WORD LISTS

The New SAT: Words to Capture Tone

September 8, 2015
On the New SAT, all of the Reading Test questions are multiple choice and are based on reading passages that may be taken from literature, science, the social sciences, or a US founding document (or a text inspired by such a document). Many of the reading comprehension questions meant to assess a student’s understanding of those passages will require students to choose words that best describe the writer’s tone or point of view, words like the 200 words you see on this list. Learn them here so when you see them in an SAT answer choice, you’ll know what they mean!

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.
acerbic
For the uninitiated, Hopkins rose to fame as a villainous contestant on The Apprentice UK, where she drew attention for her acerbic, insulting comments.
acrid
But that was no moment for futile recrimination, and self-interest served to stay the acrid retort on the tip of his tongue.
admonish
In their opening remarks, they admonished the jury to consider only evidence presented in the trial.
advocate
New resources, of course, have long been on the wish list of public education advocates.
affection
Far from disrespect, there is great affection for Petersen in the Boise State football complex and throughout the campus.
aggravated
Alonso aggravated his existing back condition Tuesday night, while Norris’ situation was the result of a collision with Beltre at the plate on Tuesday.
agitated
When a flight attendant tried to calm Schneider, he became more agitated, swearing at the crew member, advancing on him and then pushing him.
ambitious
This could be a legacy project for an ambitious local politician with his eyes on bigger things.
ambivalence
Their different responses to the unfolding economic drama underscore the strong ambivalence Americans feel about the Greek crisis.
amusement
The most exciting aspect of this field is that we don’t know which robotic sport will ultimately drive the most attention and amusement.
anxiety
She feels like she is no longer as sharp as her colleagues, causing significant anxiety and depression.
apathetic
No, it's just something to encourage people to step out and stand up for themselves and not be apathetic.
appreciation
It takes only one class of art history to learn the basic tools of art interpretation and appreciation.
apprehensive
Even so, many people are apprehensive about exercise after experiencing a heart attack.
artificial
And what is true of the biological variety should also be true of its artificial counterpart.
assertion
The former planned to definitively disprove Cook’s assertions, while the latter intended to defend the explorer’s honor.
astonishment
The other patients died, but Silva’s tumors virtually vanished, to the astonishment of her doctors.
audacious
A maximum security prisoner is back behind bars in Australia after staging an audacious escape.
averse
So averse was she to weapons when her children were young that she wouldn’t let them play with water pistols.
befuddled
He has often seemed befuddled and confused, along with wrong about just about everything.
bellicose
Lewis is a magnetic and intimidating Henry VIII, accomplishing more with a harsh whisper than he does with a bellicose tantrum.
bitter
A special session on a budget shortfall has so far been characterized by tensions and bitter divisions among legislators.
bombastic
It’s also not quite so over-the-top and bombastic as Ghosts, though it’s a far cry from what anyone might describe as realistic.
brash
There’s a common perception of entrepreneurs as bold, brash, and exceedingly confident individuals.
brusque
He'd been called a bully, but his brusque manner was seen as the sidecar to his ability to get things done.
callous
Like death, his father’s presence was cold and often callous, but it was real- brutally honest, inescapably dependable.
candid
It's odd to hear such a candid admission from the chief of a company whose trade has always been exaggeration and excess.
candor
Her candor and exquisite simplicity framed the rest of my trip and helped me better understand the land I was living in.
caustic
Saint-Saëns was on speaking terms with practically all of them, even if his prickly temperament and caustic wit tended to discourage close friendships.
cavalier
“The prime minister is cavalier in his disregard of international law and agreements when it comes to the proliferation of nuclear weapons,” she told reporters.
choleric
He returned more choleric than before, calling those he met rebels and traitors, in his mad fury.
churlish
Of course, it’s churlish to speak sourly of a guiltless, newborn child.
coarse
Ferrell and Hart are two stars with clearly, cleverly designed personalities, but whose films are often lazy and coarse in execution.
complacent
He said his state was prepared for future hurricanes: “Our levies are stronger than they’ve ever been before, but we must not become complacent.”
concern
As parental concern mounts, tech companies are eager to prove that they have the best interests of students at heart.
conciliatory
In theory a more conciliatory leader might offer some hope for compromise and peace.
condescending
"The owner is rude, condescending, arrogant, and way too full of himself. Not a good representation of the people of southern Utah."
conducive
The spacious halls brought again the school feeling, however the atmosphere was not conducive to study but one of uneasiness.
console
Even surrounded by family and friend to console you, the world feels empty.
contemplative
Some people become more contemplative as they age and take the time to reflect on the life they have lived.
contentious
At this moment, the respectful, cordial tenor of the meeting took a noticeably different and more contentious tone.
contradictory
It seems contradictory to say Watson played the match of her life in defeat, but she did.
creative
Star Wars was a breakout success for many well-discussed reasons, but one powerful factor was how it easily lent itself to creative backyard play.
critical
Yet someone who’s tired or distracted will likely be less critical, and will simply accept what you say as true.
crude
His male supporters regard his crude sexism not as juvenile behavior but as a transgressive political statement.
curious
My squid dream got me curious: Can cephalopods—a group that includes squid, octopuses, and cuttlefish—dream?
curt
There was no explanation given in the curt, two-paragraph news release that the Dodgers sent out to announce the bizarre move.
cynical
While we know children are impressionable, they are also discerning and optimistic, often noting the best in people rather than taking a more cynical view.
deference
"I have waited in deference while others expressed their feelings, beliefs, confusions and even conclusions - absent the full story."
dejected
He has rarely looked so dejected, so beaten, so incapable of the rousing return for which many golfing fans long.

