Where do critical reading passages come from anyway?

One common belief about the reading passages that appear on the SAT/ACT is that they are written specifically for the exam — this assumption is mostly false, but it does contain an element of truth. One on hand, reading passages are always taken from pre-existing sources and are often written by well-known authors of both fiction and non-fiction. There is a heavy emphasis on contemporary prose non-fiction, and works composed prior to the 20th century are relatively rare as compared to works written in the...
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