Standardized testing is one of the most stressful parts of the graduate school application process, and the Miller Analogies Test (MAT), which tests reasoning ability by focusing on the test taker's ability to interpret analogies, is one of several exams commonly associated with graduate schools admissions. If you've taken the MAT or any other graduate school admissions test, you know that looking at your score report for the first time can be a nerve-racking experience, so it's important that you know ahead of time how to correctly interpret your score report.
Find the line listed on your results sheet labeled "Scaled Score" and locate the number printed to the right of it. This number is your scaled score, a number between 200 and 600 that is calculated based on the number of questions on the test that you answered correctly. All questions are weighted equally in calculating the scaled score, and there is no penalty for wrong answers.
You can compare your scaled score to the scaled score of other individuals who took any administration of the test, since Pearson adjusts scaled score to account for any differences in difficulty across different administrations of the test. The mean scaled score is approximately 400, so a score greater than 400 indicates that you performed better than half of all test takers, while a score less than 400 indicates that half of all test takers performed better than you.
Locate the line listed on your results sheet labeled "Percentile for Total Group" and find the number printed to the right of it. This number is your overall percentile score and represents the percentage of test takers who scored lower than you. For example, if your percentile score is 86, then 86 percent of test takers received a scaled score that was lower than yours.
You can compare your percentile score to individuals who took any administration of the test to see who performed better relative to all test takers.
Find the line listed on your results sheet labeled "Percentile for Intended Major" and locate the number printed to the right of it. This number reflects your percentile standing relative only to other individuals who took the test and specified the same intended major as you. If your intended major is a highly competitive one, your percentile for your intended major may be lower than your percentile for the total group of test takers. If you did not specify an intended major when you sat for the test, this section will read "NA."
Compare your scaled score and overall percentile score to the requirements for the programs to which you are planning to apply. Some programs have a minimum scaled score requirement which you must meet in order to apply. Other programs have no minimum score but will consider your score in evaluating your overall application. Contact admissions officers at the schools you are interested in applying to and ask for the average percentile or scaled scores of applicants they've admitted in the past in order to get a sense for how your score compares.
- Pearson Clinical Assessment, Miller Analogies Test: Candidate Information Booklet
- Pearson Clinical Assessment, Miller Analogies Test: Scoring FAQs
- Pearson Clinical Assessment, Miller Analogies Test: MAT Predictive Validity Study General Report
- Barry University: Miller Analogies Test
- University of Alabama at Birmingham: Information about the MAT and GRE
- Photo Credit ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images News/Getty Images
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