How to Solve Analogies Questions with Low Vocabulary

There are many types of Analogies questions. You are to find the relationships between the given word pair. First of all you must know the meaning of the words as the relationships are not the primary obstacle with vocabulary analogies which seek more to test your vocabulary knowledge. Hence, if want to perform well on this section, you must learn the most common vocabulary words. Memorizing the word lists is a common practice though the vocabulary building is time consuming and lengthy process. You can build a vocabulary of common words used in the Analogies questions. Download the word lists and memorize the word meaning. If you have a large word pool you will feel comfortable on the section.

Words Definition

In a definitional analogy, one of the words is often the essential quality or characteristic of the other word. Your relationship between the stem words will vary with these analogies, but generally it will sound like “x is essentially y,” “x is defined by being y,” or “x, by definition, is a y.” Let’s take a look at some examples of the most common definitional analogies.
    • advocate : disapproval
    • catalyst : completion
    • tyro : experience
    • bigot : intolerance
    • instigator : curiosity

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Here, it helps to know that a “miser” is defined as a “stingy person,” that is, someone who hoards wealth and spends as little money as possible. Thus, your relationship can be something like “a miser is characterized by stinginess.” If the second word does not essentially characterize the first, then it should be eliminated. Out of the choices, only a “bigot is essentially characterized by intolerance” (it should be noted here that “intolerance,” in this case, means the unwillingness to accept different opinions or beliefs).
    • rumble : sleep
    • wail : siren
    • distance : train
    • jump : high
    • sing : songs
Here, the stem words give us a little bit tougher vocabulary. If we are not sure what fulminate means, we may able to deduce its meaning by examining the answer choices. Notice that most of the choices have verbs in the first column and nouns in the second column. First, let’s eliminate the non-relationship pairs. I cannot form a relationship between rumble and sleep (the only relationship I can think of has to do with the fact that snoring, which occurs during sleep, is a kind of rumbling sound, but this is just too vague to justify). The same non-relationship goes for trains and distance (it also does not fit my parts of speech formula). D is also a specious relationship, since high—an adjective—does not match thunder—a noun. We are down to two: b and e. A siren, by definition, wails, whereas songs must be sung (by people). My two relationship choices are as follows: does thunder fulminate (does thunder perform the action of fulminating), or is thunder fulminated (by something else). I can’t imagine how the second option would work since, after all, thunder produces itself, so I’ll go with B. Indeed, fulminate means to explode with loud sound: thunder fulminates just as a siren wails.
The above examples are the simplest and most common type of definitional analogy. Unfortunately, though, definitional analogies tend to get more complex. There are some definitional analogies that do not use the direct equation relationship that I just described.
    • meteorologist : rain
    • chemist : science
    • geneticist : people
    • botanist : plants
    • paleontologist : palindromes
Here, the two stem words and linked by definition, but I cannot say that “x is y” or that “x is characterized by y.” This analogy requires you to use more specific language to define the relationship. The best relationship is “a genealogist is someone who studies ancestry.” Notice some of the traps in the answer choices. One could argue that a meteorologist studies rain, but I cannot say “by definition, a meteorologist studies rain” because rain is just one minor aspect of what a meteorologist essentially studies—weather. A similar argument could be made for choices B and C, but note that a chemist essentially studies chemistry (not just science) and a geneticist essentially studies genes (not just people). D, however, exhibits an essential definition: a botanist, by definition, studies plants.

Solve Analogy Question with Low Vocabulary

It is a common belief that vocabulary is required for solving questions. If tricks are applied to solve the questions a low vocabulary will be sufficient.


As the name implies, cause and effect type analogies involve a noun or verb that leads to the other word. An example is LAUGHTER : JOKE.

Object and its Purpose

In this type of analogies, one word is "used to" in relation to the other word. A noun : noun example is STEREO : MUSIC. (A stereo is used to play music.) A noun : verb example is FORK : EAT. (A fork is used to eat.)


In this analogy, one word means to lack the other word. An example would be HUNGER : FOOD.

Is a place where

These analogies involve 2 nouns one of which is a place where the other noun is found. RESTAURANT : FOOD is an example of the "is a place where" analogy.