Logical intelligence: analogies

A lot of IQ tests use questions of the analogy type. In analogies you are asked to determine the relationships between objects or constructs in the right way. Usually you can choose from several answers. For example:

Swine is to pig as ..... is to cow

  • sheep
  • buffalo
  • horse
  • goat


The correct answer here is buffalo. The correspondence: swine and buffalo are the wild variants of pigs and cows.

Analogy question format

An analogy always has the format A:B as C:D. If you want to come up with your own analogies, the relationship between C and D must be exactly the same as the relation between A and B.

It can be a challenge to find wrong answers that are not too obvious. They have to be wrong, but also (slightly) related to the right answer. For example, in the above sample analogy all answers including the wrong ones, refer to animals. If the list had included completely different answers, like 'ball' or 'green', you would have seen immediately that they are wrong. In that case the test question is too easy.

Creating analogies can be a difficult task, especially because the question must be unambiguous and cannot have alternative solutions that could also be considered to be 'right'.

Read more on another type of IQ test questions: number series. Also, you can try a free IQ test.