Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mnemonics and the Miller Analogies Test results

Hey all,

So I took the Miller Analogies Test earlier today, and according to the preliminary report, I did very well.  I've read and heard other people mention their exact scores, and it usually comes across as bragging to me unless there is some purpose for mentioning it, and I don't want to do that.  But you probably need to know the actual number in order to decide if mnemonics is something for you. I scored 481 out of 600.  For my purpose, that means I should do well in scholarship competitions, and for the blog's purposes, it does suggest mnemonics can greatly help a person "cram" if they have to (which I did in order to meet the deadline for this scholarship).  Believe me, I am not naturally capable of doing so well on such tests, especially under such short notice.  I'm probably naturally below in aptitude in comparison to most people reading this blog.  The difference is I train wisely, and consequently my mind rarely performs poorly, even if it doesn't always perform as well as I would like. 

Remember that I started studying for the MAT less than two weeks ago.  I'd be curious to see how a person would do if they used the peg system, Russian doll system, and loci method I advocate using a month or two...or three before taking the test or any similar exam like the MCAT or GRE.  

But in all fairness, I didn't just read, read, read and memorize, memorize, memorize.  In fact, after a friend of mine who scored 517 out of 600 on the Miller Analogies Test suggested I give my work schedule a significant rest, I did (wise training I mentioned earlier). Remaining calm helped a lot during the testing session.  In my case, it also helped that I was the only person in the room and could therefore think aloud.  Yes folks, I talk to myself.  But it turns out talking to oneself is actually a great problem-solving tool.

My only beef the test was that two questions on mine specifically could have multiple answers that were logical, in my opinion.  I don't want to get in trouble for sharing questions on the test, so I'll change around one of the questions in question a little.  It went like so:

Poseidon: Neptune :: Zeus : (a. Jupiter, b. Venus, c. Aphrodite, d. Saturn)

Now before all of my studying, I would have automatically selected  "A." Neptune is the Roman equivalent to Poseidon the way Jupiter is the Roman equivalent to Zeus.  However, after all of the memorizing I did, I now knew that Poseidon is the Father of Neptune, as is Zeus is the father to Aphrodite.   I also started seeing too many patterns in the question.  "Poseidon" ends in the letter "n"  and "Neptune" begins with it.  Similarly Zeus ends in the letter "s" and "Saturn" begins with it.  While all of this is true, the test-makers probably wanted the more superficial reply of "A."  But instead I picked "D."  It may sound counterintuitive, but I probably would have done better if I "dumbed down" my answers. Actually, a better description is give them the answer they think is right, rather than the answer you think is right.     Depending on what and how you do on the practice tests, this may be a strategy you also have to incorporate.

There is a lot more I want to say, and I may say it later, but right now it's time to call it a night.  Tomorrow I return to editing and then marketing my books, though I doubt I'll rarely mention the work on this blog.  I will, however, cover the speed-reading program Eye-Q tomorrow.  I was going through my uncle's garage a few days ago, and found his copy of it there.

A review of Brainetics is also coming soon!  


  1. I found you're site, just trying to learn more about the MAT, and wade through the product publisher sites to someone giving the test some thought...

    Re: dumbing down a little bit. That is correct. You got to remember that test makers are just people. They probably have just slightly more than superficial knowledge on a lot of different subjects, a lot of lists and summaries at their disposal, but they're not full-on masters in these areas. Test publishers don't hire fine arts experts, they hire psychometric experts. Ya know? So you'd have to think of the 'educated denominator', not the lowest, but certainly not the highest either.

    Dr. Krog

  2. oh and that's supposed to read "your" duh...

    dr. krog

  3. You certainly made me laugh, Dr. Krog. Thanks for posting. I hope you'll visit regularly.