Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the timeline for transitioning to BEST Plus 3.0 and BEST Literacy 2.0?

BEST Plus 3.0 and BEST Literacy 2.0 will launch in early 2024. Training, tests, and materials will be available for programs at this time. We have also extended the transition period through August 2024, during which BEST Plus 3.0 training will be offered for free. The older versions of the tests, BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy, will still sunset June 30, 2024. Therefore, please monitor your remaining tests and order only what you need during this time. After June 2024 CAL is no longer able to provide support for these older versions, and the tests will no longer be accepted for NRS reporting purposes. You may read the Federal Register statement on  test approval and expiration here.

How long can I continue using BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy?

The BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy tests are approved for use through June 30, 2024. These tests will expire after June 2024.

Can I pre-test with the older generation and post-test with the newer generation of the tests?

No. For scores to be comparable, you should always pre- and post-test with the same generation of test. For example, if you pre-test with BEST Plus 2.0 you should post-test with BEST Plus 2.0.

Will I be able to exchange BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy tests for the new generations?

No. Unfortunately, CAL is not able to provide credit for any remaining BEST Plus 2.0 or BEST Literacy tests. We recommend monitoring your remaining tests (your BEST Plus 2.0 test balance can be accessed on the test activation website) and ordering only what you need until your program transitions fully to the newer tests.

Will there be new pricing for the new tests and materials?

Yes. The updated pricelist is available here.

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What is the difference between BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Plus 3.0?

CAL created BEST Plus 3.0 with the following updates:

  • Alignment to the 2016 English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (ELPs) and the 2017 National Reporting System Educational Functioning Levels (NRS EFLs). The computer-based version of BEST Plus 3.0 measures NRS levels 1-6. The print-based version measures levels 1-4. View scale score to NRS level conversion chart here.
  • A new multi-staged adaptive format underlying the test.
  • A new Part B section of the test with new question types, and a new category in the rubric that measures higher proficiency performances.
  • Updated question types and images that reflect contemporary life in the U.S.
  • A brand new, user-friendly test platform application with cloud-based data storage.
  • An easy-access, cloud-based portal to manage the program’s test data.

Updated training and test materials accompanying these updates will be released soon. More information will be available in the BEST Plus 3.0 Test Administrator Guide and the BEST Plus 3.0 Technical Report.

I am not yet a certified test administrator for BEST Plus 2.0. Can I still take the BEST Plus 2.0 training, or should I wait for BEST Plus 3.0 training?

Yes, you may still complete BEST Plus 2.0 training. CAL is no longer offering training for BEST Plus 2.0, but please contact aea@cal.org to be put in contact with a local trainer. BEST Plus 2.0 training will allow you to administer the BEST Plus 2.0 test as soon as possible, and it will provide foundational knowledge for the BEST Plus 3.0 training. Existing test administrators may choose to skip the first part of the new training which covers existing content and scoring formats, or take it as a refresher. Materials from the entire training will be included in the final certification quiz. 

Is training required for BEST Plus 3.0?

Yes, BEST Plus 3.0 includes brand new question types and a new scoring category. Therefore, all prospective BEST Plus 3.0 test administrators are required to complete training, including those currently certified to administer BEST Plus 2.0.

 

CAL is excited to offer a brand new self-access, self-paced, online training course for BEST Plus 3.0. This training will be free of charge for all users during the transition period, extended through August 2024. This includes existing BEST Plus 2.0 users and those who are new to BEST assessments.

What are the available training formats?

CAL is excited to offer a brand new self-access, self-paced, online training course for BEST Plus 3.0. This training will be free of charge for all users during the transition period, extended through August 2024. This includes existing BEST Plus 2.0 users and those who are new to BEST assessments. After August 2024, CAL will also resume our live, virtual workshops in addition to the self-access course. Once local trainers have been certified as BEST Plus 3.0 trainers, they may offer additional training opportunities in your state.

How long is the BEST Plus 3.0 training?

Because BEST Plus 3.0 contains new question types and a new scoring category, BEST Plus 3.0 training will be slightly longer than the current BEST Plus 2.0 training. CAL is currently developing BEST Plus 3.0 training materials, and more information about the training will be available soon.

How can existing BEST Plus 2.0 trainers become certified BEST Plus 3.0 trainers?

CAL will communicate with current trainers about upcoming requirements.

How long after I pre-test with BEST Plus 3.0 can I administer a posttest?

