BEST Literacy 2.0

BEST Literacy 2.0 is a print-based assessment that uses a variety of tasks to measure adult English language learners’ ability to read and write in English. It is intended for use with adult English language learners, aged 16 years and older, who are enrolled in an educational program in the United States. The test may be administered to groups or individuals; the suggested maximum testing time is 1 hour.

  • Reading tasks include identifying days, dates, times, and prices in announcements, emails, and websites; interpreting weather forecasts; identifying uses of household products; and understanding website information.
  • Writing tasks include retelling community event details; making an invitation to a friend; completing an appointment form; providing a reason to support an opinion about community-related topics; and making reservations.

BEST Literacy 2.0 is aligned with the 2016 English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, 2016). Thus, examinee performances on BEST Literacy 2.0 can be interpreted in terms of the 2017 National Reporting System Educational Functioning Levels (NRS EFLS) for English as a Second Language (ESL). Designed to meet the needs of adult educational programs in United States, BEST Literacy 2.0 measures developing English reading and writing skills over the first four NRS EFLs. Refer to the Scale Score and NRS Level Conversions Chart for instructions on how to obtain a scale score and a corresponding NRS EFL.

BEST Literacy 2.0 Components

  • BEST Literacy 2.0 Test Manual (February 2024)
  • BEST Literacy 2.0 Examinee Test Booklets (Form 1, 2, 3)
  • BEST Literacy 2.0 Administration and Scoring Training: Online Course (optional)
  • BEST Literacy 2.0 Technical Report

Test Administration
BEST Literacy 2.0 may be administered to groups or individuals in one hour or less. Each examinee is given one test booklet which contains instructions and the test questions. The test administrator verbally provides test directions and examinees then write their answers in the test booklet.

Users of BEST Literacy 2.0 should thoroughly review the BEST Literacy 2.0 Test Manual (February 2024) to become familiar with the testing and scoring procedures. This information is also available for review through BEST Literacy 2.0: Administration and Scoring Training, CAL’s self-access online training course. The online training course is optional and not required by CAL.

Some states and programs may have internal training requirements for test administrators and scorers. Check with your local program or assessment personnel for more information.

Scoring BEST Literacy 2.0
All scoring is done after the testing is complete, either by the test administrator or by a designated test scorer. Scoring instructions are provided in the BEST Literacy 2.0 Test Manual.

Using the separate scoring sheet that corresponds to the appropriate examinee test booklet (Form 1, 2, or 3), the examinees responses are scored based on comprehensibility. The specific answers for the reading and writing sections (including yes/no questions, multiple choice, one-fact questions, form and table tasks, sentence completion, and extended writing tasks) are provided for the scorer on the scoring sheet.

The BEST Literacy 2.0 Test Manual contains a writing rubric and benchmarks to score the writing tasks. A raw score is calculated based on the combined scores of the reading and writing tasks. A scale score is determined using the conversion tables located in the BEST Literacy Test 2.0 Manual.

Test Usage
Educational programs serving adult English language learners in the United States can use BEST Literacy 2.0 scores for placing students into appropriate classes, assessing student performance, planning instruction, evaluating program effectiveness, and reporting student progress within an accountability system such as the National Reporting System (NRS) for Adult Education.