com-285 examination

1) Which of the following would NOT be related to a discourse community in a factory?

A. Supervisors have an open-door policy that encourages workers to stop in and chat.
B. Certain topics should not be brought up in the presence of upper management.
C. Additional funding has been allocated for the research and development of more energy-efficient manufacturing.
D. Extensive evidence and documentation is required to convince a manager to deviate from a company routine.

2) Which of the following is NOT a gatekeeper?

A. A program director at the National Science Foundation who screens all grant applications to ensure conformity to the application criteria before forwarding them to the review board.
B. An account executive who approves a marketing plan before it is submitted to the client.
C. The HR director of a large university who screens all internal applicants for eligibility before sending applications to the interviewers for a specific position.
D. A receptionist for a small business who opens the mail and then date-time stamps each piece before passing it on to its owner.

3) Tara Houser e-mails a colleague Dan Brothers to suggest that he be the lead writer in preparing a comprehensive business plan for the company. The task will be rather time-consuming. Tara tells Dan that “the president will certainly be impressed with whoever heads up this project”, which is persuasive because

A. Dan will gain key leadership experience that will work in his favor when he applies for his promotion.
B. the president will be able to use the document to communicate expansion plans to stockholders.
C. Dan can help out his colleague so she does not have to take on this additional responsibility herself.
D. the company will be able to secure additional financing once it has a business plan.

4) An oral message is preferable to a written one when you want to:

A. resolve conflicts and build consensus.
B. minimize undesirable emotions.
C. present extensive and complex data.
D. present many specific details.

5) If a document will be a detailed guide or if it contains instructions, you must do all of the following EXCEPT

A. group steps into five to seven sub-processes if there are many individual steps.
B. number steps or provide check-off boxes so that readers can easily see which steps they have completed.
C. present all the details in lengthy paragraphs so that the readers get all the information they need.
D. check to be sure that all steps are in chronological order.

6) Which audience has political, social, or economic power; pays close attention to the transaction between you and the primary audience; and may base future actions on its evaluation of your message?

A. Gatekeeper
B. Watchdog audience
C. Secondary audience
D. Auxiliary audience

7) A written business request is answered positively and promptly on the first try. This is an example of a high level of:

A. clarity
B. goodwill
C. effectiveness
D. image

8) Which of the following is NOT a reason to use e-mail?

A. E-mail is completely secure so messages can only be viewed by the intended recipients.
B. E-mail is faster than many other types of communication.
C. E-mail messages can include supplemental files that can also be viewed by recipients.
D. E-mail is an easy way to communicate with many people simultaneously.

9) Good writing costs companies money, and those costs increase significantly if the communication is ineffective. Which of the following pairs would NOT be two additional costs to the company if written communication is poor?

A. Computers and software
B. Paper and wasted time
C. Lost goodwill and document cycling
D. Postage and legal problems

10) Which of the following is an ethically sound practice when communicating a business message?

A. Designing documents to encourage readers to miss key points
B. Manipulating the audience to achieve the desired outcome
C. Including input from all parties interested in the development of the message
D. Withholding information to reduce the likelihood of conflict

11) Which one of the following is NOT an internal audience of an organization?

A. Peers
B. Subordinates
C. Stockholders
D. Superiors

12) Which of the following audiences would receive an internal document?

A. The job candidate you wish to hire
B. Your best customers
C. The CPA who is auditing your company’s books
D. The human resources director

13) Your roommate is always complaining about how much work she has to do and how far behind she is. This is really starting to bother you. You secretly think that things would be a lot better for her if she spent more time studying and less time complaining. Which of the following would be the BEST response when she next tells you how much work she has to do?

A. “I’m really tired of hearing you complain all the time.”
B. “You think that’s bad; you should see all that I have to do.”
C. “You feel overwhelmed right now, don’t you?”
D. “It sounds like you have trouble managing your time.”

14) Which is an effective response when a co-worker tells you about a problem she is experiencing?

A. “Consider yourself lucky; our department has just been handed a lawsuit to deal with.”
B. “Just take care of it—that’s your job.”
C. “When you say “non-responsive”, do you mean that they haven’t even answered your e-mails?”
D. “You should have thought about how Shelley would react before you made that commitment.”

15) Your subordinates tell you that a project will not be completed on time because they are behind schedule. Which of the following is the best response?