CAL recommends that BEST Plus 3.0 be given as a posttest after a minimum of 40 hours or one semester of instruction following pre-testing. Learner- and program-related factors may warrant varying from these recommendations. For programs receiving federal funding, BEST Plus 3.0 should be administered as a posttest based on the requirements defined in their state’s assessment policy.

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What is the difference between BEST Literacy and BEST Literacy 2.0?

CAL created BEST Literacy 2.0 with the following updates

  • Alignment to the 2016 English Language Proficiency Standards for Adult Education (ELPs) and the 2017 National Reporting System Educational Functioning Levels (NRS EFLs). BEST Literacy 2.0 measures NRS levels 1-4. View scale score to NRS level conversion chart here.
  • Updated question types and themes that reflect contemporary life in the U.S.
  • A set of sample questions which may be reviewed with examinees at the beginning of the test administration session, to prepare examinees to respond to the Reading and Writing test questions.

Please note: BEST Literacy 2.0 measures examinees’ performances from NRS Level 1 through NRS Level 4. Examinees who are above NRS Level 4 will exit out of BEST Literacy 2.0 and need to be measured with another Reading and Writing assessment. In other words, BEST Literacy 2.0 is not designed for assessing NRS Levels 5 and 6.

Updated training and test materials accompanying these updates will be released soon. More information can be found in the BEST Literacy 2.0 Test Manual.

Is training required for BEST Literacy 2.0?

Yes. Test administrators and/or scorers are required to read through the BEST Literacy 2.0 Test Manual before beginning administering and scoring the test. An optional self-access, self-paced online training course will also be available for purchase as an additional training resource.

What is the timeline for transitioning to BEST Plus 3.0 and BEST Literacy 2.0?

Test administrator training will be available to all current and prospective test administrators by January 2024. Tests and materials will be available for programs with qualified BEST Plus 3.0 Test Administrators at that time. You may continue to use the older generations of the tests (BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy) through June 2024. After June 2024, only the newer generations of the tests (BEST Plus 3.0 and BEST Literacy 2.0) will be supported. CAL will release more information in future newsletters and on the AEA website.

Can I continue using BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy during the transition?

The BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy tests are approved for use through June 2024. These tests will expire after June 2024.

Can I pre-test with the older generation and post-test with the newer generation of the tests?

No. For scores to be comparable, you should always pre- and post-test with the same generation of test. For example, if you pre-test with BEST Plus 2.0 you should post-test with BEST Plus 2.0.

Will I be able to exchange BEST Plus 2.0 and BEST Literacy tests for the new generations?

No. Unfortunately, CAL is not able to provide credit for any remaining BEST Plus 2.0 or BEST Literacy tests. We recommend monitoring your remaining tests (your BEST Plus 2.0 test balance can be accessed on the test activation website) and ordering only what you need until your program transitions fully to the newer tests.

Will there be new pricing for the new tests and materials?

Yes. The updated pricelist will be available by December 2023.

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BEST Plus 2.0 is an individually administered, face-to-face oral interview designed to assess the English language proficiency of adult ELLs in the U.S. An adult is anyone 16 years or older who is not in secondary school.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 measures the examinee’s ability to communicate in English through questions tied to authentic situations that arise in daily life in the United States such as going to the doctor, getting a job, housing, and community services. The question types range from simple picture description questions to questions that require elaborate and organized discourse.

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BEST Plus 2.0 is administered individually by a trained BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator.

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BEST Plus 2.0 measures the full range of current proficiency levels from Student Performance Levels (SPLs) 0 through 10 and all six National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Functioning Levels. For SPL descriptors, see the Quick Links section on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page.

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Yes. All test administrators must complete the six contact-hour test administrator training workshop and be approved by a certified BEST Plus 2.0 trainer prior to administering BEST Plus 2.0. Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Training.

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BEST Plus 2.0 takes 5 to 15 minutes to administer with an average of 6 to 8 minutes depending on the examinee’s level of oral proficiency. Higher proficiency speakers (SPL 7-10) usually take longer than speakers with lower proficiency because they are asked more questions and their responses tend to be longer and more complex.

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The score report contains the following information:

  • BEST Plus 2.0 scale score
  • Student Performance Level
  • NRS Educational Functioning Level
  • Administrative information (student name, registration number, date, time of the test, name of the test administrator, class, site)
  • Average subscale score for Listening Comprehension, Language Complexity, and Communication.

