Lesson: Analogies - 06

Analogies: Try second Word First

Some Analogies Work Better When You Turn Them Around If you have trouble formulating a sentence where you use the first capitalized word before the second, try starting with the second word instead. Just make sure to analyze each answer choice in the same manner—use the second word first. By using second word first, the sentence gives you the true meaning and sense of the relationship.

Video Lesson - Try Second Word First

Practice Questions

Let’s see how this technique works on the following Analogy:


  1. sand : dune
  2. iceberg : glacier
  3. feather : bird
  4. river : ocean
  5. trestle : track

Example Solution

  1. Check sand : dune
  2. Crossiceberg : glacier
  3. Crossfeather : bird
  4. Crossriver : ocean
  5. Crosstrestle : track


The correct answer is (A). You might have trouble coming up with a graceful sentence relating STAR to CONSTELLATION, so try relating CONSTELLATION to STAR:

“A CONSTELLATION is made up of many individual STARS.” Of course, since we reversed the order of the capitalized words, we must also reverse the order of the words in each answer choice. So here’s how to apply the sentence to the answer choices:

Choice (A): Is a dune made up of many individual sands? The word sands might not work grammatically in the sentence, but if you substitute sand particles, the answer is yes—a dune is made of many individual sand particles.

Choice (B): Is a glacier made up of many individual icebergs? Not really; an iceberg is a piece of ice that has broken away from a glacier. Until it breaks away, it’s not an iceberg. (You could say, however, that a glacier consists of many potential icebergs, but that would strain the analogy.)

Choice (C): Is a bird made up of many individual feathers? No; a bird has many feathers, but a bird consists of much more than just feathers.

Choice (D): Is an ocean made up of many individual rivers? No; rivers might contribute to an ocean’s waters, but oceans are apart and distinct from those rivers.

Choice (E): Is a track made up of many individual trestles? No; a track rests on top of trestles.

As you can see, by reversing the order of the capitalized words, we came up with a sentence that captured the word-pair relationship and helped us reveal the best analogy.

Next to display next topic in the chapter.

Test Prep Lessons With Video Lessons and Explained MCQ

Large number of solved practice MCQ with explanations. Video Lessons and 10 Fully explained Grand/Full Tests.

Miller Analogies Test (MAT)

The Miller Analogies Test (MAT) is an exam administered by the Harcourt Assessment at Pearson testing centers. The MAT is an admissions exam accepted by many graduate programs in the United States. Additionally, it is used by many high-IQ societies across the world as an admission requirement. The MAT is intended to assess logical and analytical reasoning through completion of partial analogies. The test duration is 60 minutes and contains 120 questions. Exam formats include both computer-based tests (CBT) and paper and pencil format.