the scoring system changed. The new method grades on a scale of 200 to 600, with a standard deviation of 25 points from 400, the median score.

It may behoove an applicant to re-take a test, although a particular graduate school may have rules about the submission of scores after an original score is submitted. In order to prepare for the MAT®, there are two sample tests available at the MAT®’s official website. Both are 100 questions and there is a fee to take the practice tests.

Some graduate schools require high scores on standardized tests in order to accept applicants. A person must check with their potential graduate school to determine which standardized tests are accepted for entry into the school. Other standardized tests include the Graduate Record Examination (GRE®), the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT®), Law School Admission Test (LSAT®) and Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT®). Of these, the GRE®is the most common.

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Discussion Comments
By anon995426 — On Apr 27, 2016

I just took the MAT for the first time today and received a 455. I'm certain that had I not studied the week beforehand that my score would've been compromised and I would have to take it again. My university had the McGraw Hill MAT Study Guide available for free in their library and online. But there are others available, including Pearsons. Two things really helped: the back of the book is filled with most of the content addressed on the test. I read through part of this content every day for a week and noted those bits of information I couldn't remember. Writing it down helps. Secondly, they have 10 practice tests. I took one test every day and after the third test my score began to improve. (The only difference I saw were several mathematic equations which they didn't offer in the book, and there were a few of the analogies where I just didn't recognize the relationship.) Good luck!

By anon992174 — On Aug 19, 2015

I suggest that you purchase a good study guide early in the process and review the lists of vocabulary, prefix meanings, topics that relate to "-ology" (as in cetology, histology, etc.), basic Roman and Greek mythology, Roman numerals, etc. You likely knew all that stuff at some time but may have forgotten a lot of it. If you are a diverse reader, you will have a lot of knowledge that non-readers will lack. Taking the sample tests will help you with quick thinking and pacing.

By Viranty — On Dec 13, 2013

@astewart – The Miller Analogies Test (and similar tests) aren’t prepared for in the same way classroom tests are. Though it’s obviously a good idea to study, there’s less of a “correct” way to do so, and unlike classrooms tests, you’re not expected to know every answer.

If you reread the article, it even says that only 100 questions count toward the final score, even though there are 120 questions total. As some final advice, don’t spend too much time on questions you don’t know, skipping them if need be. You can always come back to them later.

By Chmander — On Dec 13, 2013
Informative article, but I feel it would be a bit more helpful if there were some tips on how to study for the Miller Analogies Test. I’ll be going to graduate school soon, and tests like these have always stumped me. I especially remember struggling with the ACT in high school.

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