Featured Products

BEST Plus 2.0 Test Software. Learn more.

BEST Literacy Test Manual. Learn more.

CAL's Adult ESL Assessments

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 Plus 2.0 is CAL's oral English proficiency assessment for adults. Read More.

BEST Literacy is CAL's English literacy proficiency assessment for adults. Read More.

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.


New BEST Pricing Schedule Effective
July 1, 2022

To help support the development of enhanced assessments for adult English learners, CAL implemented a price increase effective July 1, 2022.

Download the July 2022 pricing schedule

BEST Plus 2.0 and Windows 10

See our software installation instructions


Read answers to frequently asked questions.


View the short narrated presentation about our tests.