Adult English Assessments

Current Users

Current Users

Thank you for being a valued customer of the BEST family of testing products published by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL). We share your dedication to helping adult English learners succeed in the classroom and in their careers.

CAL is committed to providing our test users with the highest quality of valid and reliable assessments. As part of this process, CAL works closely with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) to ensure that our assessments meet the needs of programs utilizing the National Reporting System.

This section of our website is designed to provide our customers with easy online access to tools and tips for using our assessments. In addition to the Quick Links section to the right, browse our right-hand navigation to get targeted information for administrators of BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy. There is also a section for BEST Plus 2.0 trainers.

Email CAL with any questions or suggestions you may have about how we can improve our testing instruments, tools, or customer service.

The number of adult English language learners in the United States continues to grow substantially and programs serving them face many challenges in providing instruction to meet their needs. Having tests that are appropriate, valid, and reliable is critical to the evaluation of oral and written English proficiency for this growing population. CAL understands these challenges and can help programs determine the best combination of assessments to meet the needs of both the programs and the students.

BEST Literacy and BEST Plus 2.0 address the needs of adult English language learners by providing assessment options that reliably demonstrate student progress. With BEST Plus 2.0 to measure speaking and listening skills and BEST Literacy to measure reading and writing skills, programs can test all of the four skill areas. Both assessments are aligned to the National Reporting System and the Student Performance Level ESL descriptors.

BEST Assessments Approved Through 2023

The Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education approved BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy for use by federally funded programs that report data through the National Reporting System (NRS) through February 2023. 
Read the Federal Register official notice.

New BEST Assessments in Development – Update and Plans

On September 28, 2018, CAL submitted BEST Plus 3.0 and BEST Literacy 2.0, our latest enhanced versions of these operational testing programs, to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) for NRS approval.

The reviews of these tests are now complete, and we have not received approval for either test. At the time of notification, August 8, 2019, no assessments produced by any test publisher have been approved by OCTAE. Our existing assessments, BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy, remain approved for use in the NRS system through February 2021 and clients using these assessments for NRS reporting can continue to do so. According to federal regulations, the new NRS Standards will not be put in place until at least one year after a test is approved by OCTAE. At this time, CAL is making plans for new submissions to OCTAE for both BEST Literacy 2.0 and BEST Plus 3.0.

CAL is committed to providing high quality assessments for Adult English language programs and we will continue our work on the new assessment products as we continue to provide ongoing support for BEST Literacy and BEST Plus 2.0. We will continue to keep you informed as our plans unfold.

BEST Plus 2.0

BEST Plus 2.0 is an individually administered, face-to-face oral interview designed to assess the English language proficiency of adult English language learners in the United States. BEST Plus2.0 is a combined test of listening and speaking skills. As an oral assessment, BEST Plus 2.0 provides a short, practical test that meets the accountability needs of programs that report to the National Reporting System (NRS).

BEST Literacy

BEST Literacy is a print-based, combined test of reading and writing skills. The test uses authentic situations specifically geared for adult English language learners in the United States as the basis for test questions. BEST Literacy is aligned with the ESL descriptors of the National Reporting System and the Student Performance levels.