College Composition Modular
It’s time to see how well you can do! There are 10 questions below that will help you see where you are in your progress. Once you have written your answer, click on (or tap on the phone) the question to see answers and explanations. You can do it!
WarningPlease do keep in mind that we can’t guarantee the accuracy of this quiz, so we do recommend you also run through a full-length practice exam. The CollegeBoard offers a good one that we’ll share in the resources section below.
Question 1: Choose the sentence that is written correctly.
a) Hailey never wanted to see that horrible show so she said no.
b) But Camren did want to see it and went.
c) There were terrible reviews about that show from lots of critics.
d) However, Camren never listened to the critics.
When you start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction, you must place a comma after it. There must also be commas between conjunctions and independent clauses (which is just a complete simple sentence). Sentences a) and b) are missing commas. Sentence c) is written in passive voice.
Question 2: Choose the sentence that is written correctly.
a) Tony and he brother are very close.
b) Colby drove to the house and eat dinner with his girlfriend.
c) Lucy’s meeting with her father was cancelled.
d) Fred and Ginger goes to the movie together.
Here we have pronoun agreement between “Lucy” and “her”. The remaining sentences had errors in pronoun use, verb inconsistency, and subject-verb agreement.
Question 3: Choose the sentence that is written correctly.
a) He wanted to race to the gym, climb the rock wall, and swim in the pool.
b) Josey needed to have her teeth clean, her hair brushed, and her breakfast cooked.
c) Bobby had to collect rock, leaf, and weeds.
d) The teacher gave each student a printed handout, a printed worksheet, and the story.
Sentence a) shows a parallel construction. The verbs are all written in the same tense and are followed by a prepositional phrase. The other sentences do not have adequate parallel structure.
Question 4: Before you begin writing an essay, you have to consider three things:
a) Audience, tone, and format
b) Audience, tone, and purpose
c) Diction, audience, and purpose
d) Vocabulary, diction, and tone
Anytime you are getting ready to write an essay, you really have to think about who it is you are writing for (audience) because you want to use the right tone (conversational or formal). If you are writing for friends or family, you can have that informal, conversational tone, where you don’t have to worry about being too serious 😊 For academic writing, you need to write to your teachers and peers – so, a formal tone would be better. You also need to figure out why you are writing the essay – what is your purpose? Is it to inform, persuade, entertain, compare, or argue?
Question 5: Which of these sentences would be a good thesis statement for the following essay prompt?
Prompt: Write a 5-7 page argument on whether you agree or disagree with standardized testing in public schools.
a) Standardized testing in public schools is bad for kids because it takes too long.
b) Kids shouldn’t have to take standardized tests because it takes away from learning.
c) Standardized testing in public schools should not be allowed because students lose class time, the tests are expensive for the schools, and the tests often have errors in them.
d) Students should take standardized tests because that’s the way it’s always been.
A good thesis statement has three parts: the topic (standardized testing in public schools), the writer’s opinion (agree or disagree), and at least three arguable points to discuss in the essay (claims). Standardized testing in public schools (topic) should not be allowed (opinion) because students lose class time, the tests are expensive for the schools, and the tests often have errors in them (claims).
Question 6: Which of the following is the best example of using proper formal language in a paper?
a) The beast fell precipitously from the jagged and moory cliff.
b) Witnesses reported that the lion fell from a stony cliff.
c) The lion unceremoniously dove from the craggy edge of the precipice.
d) A giant cat, in a dramatic swoon, lunged to its death in the abyss.
When you are using formal language, it is important to remember NOT to sound like a thesaurus! Using words like “witnesses” instead of people or “reported” instead of “saw” give your writing a formal tone without overusing pretentious words 😉
Question 7: Which sentence has a consistent point of view?
a) When Lucy got her dog, you could tell it was mean.
b) As the kids walked away from recess, we were sad.
c) As the musicians finished the concert, you could tell the audience wanted more.
d) After the movie, Joe and I went to visit our friends.
“Joe and I” matches the use of the pronoun “our”. The other sentences use a mix of different points of view, making them inconsistent. For example, a) should be “she could tell it was mean”, not “you could tell it was mean.”
Question 8: Choose which of the following would be the best search engine to use for reliable research:
a) Google Scholar
b) EBSCO Host
EBSCO Host is a database of scholarly, peer-reviewed journals and book reviews. The next best choice would be Google Scholar as it has similar resources. Google and Wikipedia are never a good option because their search returns are not always considered reliable.
Question 9: Which of the following is a method of formal documentation?
APA stands for American Psychological Association format. This format is used primarily in the sciences and political/historical studies. MLA, Modern Language Association, is used in the humanities. CMS, Chicago Manual Style, is used in journalism. Answers b-d are just made up 😊
Question 10: Which of the following is a rhetorical appeal?
d) All of the above
The rhetorical appeals are based on an old, Greek dude named Aristotle. He identified them as ways to persuade or argue when using writing. Ethos is the credibility of the person writing the piece, pathos is an emotional appeal to the reader, and logos is the logic of facts and evidence.
Example of Essay Writing Section
Let’s say you were given a prompt like this: For many years, there has a been a debate over whether or not students should be allowed to have their cell phones on during class. Choose a side and write your point of view.
More CLEP Study Resources
Looking for a study guide to fill a couple gaps, or just want a full length practice exam? You can find a few of my favorite resources below. Note that some of the links are affiliate – meaning I’ll make a few dollars if you purchase, but I’m only sharing those resources that were genuinely helpful during my own CLEP journey.
Official CLEP Study Guide: It’s quite short on the study side of things, but this is the go-to practice test bank. I don’t think I’ve done a single CLEP test without taking the practice test in this book first.
REA CLEP College Composition: I’m not huge on reading, but this book series is fantastic if you’re into that kind of thing. It also includes some nifty online practice tests, though I always found the official practice tests (above) more reassuring.
InstantCert Academy: The website looks like it was made before the internet, but it’s legitimately the single most useful study guide I’ve found. Basically it’s a series of flashcards that help you learn about College Composition in a fast paced and fun way.
Plenty of other resources exist – just do a quick internet search – but these are the three that I’ve personally found the most helpful back when I did CLEP.