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Why Should Military and Government Use Readability Formulas?
In 1917 the US military began systematic testing of readability among adults. These studies revealed that most US adults had limited reading ability. These studies also revealed the importance of creating effective readability formulas. Over the years, readability formulas have proved their worth in every governmental and military sphere. Written texts, documents, and training manuals form an integral part of the military and government functioning. It is pertinent to have these documents written with the readability factor of the audience in mind.
The military and government sectors use readability formulas for the following reasons:
1. Military exercises involve many assessment tests for the trainees. Through these tests, the military determines the aptitude, cognitive skills, general learning ability, ability to perform on the job, and so on. These tests are vital for military training.
Besides tests, the military uses training manuals to provide general and special training for personnel. If these important texts lack readability -- either too low or too high in readability -- the purpose of preparing these manuals is wasted. Using readability formulas before publishing these training manuals ensures trainees can process and understand the texts, and it can save time and money that you would have spent revising these texts.
2. Government bodies spend lots of time and money to train administrative staff, in addition to publishing a lot of literature for public consumption. Knowing the reading level of the target audience can save time and resources. Readability formulas, like Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid, FORCAST etc., help the government to reach the target audience in a much effective way.