Analogies Questions for CAT: Approach, Tips, Examples

Analogy questions can be baffling initially. But, lo and behold, you can cover the fundamental approach to these questions along with the explanation of the concept in 7 mins.

Analogies’ Questions in CAT usually feature in the VARC (Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension) section of the test. Additionally, Analogy questions is one of those common topics whose questions appear in most of the MBA entrance exams like XAT, GMAT and as such. Therefore, typically you may find at least 5 questions in the CAT exam pertaining to this topic.

It tests a student’s ability in maintaining a vocabulary. Additionally, it tests a student’s ability to understand and interpret connections between a pair of words.

Analogies—Approach

Basically, in this type  of questions, you have four pairs of words as options. These pairs of words share some kind of relationship that you need to decipher. However, amongst these four pairs, a pair of words share the same relationship with its pair as the pair given in the question.

Example:

Question: Artist:Painting::

a) Driver: Car

b) Composer : Symphony

c) Surgeon : Operation

d) Novel : Author

Approach for the solution:

Now, let’s again read the initial pair of words, but substituting words for colons. The first colon (:) is translated as “is to” and two colons (::) are translated as “as”. So, it will be read as “Artist is to Painting as…”. Next, let’s look into this question: What is the relationship an artist and a painting shares? An artist creates a painting. Therefore, the pair we are looking for should share a relationship closest to that between an artist and a painting. Let us consider the first option: A driver drives a car. We definitely know that the relationship between the Driver and the car is not the same as between the Artist and the painting. Consequently, that option is eliminated.

With the first option eliminated, we have three more options to look into. Considering the options, we know that a Surgeon “does” an operation, “a Novel is written by an Author”.  These options do not reflect the relationship that an Artist and a painting share. However, option b is Composer is to Symphony. We know that a Composer creates a Symphony. This is the only option that comes closest to the relationship between an Artist and a painting. So, the correct option is B. 

Tips to solve Analogies

1. The study of analogy is simple. It falls into neat, distinguishable patterns. Thus, it can be learned. Try to decipher these patterns quickly.

2. Gain familiarity with the patterns that analogies’ question exhibit over and over again. This will help you identify the trap. Consequently, you will be able to increasingly develop your ability to solve analogies’ questions quickly.

3. Remember that while solving an analogy question, you must look for the precise relationship that the pair of words share in the question.

4. If you cannot find an exact match of the relationship in the pairs of words , then the relationship you have formed between the pair of words is inaccurate. That is because analogies involve an exactness and precision to their solving.

5. It is also extremely important to substitute the pair of words into your sentence in the same order as they are given in. For instance, “artist creates a painting” is correct and “a painting created by an artist” is incorrect.

Examples (with explanations)

1. Puppy:Dog::

a) Sheep: Flock

b) Mare:Goose

c) Kitten:Cat

d) Child:Adult

Solution:

We know that puppy is a young dog after reading the question. Let’s consider the options now. Option a is not correct because the relationship that Sheep and Flock share with each other does not reflect that of a puppy and a dog. That is because “flock” is used to refer to a group of sheep. Option b is not correct either. It is not correct because Mare is not a young goose. Now, let’s look at the remaining choices. Considering Option C. Is kitten a young Cat? Yes, it is. It makes sense. However, let us look at the remaining options just to be sure. Option d shows a relationship between an Adult and a Child. Things get trickier here. We all know that a child will grow up to be an Adult. However, it is not correct because we are looking for a young form of an animal. It would have been correct if it were given as “Child: Human”. Therefore, the correct option is (c).

2. Carpenter: Hammer::

a) Painter:Paint

b) Pilot:Aeroplane

c) Philosopher:Books

d) Plumber:Wrench

Solution:

We know that “A carpenter uses Hammer”. Now that we have formed a relationship between the carpenter and the hammer, let us look at the options. Does a painter use paint? Well, yes it does. Let’s still look at the other options. Does a Pilot use an Aeroplane? Obviously, no. A pilot flies an aeroplane or rather, operates an airplane. So, Option (b) has been eliminated. Does a Philosopher use books? Well, no. A Philosopher reads books. It doesn’t exactly use them. So, Option C has been eliminated because it doesn’t reflect the relationship of that between the Carpenter and the Hammer. Now, considering the last option, that is, option d. A plumber uses a wrench. However, what’s the difference of the relationship between that of a plumber and a wrench and that of a painter and paint? A plumber uses a wrench as a tool to fix things, whereas a painter uses paint to do art. Likewise, considering the pair in the question, a carpenter uses a hammer to fix things. That’s why the correct option is option (d).

Our team of CAT coaching in Kolkata hopes you found this article helpful!

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