Introduction to the CPE
Frequently Asked Questions
CUNY Policies for the CPE
CUNY CPE Evaluation Guide
Task 1 Scoring Criteria
Task 2 Scoring Criteria
Sample Readings Task 1
Examples of Passing Students
Task 1 Examples
Task 2 Examples
Task 1 Skills Tutorial
Task 2 Skills Tutorial
Other CPE Links

The CUNY Proficiency Examination (CPE), developed in response to a 1997 Board of Trustees' resolution, is required of students who are completing associate degree programs or beginning junior-level work. The CPE tests students' ability to understand and think critically about ideas and information and to write clearly, logically, and correctly at a level associated with success in upper-division courses. It consists of two tasks:

Task 1: Analytical Reading and Writing (2 hours)
You will be given two reading selections: a 6-8 page selection to be studied in advance and an additional 1 to 11/2 page selection at the time of testing. You are required to write a focused essay, drawing a relationship between specified elements of the two readings and extending it, as directed, to your own perspective or experience.

Task 2: Analyzing and Integrating Material from Graphs and Text (1 hour)
At the test you will be given a set of materials two charts and a brief reading passage on the same or similar topics. In a short written response, you must state the major claim(s) of the reading selection and discuss the extent to which the data support or challenge the major claim(s).

Skills you need to pass the CPE

Task 1 Reading, Analysis, and Written Essay Response

¤ Accuracy in reading: names, dates, technical terminology

¤ Speed in reading: students are given a short, "cold" reading

¤ Annotation: note taking and "text marking"

¤ Ability to deduce meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary from context

¤ Summarizing: writing key points

¤ Comparative analysis: students must analyze similarities/differences between the long reading and the short reading given at the exam.

¤ Logical thinking: making supportable connections between readings.

¤ Idea development: supporting observations/ideas about the readings with evidence from the texts.

¤ Personal response: at the end of their essays, students are required to relate the concepts/ideas discussed in the two readings to their personal experiences.

¤ Writing fluency: general grammatical proficiency and clarity of written expression.

Task 2 Interpreting Charts and Graphs

¤ Ability to accurately interpret visual data.

¤ "Cold" read accompanying selection.

¤Compare charts/graphs with concept(s) in reading.

¤ Deductive reasoning: students must write four accurate statements about the graph/chart and the relationship to the reading.

¤ Ability to find incorrect information/inconsistencies in the visual data.

Note: this is not an essay segment and students do not need to write their deductions in essay/paragraph format.

Download the CPE Stundents Handbook from here (PDF File)

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Dr. Susan Young
CPE Liaison

E 103 L (718) 482-5671

Maggie Arismendi,
Assistant Director of Testing 
C428 (718) 482-5109

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