WORD LISTS

The New SAT: The Language of the Test

September 8, 2015
How can you perform well on the new reading section of the SAT if you don’t fully understand the language being used in the directions and in the questions? Learn this list of 150 words that are based on our analysis of the words likely to appear in question stems, answer options and test directions.

Here are all of our word lists to help you prepare for the new SAT (debuting March of 2016): The Language of the Test, Multiple-Meaning Words, and Words to Capture Tone.
abstract
Taken from an answer choice.
The most likely purpose of the parenthetical information in lines 54–55 (“(which is a sequence of DNA that controls gene activity)”) is to: illustrate an abstract concept. (Khan Academy)
accompanying
Taken from the reading section directions.
After reading each passage or pair, choose the best answer to each question based on what is stated or implied in the passage or passages and in any accompanying graphics (such as a table or graph). (College Board)
adapt
Taken from the reading section directions.
This passage is adapted from Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome, originally published in 1911. Mattie Silver is Ethan’s household employee. (College Board)
address
Taken from an answer choice.
The first paragraph serves mainly to: describe a natural phenomenon and address its importance. (Khan Academy)
advance
Taken from an answer choice.
Which statement best describes the relationship between the passages? Passage 2 refutes the central claim advanced in Passage 1. (Khan Academy)
allude
Taken from an answer choice.
The analogy in the final sentence of Passage 2 has primarily which effect? It alludes to the past to evoke a nostalgic response. (Khan Academy)
analysis
Taken from an answer choice.
Which choice best describes the developmental pattern of the passage? A careful analysis of a traditional practice. (Khan Academy)
analyze
Taken from an answer choice.
The main purpose of the first paragraph is to: analyze a reaction. (Khan Academy)
appeal
Taken from the essay section directions.
As you read the passage below, consider how Paul Bogard uses stylistic or persuasive elements, such as word choice or appeals to emotion, to add power to the ideas expressed. (College Board)
argue
Taken from an answer choice.
Which statement best describes the relationship between the passages? Passage 2 argues against the practicality of the proposals put forth in Passage 1. (Khan Academy)
argument
Taken from an answer choice.
Which best describes the overall relationship between Passage 1 and Passage 2? Passage 2 restates in different terms the argument presented in Passage 1. (Khan Academy)
assumption
Taken from a question stem.
The passage indicates that the assumption made by gift-givers in
lines 36–39 may be... (Khan Academy)
author
Taken from a question stem.
The authors of both passages would most likely agree with which of the following statements about women in the eighteenth century? (Khan Academy)
capture
Taken from a question stem.
Which statement best captures Ken Dial’s central assumption in setting up his research? (Khan Academy)
central
Taken from a question stem.
The central claim of Passage 2 is that space mining has positive potential but... (Khan Academy)
challenge
Taken from an answer choice.
Which best describes the overall relationship between Passage 1 and Passage 2? Passage 2 strongly challenges the point of view in Passage 1. (Khan Academy)
character
Taken from an answer choice.
Note: This word appears in this list twice because there are multiple meanings used in the language of the test.
The author includes the descriptions of the sunset, the clouds, and the hemlock shadows (lines 30–32) primarily to: emphasize the acuteness of two characters’ sensations. (College Board)
character
Taken from an answer choice.
Note: This word appears in this list twice because there are multiple meanings used in the language of the test.
The main purpose of the fifth paragraph is to: provide support for the idea that ethics is about character. (Khan Academy)
characterize
Taken from a question stem.
According to chart 2, the years 2000–2010 were characterized by... (Khan Academy)
cite
Taken from a question stem.
Which choice does the author explicitly cite as an advantage of automobile travel in North America? (Khan Academy)
claim
Taken from a question stem.
Which choice best supports the claim that Quilotoa was not responsible for the Little Ice Age? (Khan Academy)
clarify
Taken from an answer choice.
The most likely purpose of the parenthetical information in
lines 54–55 is to: clarify a claim.
compare
Taken from an answer choice.
The main purpose of each passage is to: compare brain function in those who play games on the Internet and those who browse on it. (Khan Academy)
comparison
Taken from an answer choice.
What function does the discussion of water in lines 31–35 serve in Passage 1? It continues an extended comparison that begins in the previous paragraph. (Khan Academy)
concept
Taken from a question stem.
Which concept is supported by the passage and by the information in the graph? (Khan Academy)
conclusion
Taken from a question stem.
Which choice best supports the conclusion that public transportation is compatible with the use of personal electronic devices? (Khan Academy)
confirm
Taken from an answer choice.
The authors’ main purpose of including the information about X-ray evidence and density is to: confirm the relationship between the density of DNA and the known chemical formula of DNA. (Khan Academy)
consistent
Taken from a question stem.
Is the main conclusion presented by the author of Passage 2 consistent with Morgan’s canon, as described in Passage 1? (College Board)
contend
Taken from an answer choice.
In lines 34–37 (“Prosecutions...sense”), what is the most likely reason Jordan draws a distinction between two types of “parties”? To contend that Hamilton was too timid in his support for the concept of impeachment. (College Board)
context
Taken from a question stem.
In the context of the passage, the author’s use of the phrase “her light step flying to keep time with his long stride” (line 3) is primarily meant to convey the idea that... (College Board)
contradict
Taken from a question stem.
A student claims that nitrogenous bases pair randomly with one another. Which of the following statements in the passage contradicts the student’s claim? (Khan Academy)
contrast
Taken from an answer choice.
The author refers to reed warblers and sparrows (line 32) primarily to: contrast the loggerhead turtle’s migration patterns with those of other species. (College Board)
controversy
Taken from an answer choice.
The stance Jordan takes in the passage is best described as that of: a scholar researching a historical controversy. (College Board)
convey
Taken from a question stem.
In the context of the passage, the author’s use of the phrase “her light step flying to keep time with his long stride” (line 3) is primarily meant to convey the idea that... (College Board)
counter
Taken from an answer choice.
In lines 34–37 (“Prosecutions...sense”), what is the most likely reason Jordan draws a distinction between two types of “parties”? To counter the suggestion that impeachment is or should be about partisan politics. (College Board)
counterargument
Taken from an answer choice.
The main purpose of the fifth paragraph (lines 40–49) is to: develop a counterargument to the claim that greed is good. (Khan Academy)
criticize
Taken from an answer choice.
The main purpose of the first paragraph is to: criticize a tradition. (Khan Academy)
critique
Taken from an answer choice.
Which choice best describes the relationship between the two passages? Passage 2 critiques the conclusions drawn from the research discussed in Passage 1. (Khan Academy)
data
Taken from a question stem.
Which choice is supported by the data in the first graph? (Khan Academy)
define
Taken from an answer choice.
Note: This word is also used in the language of the test as "show the form or outline of."
The most likely purpose of the parenthetical information in
lines 54–55 is to: define a term. (Khan Academy)
demonstrate
Taken from an answer choice.
The author uses the phrase “is written in” most likely to: demonstrate the concept of the hands-on nature of the work done by scientists. (Khan Academy)
describe
Taken from a question stem.
Which best describes the overall relationship between Passage 1 and Passage 2? (Khan Academy)
description
Taken from an answer choice.
Over the course of the passage, the focus shifts from: a description of a recorded event to its likely cause. (College Board)
determine
Taken from an answer choice.
The narrator indicates that many previous explorers seeking the North Pole have: failed to determine its exact location. (Khan Academy)
develop
Taken from the essay section directions.
As you read the passage below, consider how Paul Bogard uses: reasoning to develop ideas and to connect claims and evidence. (College Board)
development
Taken from an answer choice.
The primary purpose of the passage is to: explain the development of a branch of scientific study. (Khan Academy)
dictate
Taken from a question stem.
According to the experiment described in Passage 2, whether the author’s ravens continued to show interest in a formerly new object was dictated primarily by whether that object was... (College Board)
difference
Taken from a question stem.
Note: This word is also used in the language of the test as "the quality of being unlike or dissimilar."
Data in the graph indicate that the greatest difference between per-pound profits from fair trade coffee and those from regular coffee occurred during which period? (Khan Academy)
disagree
Taken from an answer choice.
The author of the passage would most likely consider the information in chart 1 to be: representative of a perspective with which the author disagrees. (Khan Academy)
discuss
Taken from an answer choice.
Which choice best describes the relationship between the two passages? Passage 2 critiques the conclusions drawn from the research discussed in Passage 1. (Khan Academy)

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Comments from our users:

Friday December 4th 2015, 9:41 AM
Comment by: GTAMasterPlayer (IA)
I'm doing this list for my school
Monday January 11th 2016, 8:04 PM
Comment by: Kate (AL)
This list is way to long to be done in a single day, especially for homework
Monday January 11th 2016, 8:04 PM
Comment by: Kate (AL)
This list is way to long to be done in a single day, especially for homework
Tuesday January 19th 2016, 9:14 AM
Comment by: Lilly (NJ)
Is this really necessary?
Friday January 22nd 2016, 11:42 AM
Comment by: Taco Pizza (IL)
Here is a story:
Tuesday February 2nd 2016, 12:55 PM
Comment by: Serenity (CA)
that is such a great story:)
Wednesday February 3rd 2016, 11:16 AM
Comment by: Natalia (MA)
I am a sheepdog.
Wednesday February 3rd 2016, 11:18 AM
Comment by: Natalia (MA)
The sheepdog is me.
Wednesday February 3rd 2016, 11:19 AM
Comment by: Natalia (MA)
We are sheepdogs together.
Wednesday February 17th 2016, 6:18 PM
Comment by: Gage R. (FL)
wow im lovin it
Tuesday February 23rd 2016, 2:15 PM
Comment by: Taylorjeron (TX)
We're a pack of sheepdogs.
Monday March 28th 2016, 7:58 PM
Comment by: Annalee H. (OR)
Ugh... This list is hard. Some of the answers don't even make sense.......
Thursday April 7th 2016, 6:39 PM
Comment by: Aeden B. (OR)
Super long, but rewarding!
Friday April 22nd 2016, 2:07 PM
Comment by: Robert S.avage (IL)
check out my mixtape
Saturday April 30th 2016, 11:49 AM
Comment by: Brandon B. (FL)
much fire... such mixtape...
Monday May 2nd 2016, 10:22 AM
Comment by: Adithya Haridas (FL)
We the sheepdogs of America,
Wednesday May 4th 2016, 8:25 AM
Comment by: Jonathan M. (FL)
I like horses
Thursday May 5th 2016, 7:06 PM
Comment by: bobby burris (NC)
this is easy
Monday May 9th 2016, 5:09 PM
Comment by: jessica T. (TX)
Vocabulary.com is ok since its a grade and i can get it out of the way and it helps my grade. i don't have a problem with it... i hope they do it next year
Saturday June 25th 2016, 10:41 AM
Comment by: Shreya S. (PA)
This is helpful.

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