Adult English Proficiency Assessments - Best Plus | Best Literacy
Information For Test Administrators

Frequently Asked Questions


How do I score BEST Literacy?

BEST Literacy is scored using the corresponding scoring sheets enclosed with each packet of test booklets (Forms B, C, and D). The note-writing tasks are scored using the rubric found on page 22 of the BEST Literacy Test Manual (June 2008).

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Where can I find more information on scoring BEST Literacy?

A comprehensive list of example examinee responses for the reading and writing tasks can be found in the BEST Literacy Test Manual (June 2008). In addition, benchmark samples for the note-writing tasks, including a complete set of writing samples for one task, can be found on pages 24 - 36. These benchmark samples and the rubric can be used as a scoring calibration activity with your test scorers to improve reliability. Additionally, you can also use samples of your own students’ work to do a scoring calibration activity.

Some states or programs require BEST Literacy training or offer BEST Literacy workshops. For more information, please contact your state’s professional development coordinator or adult learning resource center.

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Which form of BEST Literacy should be used pretest and which for the posttest?

BEST Literacy is available in three parallel forms B, C, and D. Any of these forms can be used as a pretest so long as a different form is used for the posttest. For example, you can use form B as the pretest and either form C or D as the posttest.

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What is the difference between BEST Literacy Forms B, C, and D?

BEST Literacy Forms B, C, and D contain different test questions to minimize test memorization and to provide comparable results between pre- and posttests. Each form is comparable once raw scores have been converted to scale scores  Raw scores must be converted to scale scores using the conversion charts in the BEST Literacy Test Manual (June 2008). Only scale scores are a true representation of an examinee’s proficiency level and are comparable across each form.

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Which score should I use for reporting, the raw score or the scale score?

Scale scores can only be used for reporting as they are comparable across each form of BEST Literacy and have been standardized to the SPL and the NRS level descriptors.

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How do I convert the raw scores into scale scores?

Conversion charts can be found in Appendix A, pages 47 through 51, of the BEST Literacy Test Manual (June 2008).

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What do I do if a student pretests into the Advanced NRS level or SPL 8 using BEST Literacy?

If an examinee pretests into the Advanced NRS level or SPL8, a different ESL assessment that measures higher reading and writing skills more accurately should be used. Any examinee who falls into this category at the time of pretesting should be re-tested with another appropriate reading and writing adult ESL assessment.

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Does BEST Literacy give a score that says a student is ready to take BEST Plus?

No. Performance on BEST Literacy does not predict performance on BEST Plus. You may need to check with your state’s assessment policy on how each assessment is to be used within your state.

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What are appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities?

Permissible accommodations related to test administrator procedures include the use of eyeglasses or magnifying glasses, earplugs, color overlays, or rulers. Testing environment accommodations might include frequent breaks or individual administrations.

It is not an appropriate accommodation for someone to read the test questions to an examinee with sight impairment, as BEST Literacy is a test of reading, not listening.

For more information regarding test accommodations for students with disabilities, please see pages 9 and 10 of the BEST Literacy Test Manual (June 2008).

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How can I purchase BEST Literacy?

BEST Literacy test booklets and the Test Manual are available for purchase online through the CAL Store using a credit card or you can download an order form and include it with a purchase order or check and mail them to:

Center for Applied Linguistics
P.O. Box 418564
Boston, MA 02241-8564

Please allow one business day for processing. Signed copies of purchase orders must be received by CAL for all orders before we will ship your order.

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