Very often, in entrance exams like CAT, there are questions in Reading Comprehension based on the "style" of the passage. Such questions can appear in various forms. Some of the forms of such questions are:
1."Which of the following best describes the tone of the passage?" 2."The tone of the passage is….... "
3."The author's approach/tone/style of writing in this passage can be termed/described as....."
Such questions should not be attempted unless you have read the entire passage (unlike certain other categories of questions which can be attempted without reading the entire passage). Once you read the entire passage ask yourself what the basic approach/style of the author is (without looking at the answer choices). Then locate the answer choices and select the one which comes closest to what you thought of in you mind.
For your understanding a list of words that you should be familiar to answer questions on "tone" is given below: Please make sure that you understand meanings of the words given in the following table.
Possible tone Meaning of the word
Acerbic Harsh/ severe; bitter
Aggressive Forceful; tending towards unprovoked offensiveness Angry/indignant
Apathetic Emotionless; not interested/ concerned; indifferent; unresponsive Apologetic Expressing remorse, regret, sorrow for having failed, injured, insulted or wronged another Belligerent Aggressively hostile; bellicose Biased Favouring one thing/person/group over another for personal reasons. Caustic Biting; acerbic
Commiserating Feeling/ expressing sorrow for; empathizing with; pity Condescending Patronizing; showing/implying patronising descent from dignity/ superiority Contemptuous Expressing contempt/ disdain
Cynical displaying a belief that people are always self-seeking and never altruistic in their actions Derisive...