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The SAT Analogies

SAT analogy questions ask you to match up pair of words that are related in the same way. Each question starts with a word pair. You need to pick the pair of words from five answer choices that has the same logical relationship. The directions for analogy questions are as follows:
Directions: Each question below consists of a related pair of words or phrases, followed by five pairs of words or phrases labeled A through E. Select the pair that best expresses a relationship similar to that expressed in the original pair.
The above directions will appear every time when you start analogy practice at this Web site. Remember and understand the directions so that you don't need to spend the time reading them on your test day.

With analogies, you are looking for similar relationships, not similar meanings. Analogy questions do not ask you to look for words that have the same meaning as the word in capital letters.


    CRUMB : BREAD ::
    (A) ounce : unit
    (B) splinter : wood
    (C) water : bucket
    (D) twine : rope
    (E) cream : butter

The correct answer is (B).


To answer analogy questions, you must first figure out the relationship between the two words in CAPITAL LETTERS. Then look for the pair of words among the answers that has the same relationship.

In the example above, the words in capital letters are CRUMB and BREAD. What is the relationship between these two words? A CRUMB is a very small piece that falls off or breaks off of a piece of BREAD.

What makes (B) splinter : wood the right answer? A splinter is a very small piece that breaks off or splits away from a piece of wood. You can use almost the very same words to describe the relationships between CRUMB and BREAD, on the one hand, and splinter and wood, on the other. That is what makes the relationship analogous, what make them similar.

None of the relationships between the two words in the other choices is similar to the relationship between CRUMB and BREAD:

  • An ounce is a type of unit; it is not a small piece of a unit.
  • Water can be carried in a bucket; it is not a piece of a bucket.
  • Twine is thinner and less strong than rope, but it is not a small piece that breaks off of a rope.
  • Cream is what butter is made from, but cream is not a small piece of butter.

    Testing strategies for analogy questions are discussed in the later section "SAT Strategies".

    If you want to start practicing now, click here to login "SAT Practice" section.

  •   About The SAT I
      Getting Started Now
      The Test Structure
      The SAT Answer Sheet
      How The SAT Is Scored
      General Tips for You

      The SAT Questions
      Sentence Completions
      Critical Reading
      Multiple-choice Math
      Quantitative Comparisons
      Grid-in Questions

      The SAT Test Strategies
      Sentence Completions
      Critical Reading
      Multiple-choice Math
      Quantitative Comparisons
      Grid-in Questions
      Learning The SAT Words

      The PSAT / NMSQT
      About The PSAT
      Preparing for The PSAT
      The PSAT Writing Section