Communication Seminar I (CM 120) CPL Assessment

The CM 120 CPL assessment includes reading and writing activities. Read the information below to prepare for the assessment.


The reading portion consists of an article, which is about five pages long, and a set of questions that require writing original answers instead of selecting options from a multiple choice list.  The questions ask you to:

  • define vocabulary terms
  • paraphrase a significant idea from the article
  • identify relationships of comparison, contrast, and cause and effect
  • state the main idea and identify how the information is organized

 Effective reading strategies include:

  • previewing the article by looking at the title and first sentence of each paragraph to get an overview of the author’s message
  • writing a summary for individual paragraphs in the margin space or underlining important ideas and key terms
  • rereading passages when the meaning seems unclear or confusing

The writing portion asks you to respond to one of two topics, both of which relate to the reading article.  In a one- to two-page essay, you will write about an incident or give your opinion on a related event.  You will need to clearly establish the purpose and focus for writing and provide adequate supporting information to make your ideas clear to the reader.  Proofread your final copy for grammatical correctness.

Effective writing strategies include:

  • following a writing process--brainstorm ideas, create a map or outline to help organize ideas, and write a draft
  • establishing the purpose and focus, maintaining that focus, and developing ideas with appropriate detail
  • including complete and grammatically correct sentences of varied length and structure
  • proofreading carefully

Practice Assessments

Below is a link to a practice assessment, which is designed to reflect the length and level of expectation of the assessment. To complete the practice assessment, carefully read the article, respond to the reading questions, and then reply to one of the writing topics. Once completed, you can use the sample responses to evaluate your work.

Reading and Writing Practice Assessment

Additional Information

The assessment is not timed.  As a guideline, most students spend about 2 1/2 hours completing the assessment.  Additional time is available if needed. You can schedule your appointment by calling the Assessment and Outreach Center at 414-382-6020.  

Assessment and Outreach Center
Founders Hall, Room 427
Phone: 414-382-6020     Email: