Lesson: Analogies - 13

Analogies: Types - Function or Purpose

In this type of analogy question the word pair gives the idea of item and its function or purpose.

Use of Function in Analogies

In this relationship, one word is essentially a tool, and the other word is a function, purpose, or use of the tool. Look for one of two distinct patterns to help you refine the relationship:

Inherent purpose (function) One of several possible uses or applications

INHERENT PURPOSE (FUNCTION)

“A ________ is a tool designed to ________ .”

“The chief purpose of ________ is to ________ .”

KEY: UNLOCK

LOOM : WEAVE

BUTTRESS : REINFORCE (a buttress is a type of supporting structure)

Hint

ONE OF SEVERAL POSSIBLE USES OR APPLICATIONS

“A ________ can, but need not, be used to ________ .”

“A ________ can serve several functions, one of which is to ________ .”

“A ________ can ________ , although it isn’t designed for this purpose.”

FINGER : POINT

SPEECH : INSPIRE

EDIFICE : MEMORIALIZE (an edifice is imposing structure, typically a monument)

Practice Questions

Example

PRESERVE : MORATORIUM
  1. tyrannize : revolt
  2. shade : tree
  3. solve : problem
  4. accumulate : collection
  5. cover : eclipse

Example Solution

PRESERVE : MORATORIUM
  1. Crosstyrannize : revolt
  2. Checkshade : tree
  3. Crosssolve : problem
  4. Crossaccumulate : collection
  5. Crosscover : eclipse

Explanation

The correct answer is (B). A MORATORIUM is an official halt or cessation of an activity. One possible use of a moratorium is to PRESERVE (for instance, to preserve an endangered animal species). Is one possible use of a revolt to tyrannize? The purpose of a revolt might be to stop tyranny (which means “oppressive rule”), so choice (A) is not correct. One possible use of a tree is to shade, so choice (B) is a good analogy. Is one possible use of a problem to solve? No, so choice (C) is out. Is one possible use of a collection to accumulate? No. A collection is the result of accumulation, so choice (D) is not correct. Is one possible use of an eclipse to cover? No. Covering is part of the definition of eclipse, so choice (E) is not the best choice.

Look out for red-flag answer choices. In the question above, for example, accumulate bears some similarity to preserve (accumulating might help to preserve). But choice (D) is a wrong answer.

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Test Prep Lessons With Video Lessons and Explained MCQ

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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.