PSAT High Frequency Words
Tuesday, 20 March 2012 00:00

The following words appeared in Barron's PSAT High Frequency List, and according to Barron's, each of these words has been used on the PSAT at least four times during the years: 1980 through 1999.

Credit: quia.com/jg/160741list.html and Barron's PSAT High Frequency List

absolve - pardon (an offense)

abstract - theoretical; not concrete; nonrepresentational

accessible - easy to approach

accommodate - provide lodgings; oblige or help someone

acknowledge - recognize or admit

acrimony - bitterness of words or manner

adverse - unfavorable; hostile

aesthetic - artistic; dealing with or capable of appreciating the beautiful

affable - easily approachable; warmly friendly

affinity - kinship; attraction to

affluence - wealth; prosperity; abundance

alleviate - relieve; lessen

altruistic - unselfishly generous; concerned for others

ambiguous - unclear or doubtful in meaning

ambivalence - having contradictory or conflicting emotional attitudes

amenable - readily managed; willing to give in; agreeable; submissive

ample - abundant

antagonism - hostility; active resistance

antiquated - obsolete; outdated

apathy - lack of caring; indifference

apprehension - fear; discernment; capture

apprenticeship - time spent as a novice learning a trade from a skilled worker

appropriate - (adj) fitting or suitable; pertinent

appropriate - (v) acquire; take possession of for one's own use; set aside for a special purpose

aristocracy - hereditary nobility; privileged class

arrogance - pride; haughtiness

aspire - seek to attain; long for

assert - state strongly or positively; insist on or demand recognition of

assumption - something taken for granted; taking over or taking possession of

attain - reach or accomplish; gain

authentic - genuine

autonomous - self-governing

aversion - firm dislike

beneficial - helpful; advantageous; useful

benevolent - charitable; generous

benign - kindly; favorable; not malignant

betray - be unfaithful; reveal (unconsciously or unwillingly)

blight - a deteriorated condition; a disease or injury of plants marked by the formation of lesions, withering, and death of parts

blithe - merry; joyous; glad; cheerful

brittle - easily broken; difficult

buoyant - able to float; cheerful and optimistic

candor - frankness; open honesty

captivate - charm; fascinate

caricature - distortion; burlesque

censor - inspector overseeing public morals; official who prevents publication of offensive material

charlatan - quack; pretender to knowledge

chronicle - report; record (in chronological order)

circumspect - prudent; cautious

cite - quote; refer to; commend

cliche - phrase dulled in meaning by repetition

coalesce - combine; fuse

compliance - readiness to yield; conformity in fulfilling requirements

component - element; ingredient

compromise - adjust or settle by making mutual concessions; endanger the interests or reputation of

condone - overlook voluntarily; forgive; supply tacit approvalconfirm - corroborate; verify; support

conformity - agreement or compliance; actions in agreementwith prevailing social customs

congenial - pleasant; friendly

consistency - harmony of parts; dependability; uniformity; degree of thickness

console - lessen sadness or disappointment; give comfort

consolidation - unification; process of becoming firmer or stronger

contentious - quarrelsome

convention - social or moral custom; established practice

corrosion - destruction by chemical action

curtail - shorten; reduce

cynical - skeptical or distrustful of human motives

dawdle - loiter; waste time

defamation - harming a person's reputation

defiance - opposition; willingness to resist

degenerate - become worse; deteriorate

demean - degrade; humiliate

denounce - condemn; criticize

depict - portray

deplete - reduce; exhaust

deplore - regret strongly; express grief over

derision - ridicule; mockery

derivative - unoriginal; derived from another source

detached - emotionally removed; calm and objective; indifferent

deterrent - something that discourages; hindrance

didactic - teaching; instructional

digression - wandering away from the subject

discernible - distinguishable; perceivable

disclaimer - denial of a legal claim or right; disavowal

disclose - reveal

discord - lack of harmony; conflict

disinterested - unprejudiced

dismiss - put away from consideration; reject

disparage - belittle

disparate - basically different; unrelated

dispel - scatter; cause to vanish

disperse - scatter

dissent - disagree

dissipate - squander; waste; scatter

distinction - honor; contract; discrimination

divulge - reveal

docile - obedient; easily managed

doctrine - teachings, in general; particular principle (religious, legal, etc.) taught

dogmatic - opinionated; arbitrary; doctrinal

eclipse - darken; extinguish; surpass

elated - overjoyed; in high spirits

elusive - evasive; baffling; hard to grasp

embellish - adorn

endorse - approve; support

enhance - increase; improve

enigma - puzzle; mystery

enumerate - list; mention one by one

erode - eat away

erratic - odd; unpredictable

esoteric - hard to understand; known only to the chosen few

erroneous - mistaken; wrong

espouse - adopt; support

esteem - respect; value

excerpt - selected passage

exemplary - serving as a model; outstanding

expedite - hasten

exploit - (n) deed or action, particularly a brave deed

facilitate - help bring about; make less difficult

fallacious - false; misleading

farce - broad comedy; mockery

fastidious - difficult to please; squeamish

feasible - practical

flippant - lacking proper seriousness

forthright - outspoken; frank

frail - weak

futile - useless; hopeless; ineffectual

garrulous - loquacious; wordy; talkative

generate - cause; produce; create

gluttonous - greedy for food

gratify - please

gregarious - sociable

hamper - obstruct

heed - pay attention to; consider

hindrance - obstacle; block

hostility - unfriendliness; hatred

hypocritical - pretending to be virtuous; deceiving

hypothetical - based on assumptions or hypothesis; supposed

iconoclastic - attacking cherished traditions

immutable - unchangeable

impair - injure; hurt

impede - hinder; block; delay

imperceptible - unnoticeable; undetectable

implacable - incapable of being pacified

implement - put into effect; supply with tools

implication - something hinted at or suggested

incongruity - lack of harmony; absurdity

inconsequential - insignficant; unimportant

inconsistency - state of being self-contradictory; lack of uniformity or steadiness