All score reports can be viewed through the included score management software.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is available as either a computer-adaptive version or as a semi-adaptive print-based version. The computer-adaptive version of BEST Plus 2.0 requires one computer for every test administrator. The BEST Plus 2.0 software runs on Windows XP or higher and requires an open USB port for installation. The USB is not required to run the software after installation.

The print-based version also requires at least one computer be available at the time of scoring in order to convert the raw scores from the test booklets into reportable scale scores using the score management software. However, access to a computer is not needed at the time of testing.

Edit Content

The print-based version is administered in the same manner as the computer-adaptive version except the test administrator writes the scores in the test booklet, uses a Picture Cue Book for the picture description questions, and manually enters the scores into the score management software to get a complete score report. All of the test items in the print-based version are drawn from the same item pool as the computer-adaptive version. The primary difference is the printbased is semi-adaptive in that it has three fixed forms (D, E, and F) and three sublevels per form.

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The decision to use either the semi-adaptive print-based version, computer-adaptive version, or both should be based on your capacity to administer the test. If your testing site does not have computers available when testing or laptops are too cumbersome to transport from one site to another, then you should consider using the print-based version. Keep in mind that access to a computer is required to convert the semi-adaptive print-based raw scores into scale scores.

Even if you use the computer-adaptive version exclusively, CAL recommends that copies of the print-based version be available as backup to allow for testing under all circumstances.

Edit Content

Yes. You will need at least one computer to convert the raw scores into scale scores using the score management software.

Edit Content

The first step is to attend a BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator training workshop either through your program, state, or CAL. Once you and your staff have been trained, we can help you order the materials you’ll need to get started. Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Training Workshops.

Edit Content

In order to administer BEST Plus 2.0, you will need the following:

Materials received at training

  • BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Guide
  • BEST Plus Scoring Rubric

Materials to be purchased before testing:

  • Computer-adaptive users
    • BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
    • Computer test administrations
    • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Print-based users
    • BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
    • Semi-adaptive print-based examinee test booklets and corresponding picture cue booklets
    • Computer to score print-based test booklets using the Score management software

Test administrators must have the Test Administrator Guide and Scoring Rubric available during testing.

Visit the Resources section of our website to view a complete list of CAL’s Adult ESL Assessment Resources with links to the corresponding page on the CAL Store. You can order online at the CAL Store or call 1-800-551-3709 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time

Edit Content

No. Performance on BEST Plus 2.0 does not predict performance on BEST Literacy. You may need to check with your state’s assessment policy or program director on how each assessment is to be used within your state.

Edit Content

Laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and other related federal, state, and local laws were enacted to guarantee equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, including those in educational programs. Programs administering BEST Plus 2.0 are responsible for providing accessible services and for ensuring that requests for accommodations are considered and handled in a manner consistent with applicable laws and regulations. Program and test administrators may provide and allow accommodations in test administration procedures or in the testing environment for individuals with disabilities, provided that the accommodations do not compromise the purpose or results of the test. For example, the test administrator cannot show the prompts on the screen or in the test booklet to a person with a hearing impairment nor may a sign language interpreter be used. A permissible accommodation for BEST Plus 2.0 would be the use of hearing aids. Likewise, a test administrator cannot explain the content of a picture cue prompt to a person with a visual impairment. An appropriate accommodation would be the use of a magnifying glass to enlarge the image. BEST Plus 2.0 is not appropriate for use with individuals whose visual impairment prevents them from seeing the picture cue prompts even when enlarged or otherwise enhanced. Skipping picture questions is not a reasonable accommodation for individuals with visual impairments.

Edit Content
Edit Content

BEST Literacy tests reading and writing skills in authentic situations specifically geared for adult English language learners in the United States.

Edit Content

Test items include reading dates on a calendar, addressing an envelope, writing a check, reading a schedule, writing personal information, reading articles and other documents, and writing a short personal note.

Edit Content

BEST Literacy measures reading and writing skills and correlates to Student Performance Levels (SPL) 0 to 8 and the National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Function Levels from Beginning ESL Literacy to Advanced ESL. See this link for SPL Descriptors.

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CAL does not require BEST Literacy training; however, BEST Literacy test administrators and scorers must read and review the BEST Literacy Test Manual before and after administering the test. Individual states and programs may have their own training requirements in order to administer BEST Literacy. Please check your state’s or funder’s assessment policy for more information about using BEST Literacy.

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BEST Literacy does not require the use of computers.