A. “If it isn’t on my desk by Friday, I’ll fire every one of you.”
B. “You should have told me sooner.”
C. “Could you finish it if you had some more help?”
D. “What’s wrong with you people? Don’t you know what a deadline is?”

16) It can be helpful for managers working overseas to have a basic understanding of the religion observed by workers in that company because:

A. an ordinary business day in the United States may be a holiday in another country.
B. then the manager knows when to buy gifts for his or her employees.
C. most international companies insist that managers adopt all the customs of the host country.
D. a superior should always seem knowledgeable to his or her employees.

17) Business communication practices in the United States place importance on the written word, and this indicates that our culture:

A. is polychronic.
B. has low-context preferences.
C. is monochronic.
D. has high-context preferences.

18) Which of the following would be the MOST useful strategy for learning to communicate effectively with international employees working in your overseas divisions?

A. Arrange to meet in person with your international employees. Then you can rely on nonverbal signals to communicate effectively.
B. Devote time to learning the rules for communicating with people from each of the countries you will be interacting with.
C. Be aware that both you and your international employees are influenced by your native culture. Awareness of the values, beliefs, and practices in other cultures will help you communicate more effectively.
D. Choose managers for overseas divisions who are white, middle-class males. That way you eliminate much of the problem of intercultural communication because the people you’ll deal with most often will still be from your own culture.

19) Positive roles and actions of individuals that help the group achieve its task goals include:

A. restating major points, pulling ideas together, and summarizing decisions.
B. showing group members that they have been heard and that their ideas are being taken seriously.
C. disagreeing with everything that is proposed.
D. recognizing the contributions of members.

20) The success of which phase determines how well the group’s decision will be implemented?

A. Formation
B. Coordination
C. Formalization
D. Aggregation

21) The informational dimension of group interaction looks at:

A. promoting friendliness.
B. establishing group loyalty.
C. the problem, data, and possible solutions.
D. who will do what.

22) Which of the following sentences that begin a letter is appropriate for contemporary business communication?

A. “Here are the application forms you requested.”
B. “Your application forms have been enclosed herewith.”
C. “Pursuant to you request, we are forwarding you the application forms you requested.”
D. “Enclosed please find the application forms you requested.”

23) Which of the following will help make your business writing easy to read?

A. wordiness
B. consistent sentence length for all sentences
C. parallel structure
D. business jargon

24) Which of the following sentences would be appropriate toward the beginning of a professional business report?

A. “I would like to point out that the drop in sales in May 2007 was due to unusually rainy weather.”
B. “The local college offers many Gen. Ed. courses that employees may take to enhance their communication skills.”
C. “Members of ACE (Association of Creative Enterprises) were invited as speakers at the conference.”
D. “You can’t determine the cause of the problem if you don’t know who’s involved.”

25) Lauren has confirmed flight information, printed directions from the Internet, and spoken with the Human Resources Department to clarify specific details. She will include this information in a letter to a job candidate she is inviting for an interview. What part of the writing process does this activity represent?

A. Revising
B. Editing
C. Gathering
D. Writing

26) Which of the following would NOT be considered a planning activity when writing a report?

A. Evaluating the problem
B. Defining the purpose
C. Adding, deleting, and rearranging content
D. Analyzing the audience

27) Which of the following would be an example of editing a written document?

A. Reversing the order of two of the sections so that the document flows better
B. Correcting grammar and spelling errors
C. Deleting an entire section that seems redundant
D. Substituting more current information for facts that are somewhat dated

28) Which of the following would be the BEST place to put your most important visual in a newsletter?

A. Parallel to two or more smaller visuals to create balance.
B. In the top left of the page because the top is a position of emphasis.
C. In the bottom left of the page to emphasize material that appears in the top half.
D. In the center of the page to indicate that the image is central to the newsletter.

29) A business plan is divided into two primary sections. On the page just before each of these sections begins, there is a page with the name of the section in large font. In addition, each primary section includes several sub-sections. These are indicated within the report by centered headings just before each sub-section begins. This is an example of which of Communications Professor Charles Kostelnick’s levels of communication design?

A. Extra
B. Supra
C. Inter
D. Intra

30) Which is a sound recommendation for creating a professional business document?

A. Analyze your audience before making color choices since connotations of colors can vary.
B. Avoid using any highlighting, decorative devices, or color in business documents since they make documents hard to read.
C. Use as many highlighting and decorative devises as possible to make the document look busy.
D. Use color to highlight small points that would otherwise go unnoticed.

31) Which would NOT be a consideration when choosing a medium for a superior delivering bad news to subordinates?

A. the relationship between the superior and subordinates
B. the superior’s desire not to have to deal with the situation
C. the complexity of the explanation
D. the severity of the message

32) Is “I am sure that you will agree with our decision” appropriate in a letter to a client in which you refuse a request?

A. No, because the client will then feel silly for having made the request
B. Yes, because it will prevent psychological reactance
C. Yes, as long as you had no choice about the decision you made
D. No, because you should not assume that you know how the reader feels

33) Which of the following would be the BEST way to refuse a customer’s request?

A. “Please understand that it is impossible for us to do free repairs for all customers.”
B. “If it were up to me I’d repair your washing machine free since your warranty expired just last month, but my boss won’t allow it.”
C. “Though your warranty expired in June, as a Dave’s Club Card customer you are eligible for a 10% discount on all repairs.”
D. “You claim that your washing machine is under warranty, but our records show that it expired last month.”

34) Which of the following is a negative subject line?

A. “Improving On-Time Performance”
B. “Change in Personal Leave Policy”
C. “Reduction of Travel Benefits”
D. “Results of Customer Service Survey”

35) Which of the followings sentences would NOT be considered a buffer at the beginning of a bad-news letter to a new customer who will ultimately be denied a line of credit?

A. “We understand how important it is for a new business like yours to acquire all the supplies and inventory it takes to get up and running.”
B. “Until your credit application has been approved, you will need to prepay for your orders before they ship.”
C. “Thank you for your order. We are glad to have you as a customer.”
D. “Congratulations on opening your new business!”

36) In a bad-news memo to subordinates, you should open with:

A. a request that the employees form teams to find a solution.
B. a clear statement of the problem.
C. a buffer.
D. an alternative.

37) Which of the following should NOT be included in a bad-news memo to your superior?

A. A buffer in the opening paragraph
B. The advantages and disadvantages of all the options if one is not clearly the best
C. The underlying factors that led to this specific problem
D. A request for approval for the solution you want to implement

38) In a bad-news message to a superior, you should describe what led to the problem:

A. so he or she will have adequate information to determine if the solution you are going to propose is appropriate.
B. to show that the problem is really your boss’s fault because you have not been given adequate resources.
C. so your superior can see that the problem is not your fault.
D. to pad the message so it does not upset the superior too much.

39) In a bad-news message to subordinates, why is it a good idea to ask readers to suggest solutions to the problem?

A. To stall for time, so you can think of a solution on your own
B. So your subordinates will not blame you for the problem
C. So you will have someone to share the blame with if you are unable to solve the problem
D. Because workers who help make a decision are more likely to accept the consequences

40) You must explain to a group of employees the different pension funds they can now choose. You expect the group to have many questions because many of them will be retiring within ten years and want to maximize their retirement income. You should probably:

A. send them a package of self-explanatory written material and cover different material at the presentation.
B. give an oral presentation with lots of visuals.
C. send them each a written package of material and ask them to call if they have questions.
D. give them written material to look at ahead of time and go over that material as part of your presentation.

41) A presentation designed to entertain and validate the audience is a(n):

A. oral presentation
B. informative presentation
C. persuasive presentation
D. goodwill presentation

42) Which of the following is an informative presentation?

A. Encouraging the audience in order to promote team spirit
B. Convincing people to contribute to a worthy cause
C. Training new employees on how to use computer software
D. Promoting a product to prospective customers

43) In a comparison-contrast report, it is best to:

A. focus on alternatives when the criteria are easy to separate.
B. focus on alternatives when one alternative is clearly much better than the others.
C. focus on alternatives when the superiority of one alternative over another depends largely upon which criteria are most important to the reader.
D. focus on criteria when the reader will intuitively grasp the alternative as a whole rather than the sum of its parts.

44) Which type of data is MOST appropriate for the appendix of a report rather than the body?

A. Information that is crucial to the proof
B. Information that readers will want to see in the body
C. A small bar chart
D. Supporting data that will later be examined by an attorney

45) You are writing a report that recommends renovation projects in several buildings on your campus. The most appropriate organizational pattern would be:

A. geographic or spatial.
B. pro and con.
C. functional.
D. chronological


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