WORD LISTS

The New SAT: Words to Capture Tone - List #1

December 11, 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 25 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!

Following our Roadmap to the new SAT? Head back to see what else you should be learning this week.
optimistic
Physicists are optimistic the mystery will be sorted out soon with more data.
pessimistic
“But lawyers are trained to always look for the worst-case scenario. They benefit more from being pessimistic, and that takes a toll.”
neutral
If I have strong views, I’m probably not going to be a good editor: it’s hard for me to write in a neutral way.”
ambivalence
Their different responses to the unfolding economic drama underscore the strong ambivalence Americans feel about the Greek crisis.
frank
She suggests that its appeal lies in its frank treatment of topics usually left undiscussed.
indignant
I seethed with envy, indignant that they enjoyed the honest freedom I had denied myself.
empathetic
“I can feel your pain without going through it myself,” says the empathetic person.
appreciation
It takes only one class of art history to learn the basic tools of art interpretation and appreciation.
critical
Yet someone who’s tired or distracted will likely be less critical, and will simply accept what you say as true.
scornful
A deep, scornful hatred, like black syrup pumping thick through my heart.
disdain
But that didn't stop the haters, who seized the new forum to rally their disdain.
provocative
She’s not afraid to push buttons and be the provocative journalist she should be.”
hostile
There are four months left for the neighbors to patch things up, but for now the mood is hostile.
advocate
New resources, of course, have long been on the wish list of public education advocates.
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.
sympathetic
Government officials and others have called for compassion and tolerance, and the overwhelming reaction to the migrants has been sympathetic.
affection
Far from disrespect, there is great affection for Petersen in the Boise State football complex and throughout the campus.
reverent
And while typically you speak in a reverent voice in respect for the dead, tonight, feel free to speak up and ask questions.
mocking
Others found ways of mocking it, calling it - not so politely - a waste of time.
resignation
They are so overwhelmed by juggling demands that many have moved from frustration and anxiety to resignation and despair, which is worse.
incredulous
In the case of Guzmán, many Mexicans are particularly incredulous as this was his second escape from a supposedly high-security prison.
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.
elegiac
It’s an elegiac message of farewell—whether to a romantic partner who is leaving or do life itself is subject to the listener’s interpretation.
vehement
Folks tend to be either hardcore cloud “fans” or vehement cloud “detractors”, and often there is not much middle ground between them.
traditional
Classicists insist the only syrup to use is Fox’s U-bet, chocolate being the most traditional flavor, though vanilla and strawberry are certainly not unheard of.

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Comments from our users:

Wednesday February 24th 2016, 7:50 PM
Comment by: Johnnyboii (NY)
This is too much, but I'm getting the handle of it.
Thursday February 25th 2016, 12:15 PM
Comment by: ROMIELIT C. (VA)
This is too much, I think I`m gonna be dead.
Friday February 26th 2016, 1:49 PM
Comment by: AMiulli 8. (IL)
You can do it!
Sunday February 28th 2016, 12:11 AM
Comment by: for gr8 justise (IL)
To be frank I also am indignant about the fact that they do not confirm if that's your final answer. I might accidentally move my mouse too fast and click on the wrong answer and get it wrong. 0/9999
Wednesday March 2nd 2016, 12:47 PM
Comment by: BiohazardZERO (CA)
Who are these people?
Wednesday March 2nd 2016, 4:50 PM
Comment by: Johnnyboii (NY)
people who take the same word lists
Monday March 14th 2016, 1:34 PM
Comment by: Swagley :D (CA)
sup what school you people go to
Monday March 28th 2016, 7:53 PM
Comment by: rubi G.
alright got it
Monday April 18th 2016, 6:48 PM
Comment by: justind7885 (FL)
what even are these comments.
Thursday April 28th 2016, 2:07 PM
Comment by: Brian K. (GA)
I got sunshine on a cloudy day
Monday May 9th 2016, 4:16 PM
Comment by: Sierra J. (OR)
These word lists really help people who are trying to learn words for language arts.
Thursday May 19th 2016, 10:34 AM
Comment by: DAVEION H. (VA)
man they better fix this I never even heard my parents say these words
Friday May 20th 2016, 12:58 PM
Comment by: STACY U. (VA)
this stresses me out with the words I don't know!!!!!!!
Tuesday May 24th 2016, 3:45 PM
Comment by: NICHOLAS B. (VA)
I like words and waffles but I like learning words while I eat waffles
Tuesday May 24th 2016, 3:47 PM
Comment by: JA KIM G. (VA)
wassup fam
Tuesday May 24th 2016, 3:48 PM
Comment by: NICHOLAS B. (VA)
AND I LIKE FRIED RICE BUT I CAN ONLY MAKE WHITE RICE SO I ODER CHINESE FOOD AND IT TASTE GOOD WITH BANNANA WAFFLES
Tuesday May 24th 2016, 3:50 PM
Comment by: NICHOLAS B. (VA)
I LEAVE SOON PLEASE LIKE AND COMMENT ON THIS VIDEO BY YOUTUBE HAVE A GOOD DAY
Tuesday July 12th 2016, 12:39 PM
Comment by: Christian W. (VA)
uhuh suh dude

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