Verbal reasoning: analogies

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What are analogies?

Analogies are part of verbal reasoning. Analogies are used in many aptitude tests. With an analogy you get to see a maximum of four words. These words form two pairs. The intention is to fill in the missing words. To determine the words you will need to determine the underlying relationship. A number of commonly used relationships are:

  • function: you use a hammer to hit something,
  • superlative: warm and hot,
  • antonym: strong and weak,
  • synonym: pretty and beautiful,
  • feature: orange and carrot,
  • category: a poodle is a dog.

In addition to these common relationships, there are many more. The more relationships you know, the easier the test will be.

In addition to the different relationships, there are three more variations of analogies:

  1. single analogy,
  2. double analogy,
  3. matrix analogy.

Single analogy

With a single analogy you have to determine one word. This is the simplest version because you already get a relationship.

Double analogy

With a double analogy you have to determine two words. This is a tricky version because you now have to determine what the relationship will be for both words.

Matrix analogy

A matrix analogy can be a single or double analogy in matrix form.

Example of a simple analogy

Analogies example 1

An analogy consists of four words, one or two of which must be entered.

Analogies example 2

An example of an analogy where the last word must be entered.

Analogies example 3

It is cold outside, so it is warm inside. This is an attribute or feature.

Single analogies

Single analogies are the simplest form of analogies. You must determine one word. Often that is the last word but it can also be one of the other words. Because you already get one word pair, it is relatively easy to determine the relationship.

The tricky thing about single analogies is that you get words with multiple meanings. Words that are both a verb and a noun. Therefore you quickly misinterpret the relationship. Word knowledge is also important. You will encounter words of which you do not know the meaning. By reasoning well you can still determine the answer.

Single analogy
Double analogies

Double analogies

Double analogies are the tricky form. In this case you must determine one word on each side. So you have to find the same relationship on both sides. In addition, there are different types of relationships. For example, you have to find the first word twice or the first and second. Depending on that, the question becomes more difficult.

With double analogies it is even more difficult that you can interpret words differently. You will have to look carefully at the context of the other words. With the word “school” you quickly think of education. But it can also be a group of fish. Word knowledge is therefore very important. It is true that you can often reason the answer logically based on the given words.

Matrix analogies

The matrix analogy is a special version of the single and double analogy. In this case the analogy is shown in a two by two matrix. This also means that all words have both a horizontal and a vertical relationship.

Furthermore, all conditions apply to this analogy as to the single and double analogy. Because of the remarkable shape, many candidates get confused about this. However, if you practice well with these form analogies you will find that it is not much harder.

Matrix analogies


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