incorporate - introduce something into a larger whole; combine; unite

indict - charge

indifferent - unmoved or unconcerned by; mediocre

induce - persuade; bring about

industrious - diligent; hard-working

inept - lacking skill; unsuited; incompetent

infallible - unerring; faultless

ingenious - clever; resourceful

ingenuous - naive and trusting; young; unsophisticated

ingrate - ungrateful person

inherent - firmly established by nature or habit

initiate - begin; originate; receive into a group

innate - inborn

innocuous - harmless

inscrutable - impenetrable; not readily understood; mysterious

insightful - discerning; perceptive

intangible - not able to be perceived by the senses; vague

intricacy - complexity; knottiness

irony - hidden sarcasm or satire; use of words that seem to mean the opposite of what they actually mean

larceny - theft

loathe - detest

malice - hatred; spite

meek - quiet and obedient; spiritless

meticulous - excessively careful; painstakingly scrupulous

misconception - misunderstanding; misinterpretation

misrepresent - give a false or incorrect impression, usually intentionally

mock - ridicule; imitate, often in derision

monarchy - government under a single ruler

monotony - sameness leading to boredom

mutability - ability to change in form; fickleness

naiveté - quality of being unsophisticated; simplicity; artlessness; gullibility

nocturnal - relating to, occurring, or active in the night

nostalgia - homesickness; longing for the past

notorious - disreputable; widely known; scandalous

nurture - nourish; educate; foster

obnoxious - offensive; objectionable

obscure - (adj) dark; vague; unclear

obscure - (v) darken; make unclear

opaque - not transparent; penetrable by light only

optimist - person who looks on the good side

outmoded - no longer stylish; old-fashioned

pacifist - one opposed to force; antimilitarist

pacify - soothe; make calm or quiet; subdue

paradox - something apparently contradictory in nature; statement that looks false but is actually correct

patronize - support; act superior toward; be a customer of

pedantic - showing off learning; bookish

perjury - false testimony while under oath

perpetual - everlasting

pervasive - pervading; spread throughout every part

pessimism - belief that life is basically bad or evil; gloominess

petulant - touchy; peevish

phenomena - observable facts or events

philanthropist - lover of mankind; doer of good

plagiarize - steal another's words or ideas and pass them off as one's own

potency - power; effectiveness; influence

pragmatic - practical (as opp. to idealistic); concerned with the practical worth or impact of something

precedent - something preceding in time that may be used as an authority or guide for future action

predator - creature that seizes and devours another animal; person who robs or exploits others

premise - assumption; postulate

premonition - forewarning

prevail - triumph; predominate; prove superior in strength, power, or influence; be current

prey - target of a hunt; victim

profound - deep; not superficial; complete

proliferation - rapid growth; spread; multiplication

prolific - abundantly fruitful

prologue - introduction (to a poem or a play)

prominent - conspicuous; notable; sticking out

promote - help to flourish; advance in rank; publicize

prophetic - foretelling the future

prosperity - good fortune; financial success; physical well-being

provocative - arousing anger or interest; annoying

prudent - cautious; careful

random - without definite plan, purpose, or aim; haphazard

recluse - hermit, loner

refute - disprove

relinquish - give up something with reluctance; yield

renown - fame

repudiate - disown; disavow

reserved - self-controlled; careful in expressing oneself

resolution - determination

resolve - decide; settle; solve

restraint - moderation or self-control; controlling force; restriction

retain - keep; employ

reticent - reserved; uncommunicative; inclined to be silent

reverent - respectful; worshipful

ruthless - pitiless; cruel

satirize - mock

scrutinize - examine closely and critically

seclusion - isolation; solitude

serenity - calmness; placidity

sever - cut; separate

severity - harshness; intensity; austerity; rigidity

singular - unique; extraordinary; odd

skeptical - doubting

stratagem - deceptive scheme

subdued - less intense; quieter

superficial - trivial; shallow

superfluous - excessive; unnecessary

suppress - crush; subdue; inhibit

surpass - exceed

suspend - defer or postpone; expel or eject; halt or discontinue; hang from above

sustain - experience; support; nourish

symmetry - arrangement of parts so balance is obtained; congruity

synthesis - combining parts into a whole

taciturn - habitually silent; talking little

tedious - boring; tiring

temperament - characteristic frame of mind; disposition; emotional excess

termination - end

thwart - baffle; frustrate

toxic - poisonous

transparent - easily detected; permitting light to pass through freely

trepidation - fear; nervous apprehension

turbulence - state of violent agitation

urbane - suave; refined; elegant

utopia - ideal place, state, or society

vacillate - waver; fluctuate

versatile - having many talents; capable of working in many fields

vigor - active strength

volatile - changeable; explosive

wary - very cautious

withhold - hold back; desist from giving; keep possession of

FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitter