Verbal Analogies

The verbal analogy portion of the AFOQT measures your ability to determine relationships between words – no surprises here.  In addition to knowing what a given group of words mean, you’ll also need to apply logic to determine how the words are related (or not related) to one another. You’ll have 8 minutes to finish this 25 item subtest.

Have a look at this example analogy:

DOG is to PUPPY as LION is to

A) bird

B) cub

C) calf

D) cat

E) panther

Knowing the meaning of the capitalized words and recognizing the adult to child relationship is necessary to determine the correct answer: B) cub.

The AFOQT also employs a second type of verbal analogy:

DOG is to PUPPY as

A) spider is to grasshopper

B) fawn is to deer

C) lion is to cub

D) cow is to horse

E) tiger is to cougar

Here the answer is C) lion is to cub. You may have been tempted to select choice B, as a child to adult relationship is shown here. However, choice B would be incorrect because it is not in the same order as the given relationship. Remember to keep the order the same in the first and second pairs!

Familiarizing yourself with some of the more common analogies you might see on the AFOQT will also be helpful. While this list is not exhaustive, it does give you a good starting point.

1) Part to Whole (correct): KEYBOARD is to COMPUTER as LEG is to CHAIR.

A keyboard is an integral part of a computer in the same way that a leg is part of a chair.

Part to Whole (incorrect): KEYBOARD is to COMPUTER as CUSHION is to CHAIR.

Not all chairs have cushions – a cushion is not an integral part of a chair.

2) Cause to Effect (correct): COLD is to ICE as SPARK is to FIRE.

Ice is a direct result of cold temperature, in the same way fire results from a spark.

Cause to Effect (incorrect): COLD is to ICE as HEAT is to DESTRUCTION.

Destruction may result following a fire but heat is not the direct cause.

3) Source to Product (correct): TREE is to APPLE as FACTORY is to CAR.

An apple is the product of its tree as a car is the product of its factory

Source to Product (incorrect): TREE is to BARK as FACTORY is to CAR.

Although bark is a part of the tree, it is not a product in the same way as an apple (or a car).

4) Example to Category (correct): MASTIFF is to DOG as SIAMESE is to CAT.

A Mastiff is a breed (example) of dog. A Siamese is a cat breed.

Example to Category (incorrect): MASTIFF is to DOG as SIAMESE is to LION.

While a Siamese and a lion are both cats – a Siamese cat is not an example of a lion.

5) General to Specific (correct): BALL is to BASKETBALL as PHONE is to iPHONE.

Ball and Phone are general terms that could be used to refer to any ball or phone.

General to Specific (incorrect): BALL is to GOLF as PHONE is to iPHONE.

Golf is a sport not a ball. Golf ball would make this analogy correct.

6) Object to Function (correct): CAR is to DRIVE as CHAIR is to SIT.

The function should be definitive. A car is to drive. A chair is to sit. A car may be used to pull or push an object, but these actions are not definitive.

Object to Function (incorrect): CAR is to DRIVE as CHAIR is to FOLD.

A chair may or may not fold. In either case folding is not a definitive function.

7) User to Tool (correct): ARTIST is to PAINTBRUSH as CHEF is to KNIFE

If you would not immediately associate the given tool with the user, the analogy is likely incorrect.

User to Tool (incorrect): ARTIST is to PAINTBRUSH as CHEF is to KITCHEN

Here the chef is compared with a work environment, not a tool.

8) Numerical (correct): ONE is to THREE as NINE is to TWENTY-SEVEN

Numerical (incorrect): ONE is to THREE as NINE is to THIRTY-SIX

9) Grammatical (correct): TELL is to TOLD as RUN is to RAN

Here you just need to identify the relationship. If the base analogy goes from present tense to past so will the correct choice.

Grammatical (incorrect): TELL is to TOLD as PAST is to PASSED

10) Geographic (correct): FLORIDA is to MICHIGAN as ARIZONA is to OREGON

Here relative location is compared. Capital cities of states and countries may also be compared.

Geographic (incorrect): MISSISSIPPI is to LOUISIANA as EGYPT is to ENGLAND

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