Technical Writing And Test Prep: An Examination Of Technical Writing In The Real Act Prep Guide

1667 words - 7 pages

Developed in the 1950s as a response to an increased interest in post-secondary education due to the G.I. Bill, the American College Testing Program, known today as ACT, was a non- profit, tax-exempt organization which provided standardized testing services meant to “help students make better decisions about which colleges to attend and which programs to study, and provide information helpful to colleges both in the process of admitting students and in ensuring their success after enrollment” (“ACT.org”). Historically, the ACT has played an integral role in the developing the realms of education and the workforce, and it continues to support both education and workforce development in the 21st century. In 2002, the ACT organization announced a new corporate structure, comprised of “two divisions: Education and Workforce Development. The new governance structure consists of a 14-member Board of Directors, and the expanded advising structure retains the ACT State Organizations but now also includes two distinct Advisory Boards, one for each of the new divisions” (“ACT.org”) calling into question the company’s “non-profit” title. Adorning a corporate title, however, suggests that the role of the ACT organization and its purpose of standardized testing persist as an economic enterprise whose sole purpose is to create revenue.
The ACT organization relies heavily on economic and technical developments that help sustain productivity and reliability of a product. In the case of the non-profit, tax exempt entity of ACT, standardized testing is big business as “every year Americans spend millions on the tests they are required to write in order to be evaluated for admission into undergraduate and graduate programs, and many millions more are spent on coaching schools in an attempt to raise scores” (“The Case Against Standardized Test”). With annual revenues exceeding $20 million, testing companies such as ACT serve as wardens to American higher education and are responsible for the development, design, and scoring of highly secure testing materials. However, in order to meet the demands of an audience seeking educational or testing enlightenment, ACT has begun to offer a broad range of supplementary materials and services associated with the ACT organization endorsing such items as The Real ACT Prep Guide: An Official Prep Book from the makers of the ACT.
The Real ACT Prep Guide: An Official Prep Book was created by ACT Incorporated and aimed specifically at increasing the ACT test scores of its readers. First published in 2007, this “how-to” technical manual offers readers an in-depth look into various aspects of the ACT including, but not limited to, how to prepare physically, mentally, and emotionally for an ACT test, ACT test-taking strategies, and ACT test format. The book also provides a review of important topics in English, math, science, and writing along with three full- length ACT practice tests to accurately predict scoring results on the...

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