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Comments from our users:

Tuesday December 8th 2015, 2:51 PM
Comment by: Tiga Wood in da Hood (AZ)
There's a comment section.
Tuesday December 8th 2015, 2:53 PM
Comment by: El Jefe (AZ)
i said it first.
Sunday December 20th 2015, 8:12 PM
Comment by: Zumen J. (NY)
This is really helpful
Thursday December 31st 2015, 10:52 AM
Comment by: Chloe (CA)
Candor was defined incorrectly in this list.
Saturday January 2nd 2016, 12:10 PM
Comment by: grayson G. (CA)
I love school!
Saturday January 16th 2016, 10:08 AM
Comment by: rui L. (China)
I think this list is too difficult for me,though I'm studying in a famous university.
Saturday January 16th 2016, 12:44 PM
Comment by: osvaldo A. (TX)
Those are my chanclas
Monday January 18th 2016, 3:53 AM
Comment by: Anchovy (China)
It's too difficult for me.
Tuesday January 19th 2016, 1:00 PM
Comment by: Angel (IL)
shut up jomp
Wednesday January 20th 2016, 10:50 AM
Comment by: Scrumf (MI)
Waganowa Gouki, uma naruto noichi aki mesatsu.
Tuesday February 2nd 2016, 8:47 PM
Comment by: Brendo (FL)
This is really helpful when it comes to vocabulary.
Wednesday February 10th 2016, 8:13 PM
Comment by: CiCi (TX)
so boring I hate this for life
Tuesday February 16th 2016, 10:39 PM
Comment by: Mayra (VA)
wth these comments tho
Saturday April 2nd 2016, 1:54 PM
Comment by: Habiba E. (Saudi Arabia)
how can I make sure that these are the real SAT words???????because in every site I find a different list..
Wednesday May 11th 2016, 9:00 AM
Comment by: John.... (NJ)
Daniel Tang doesn't find this to be very helpful. He enjoys shopping on amazon for Sword Art Online Merchandise instead.
Wednesday May 11th 2016, 8:08 PM
Comment by: TangD19 (NJ)
u mean Kevin Zhang??

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