The Miller Analogies Test-- MAT -- is a standardized test that a student wishing to attend certain graduate schools can take to help gain acceptance to their chosen schools. This test uses analogies to measure students' analytical skills, rather than their ability to memorize facts and figures as measured in many other standardized tests. Since the MAT is different from most other tests, reading the results can be challenging.
Understanding MAT Scores
Review the preliminary test results. After completing the exam, you will receive the preliminary test results. These have not yet been verified by testing officials, and should therefore not be considered official, nor sent to schools to which you are applying. You must list your schools before taking the exam, and an official transcript will be sent to them directly.
Look at the raw score. This represents the number of questions you answered correctly. However, this is not the score that graduate schools consider, because there are several test forms that could vary in difficulty.
Understand the scaled score. To eliminate any bias based on the varying test questions, the scaled score is calculated by taking the raw score and comparing it to a control, or norm, group of students who previously took the test, usually within a three-year period. This score ranges between 200 and 600, with an average of 400.
Review the percentile rank. This works the same as in any other standardized test, in which you will see the percentage of people who scored lower than you, ranging from 1 to 99. Note that your percentile rank is compared to the same norm group that is considered in the scaled score. To give an example, if your scaled score is 500 and your percentile rank is 70, this means that 70 percent of the people in the norm group scored lower than your score of 500.
See the intended major percentile. This number is calculated in the same way as your overall percentile number. However, rather than compare your score to the entire norm group, it only calculates the scores of those who indicated they intend to major in the same program as you. This provides a good comparison scale for schools when considering whom to admit into their school or specific academic program.
- There is no passing or failing the MAT. Instead, schools predetermine their own standards, and therefore look for these results from applicants when considering whom to admit. Each individual school should be consulted on its standards if you have any questions.
- As with many other standardized tests, some parts of the MAT are solely used for research and are therefore not considered in your final scores. These sections, however, are not labeled as such.
Jen has been a professional writer since 2002 in the education nonprofit industry. Her work has been featured in the New Jersey SEEDS Annual Report, as well as several Centenary College publications, including "Centenary in the News" and the "Trustee Times." In 2009, Jen earned a Master of Arts degree in leadership and public administration from Centenary College.