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MAT, Miller Analogies Test is a standardized test, widely used as a graduate admission criterion. The very fact that colleges use MAT scores and that it has been viewed as a valid and reliable test for over 50 years now, shows the importance of the exam. It is a measure of how well a student can reason and analyze relationships between terms, based on his knowledge of different subject areas.
If the colleges you intend applying to ask for MAT scores, then you should understand that scoring well in it is crucial to your admission. College admission authorities are very skeptical to grant admission to candidates who do not exhibit appreciable thinking abilities. Since you cannot prepare for MAT by learning concepts by rote, it is among the best possible evaluators of your abilities. Hence, colleges give great importance to MAT scores.
The MAT Scoring Process
The MAT is scored electronically. The information on the personal Score Report is the only information you have access to. You shall not know anything about the scoring process and are neither provided with the Test Booklets, nor provided with a list of questions answered correctly or otherwise.
There are 120 testing items in MAT, out of which 20 are not scored. These 20 items are used for testing questions for future administrations of the MAT. Hence, only 100 items contribute towards your MAT score.
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Details on the Score Report
Your personal Score Report contains the following information.
Personal Information: Your name, Social Security number or Social Insurance number appear on the report.
Scaled Score: These scores are obtained from your raw scores. The number of correctly answered questions forms the raw score. The process of converting raw scores to scaled scores is based on the performance of students comprising a norm group. The current norm group consists of first time examinees who took the test from January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2007. This method ensures that the MAT scaled scores from different test forms and formats can be compared. The raw scores are converted to scaled scores in order to nullify the effect of any differences that exist due to the difference in the method of administration of MAT and the multiple test forms of MAT. Scaled scores range from 200 to 600 with 400 being the mean score, 200 and 600 being the lowest and highest scaled scores respectively.
Percentile for Intended Major: The norm group considered for calculating scaled scores is taken into consideration for calculating the percentile ranks as well. This percentile ranges from 1 to 99. This score represents the percentage of examinees from the norm group who scored lesser than you did and intended to take the same major as you. This score gives a clearer picture to admission authorities about your competence as compared with scaled scores which are highly personal and not comparative.
Percentile for the Total Group: This percentile also ranges from 1 to 99 and it represents the percentage of examinees who scored lesser than you did in the complete norm group. This score exhibits your overall capabilities relative to those of others.
Transcript Recipients: The reports sent to schools are called Official Transcripts. You can send up to three Official Transcripts to accredited institutions of higher education and approved fellowship/scholarship organizations. The names of all the recipients appear on the score report. If any school does not receive your Official Transcript within 6 weeks of testing, it shall be sent a replacement Official Transcript. Additional Official Transcripts for MAT test taken within the past five years can be sent to schools.
Test Date and Test Attempt: The date on which you took the test and the number of your attempts at MAT in the past five years are mentioned on the Score Report. If you do not receive the score report within 6 weeks of testing or you receive a damaged report, you can be given a second personal Score Report free of charge. You must request for the replacement Score Report within 8 weeks of testing; else, you shall have to pay a Transcript Fee.
Some Common Concerns/Queries
What is the passing score for MAT?
There is no passing score for the MAT, nor is there such a percentile rank. Each school has its own interpretation of the scores. Moreover, each shall attach a different degree of importance to the MAT score. What is considered a competent score by one college need not be enough for another.
How long are MAT scores valid?
Your scores are saved for five years by Pearson.
When can I see my score?
The score report is mailed after 10-15 days of testing. The scores cannot be received over telephone or through fax. For those who take the computer-based exam, a Preliminary Score Report is given as soon as the exam is over. This is not the official report and cannot be used for any official purpose.
Can I cancel my scores?
In case you realize that your performance is not good enough, you can choose the No Score Option. This option allows you to choose that your test not be scored and the report not be sent to anyone. Consequently, there shall be no reportable record of your MAT attempt. A blank Score Report shall be sent to you along with a Retest Admission Ticket.
Can I get my scores verified?
You can request manual checking of your responses and recalculation of your scores. In case your scores are any different from those previously reported, your Score Verification Fee shall be reimbursed and a corrected personal Score Report and the corrected Official Transcripts shall be sent to the institutions. The request can be made within 60 days of testing only.
How will taking a retest have an impact on my scores?
For some competitive exams, the scores of all attempts are reported either as such or as averages. Multiple attempts can alarm admission authorities as it shows a lackadaisical attitude. Scores from previous attempts are not shown for MAT and hence you can afford to take a retest without the fear of putting a bad impression on admission authorities. The increase or decrease in scores due to retesting depends on the reason for which your performance was not satisfactory in the previous attempt and how well you can prepare to overcome your shortcomings.
What Good are MAT Scores?
The utility of MAT scores can be understood from the following results obtained from different researches conducted to understand the importance of MAT.
- MAT is found to be a better predictor than GRE or undergraduate GPA for first year GPA of graduation, GPA of graduation and Comprehensive Exam Scores.
- MAT is a valid predictor of success in graduate school and professional situations.
- MAT is among the best possible measures of academic capabilities including reasoning abilities, verbal comprehension skills and analytical thinking skills.
- MAT is a cheaper and shorter test to take as compared with other standardized admission tests.
MAT measures your ability to understand relationships between two pairs of terms. Your knowledge of words and understanding of correlation between them is put to test in these questions. The results of MAT are indicative of abilities of candidates to
- Solve problems
- Construct justifications
- Build arguments
Colleges use MAT results as an admission criterion for graduate courses. These results are also used by scholarship programs for assessment of candidates.
How Important is it to Score High?
Though MAT scores are seldom considered in isolation, they form an important admission criterion and help convince admission authorities about your aptitude. A high score in MAT is certainly going to benefit you. Besides improving your chances of admission, it shall show your seriousness about education. Hard work put into any task does show in the form of results, provided your efforts are in the right direction. No doubt, a high undergraduate GPA and a good score in the admission exam shall impress the admission authorities and place you in a favorable position for admission. However, an accompanying low score in MAT shall put your case in doubt. It might show your lackadaisical attitude towards MAT, which shall not be appreciated by a college that asks for MAT scores.
The MAT is a very interesting exam to take. You do not have to learn complex concepts to appear for it. Your performance finally depends on how well you can master the technique of answering analogy questions. Maintain a positive attitude towards this exam and it shall show in your performance.
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