How to Solve Analogies (+ Practice Analogy Questions)

An easy way to practice solving analogies before the big test!

Analogies are a key part on many standardized tests - use this practice and prepare! This activity explains the different analogy types and provides a number of analogies to solve as practice. It can be used as an independent study activity, as a homework assignment, or as prep for a test or quiz.

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Learning to solve analogies is an important way to sharpen your thinking skills and prepare for standardized tests. 

What are analogy word problems?

An analogy is a type of word problem that consists of two word pairs. To solve analogies, you must find a word that correctly completes the second pair.

At first glance, the words in an analogy may seem to have nothing to do with each other, but the words are always logically related. The first pair of words has a relationship similar to the second pair of words. To solve the analogy, you need to figure out that relationship.

Why is it important to learn to solve analogies?

Learning to solve analogies is crucial for students as it helps in enhancing critical thinking skills. It enables them to identify relationships and connections between different concepts, thus fostering a deeper understanding.

Additionally, analogies often appear on standardized tests; therefore, proficiency in solving them can contribute to better test scores.

How to solve analogies

To solve analogies for standardized tests, follow these steps:

  1. Understand the relationship between the words in the first pair. This could be a relationship of antonyms (opposites), synonyms (similar meaning), part to whole, or cause and effect, among others.
  2. Apply this relationship to the second pair. Try to find a word that has the same relationship with the given word in the second pair as the words in the first pair do with each other.
  3. Consider all answer choices before making a decision. Sometimes multiple answers may seem to fit, but only one will have the most similar relationship.
  4. Practice. Regular practice with different types of analogies can help you become more comfortable with identifying relationships and choosing the correct answer.

Examples and practice


    GRACEFUL : CLUMSY :: HOT : _______
  1. Read the analogy like this: Graceful is to clumsy as hot is to ‘blank.’
  2. Then ask yourself: What's the relationship between graceful and clumsy? These words have opposite meanings – they are antonyms – so the second pair of words must also be antonyms.
  3. Fill in the blank with a word that means the opposite of hot, and you’ve solved the analogy. The best answer is COLD.

Common Analogy Types

The word pairs in an analogy often have one of the following relationships:



Antonyms: Words that have opposite meanings, as in HOT : COLD


Synonyms: Words that have the same or similar meanings, as in UNHAPPY : SAD


Descriptive: One word describes the other word, as in FAST : CHEETAH


Part to whole: One word is a part or piece of the other, as in PIECE : PUZZLE


Item to category: One word is an item in the category named by the other, as in

Some analogies will not fit into the categories above.



    PUPPY : DOG :: KITTEN : _______
  1. Read the analogy like this: Puppy is to dog as kitten is to ‘blank.’ The first pair of words are not related in any of the ways listed above.
  2. Try reading the analogy as a sentence that expresses the relationships between the words: A puppy is a young dog, as a kitten is a young....?
  3. To solve this analogy, fill in the blank with a word that best completes this sentence. CAT is the best answer.
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