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College Composition

The following sample questions do not appear on an actual CLEP examination. They are intended to give potential test-takers an indication of the format and difficulty level of the examination and provide content for practice and review. For more sample questions and information about the test, see the CLEP Official Study Guide.

Question 2 of 9

Part 1 of 4

The following passage is an early draft of an essay.

Read the passage and then answer the 4 questions that follow. Some questions refer to particular sentences or parts of sentences and ask you to improve sentence structure or diction (word choice). Other questions refer to the entire essay or parts of the essay and ask you to consider the essay’s organization, development or effectiveness of language. In selecting your answers, follow the conventions of Standard Written English.

(1) Haiku is a form of verse that began in Japan during the seventeenth century, where it is still the country’s most popular form of poetry. (2) However, haiku poetry does not rhyme and has a total of seventeen syllables arranged in three lines. (3) The first line contains five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.

(4) The first haiku poems were written about the seasons, the time of day and the landscape. (5) However, the form has become more commonplace and has also become less restricted in topic. (6) Today, haiku poems are often used in elementary school classrooms to introduce various topics.

(7) To analyze a haiku poem we must first decide if it follows the same form. (8) In other words, does it follow the right format? (9) Nevertheless, in analyzing a haiku poem a person must pay attention to the words they use in the poem. (10) The words should convey as much meaning as possible since haiku poems use a limited number of words. (11) The subject of a haiku poem should be serious but it is not necessary to conform to the original idea of writing about the seasons, the time of day or the landscape. (12) The theme of a haiku poem should not be hidden but should be discernable.

(13) Just because haiku poems are short in length does not mean that they need to be short on meaning. (14) By using strong words that will have a great impact and create great images, a haiku can be a beautiful work of art and poetry.

Which is the best replacement for “began” in sentence 1 (reproduced below)?

Haiku is a form of verse that began in Japan during the seventeenth century, where it is still the country’s most popular form of poetry.

  • A.

    arrived

  • B.

    originated

  • C.

    opened

  • D.

    circulated

  • E.

    Spread

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