Civil Service Examination Coverage: English/Analogy

Analogies are test questions where a pair of words are given, and you are asked to choose another pair with the same relationship. For more help answering Analogies, or Verbal Analogies as they are sometimes called, see our Analogies Tutorial.

Kinds of Relationship in Analogy Test

Opposite Analogies. Opposites are exactly as the word suggests, things that are opposite to each other. This is a common analogy type that you will encounter fairly often and since words have only one opposite this a pretty straightforward type that does not leave much room for discussion.

Example: Crying is to laughing as standing is to sitting.

Object and Classification Analogies. Objects can be given classification, a group of objects to which they belong. Most objects can even be classified into several different groups as shown in the example in which a knife is classified as kitchenware or as weapon.

Example: knife is to kitchenware as red is to color.

Object and Related Object Analogies. As shown the words mentioned in the example are all related to each other in some way or another. Be careful not to confuse this type of analogy with the “things that go together” analogy type which is described below. The related object in this “object and related object” analogy is an obvious relation however the object is not inseparably intertwined to one another like for example a knife and a fork. Example: Cat is to kitten as plant is to seed.

Object and Group Analogies. These are objects which form a specifically named group when several are put together.

A several wolves together form a pack, several trees a forest etc.

Example: Wolf is to pack; Tree is to forest; Fish is to school.

Degrees of a Characteristic Analogies. A degree means the level of a certain idea. For example, the lower degree of hot could be warm and its higher degree might be burning.

Example: Tired is to exhausted; warm is to hot; cold is to freezing.

Cause and Effect Analogies. The similarity in these types of analogies derives from the cause on one side and its indisputably connected effect on the other side.

Example: Spin is to dizzy; fire is to burn; read is to learn.

Effort and Result Analogies. The difference between this analogy type and “cause and effect” type is the fact that for the effort and result connection an actual effort has to be made. If you put your hand in the fire it will burn without effort. A painting, on the contrary, has to be painted and painting is an effort somebody has to perform and it has to be performed in a certain way.

Example: Paint is to painting; write is to letter.

Problem and Solution Analogies. Some problems have very obvious solutions like for example if you have an itch(problem) you can scratch(solution) to solve that problem. These problems and solutions are gratefully used in word analogy problems.

Examples: Unemployment is to job application; tired is to sleep.

Verb Tenses Analogies. This are exactly as the word says a type of analogy in which two tenses of a verb are analogous to two of the same tenses of another verb. Example: Walk is to walked; Sent is to send; Eat is to ate.

Performer and Action Analogies. This is again a very straightforward analogy type which is based on taking two sets of performers and their corresponding actions. The relation between a painter and to paint is the same as the relation between a soldier and to fight.

Example: Painter is to paint; Soldier is to fight; Scientist is to research.

Object and Part of the Whole Analogies. The difference derives from the fact that in the object and part of a whole relation the “object” is not automatically the “whole” when lots of the objects are brought together. For example glass and window match the description of object and part of a whole, but glass could just as easy match light bulb so the glass will only be a light bulb if you process it in certain ways.

Example: Brick is to wall; Glass is to window; Page is to book.

Object and Function Analogies. Some objects have designated functions which are inseparably connected to the concerning object like for example you use a keyboard for typing and a telephone for calling. These relations are often used in in analogy test problems.

Example: Keyboard is to type; telephone is to call; Paintbrush is to paint.

Object and Location Analogies. In this relation objects are designated to their most logical location. This is not always strictly defined e.g. a tree can be in the forest but it can just as easily be in the park.

Example: Tree is to forest; Plane is to hangar; Dog is to doghouse.

Numerical Analogies. This pertains to the similarities of equality or proportions of a number. 2 is to 4 as 6 is to 36; 144 is to 12 as 169 is to 13.

Sources: Insignia Review Center – CHQ Institute Inc.

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