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To get started using BEST Literacy, you will need to know how many students you will be pre- and posttesting to determine the number of test packets to order. Test booklets and corresponding scoring sheets are sold in packets of 20 per form (B, C, and D).

You will also need to order enough copies of the Test Manual for your test administrators and scorers to read and review before and after testing. Next, you will want to contact your state’s or funder’s professional development office or coordinator to find out if the state requires BEST Literacy training.

BEST Literacy materials can be purchased online through the CAL Store or by calling 1-800-551-3709 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Quick CAL Store Links:
Order the BEST Literacy Test Manual.
Order BEST Literacy Examinee Test Booklets

Edit Content

Yes. The students will write their answers in the test booklets. Test booklets are consumable and cannot be photocopied or reused.

Edit Content

A total of 20 corresponding score sheets are included with each shrink-wrapped packet of 20 test booklets.

Edit Content
Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is an individually administered, face-to-face oral interview designed to assess the English language proficiency of adult ELLs in the U.S. An adult is anyone 16 years or older who is not in secondary school.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 measures the examinee’s ability to communicate in English through questions tied to authentic situations that arise in daily life in the United States such as going to the doctor, getting a job, housing, and community services. The question types range from simple picture description questions to questions that require elaborate and organized discourse.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is administered individually by a trained BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 measures the full range of current proficiency levels from Student Performance Levels (SPLs) 0 through 10 and all six National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Functioning Levels. For SPL descriptors, see the Quick Links section on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page.

Edit Content

Yes. All test administrators must complete the six contact-hour test administrator training workshop and be approved by a certified BEST Plus 2.0 trainer prior to administering BEST Plus 2.0. Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Training.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 takes 5 to 15 minutes to administer with an average of 6 to 8 minutes depending on the examinee’s level of oral proficiency. Higher proficiency speakers (SPL 7-10) usually take longer than speakers with lower proficiency because they are asked more questions and their responses tend to be longer and more complex.

Edit Content

The score report contains the following information:

  • BEST Plus 2.0 scale score
  • Student Performance Level
  • NRS Educational Functioning Level
  • Administrative information (student name, registration number, date, time of the test, name of the test administrator, class, site)
  • Average subscale score for Listening Comprehension, Language Complexity, and Communication.

All score reports can be viewed through the included score management software.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is available as either a computer-adaptive version or as a semi-adaptive print-based version. The computer-adaptive version of BEST Plus 2.0 requires one computer for every test administrator. The BEST Plus 2.0 software runs on Windows XP or higher and requires an open USB port for installation. The USB is not required to run the software after installation.

The print-based version also requires at least one computer be available at the time of scoring in order to convert the raw scores from the test booklets into reportable scale scores using the score management software. However, access to a computer is not needed at the time of testing.

Edit Content

The print-based version is administered in the same manner as the computer-adaptive version except the test administrator writes the scores in the test booklet, uses a Picture Cue Book for the picture description questions, and manually enters the scores into the score management software to get a complete score report. All of the test items in the print-based version are drawn from the same item pool as the computer-adaptive version. The primary difference is the printbased is semi-adaptive in that it has three fixed forms (D, E, and F) and three sublevels per form.

Edit Content

The decision to use either the semi-adaptive print-based version, computer-adaptive version, or both should be based on your capacity to administer the test. If your testing site does not have computers available when testing or laptops are too cumbersome to transport from one site to another, then you should consider using the print-based version. Keep in mind that access to a computer is required to convert the semi-adaptive print-based raw scores into scale scores.

Even if you use the computer-adaptive version exclusively, CAL recommends that copies of the print-based version be available as backup to allow for testing under all circumstances.

Edit Content

Yes. You will need at least one computer to convert the raw scores into scale scores using the score management software.

Edit Content

The first step is to attend a BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator training workshop either through your program, state, or CAL. Once you and your staff have been trained, we can help you order the materials you’ll need to get started. Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Training Workshops.

Edit Content

In order to administer BEST Plus 2.0, you will need the following:

Materials received at training

  • BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Guide
  • BEST Plus Scoring Rubric

Materials to be purchased before testing:

  • Computer-adaptive users
    • BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
    • Computer test administrations
    • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Print-based users
    • BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
    • Semi-adaptive print-based examinee test booklets and corresponding picture cue booklets
    • Computer to score print-based test booklets using the Score management software

Test administrators must have the Test Administrator Guide and Scoring Rubric available during testing.

Visit the Resources section of our website to view a complete list of CAL’s Adult ESL Assessment Resources with links to the corresponding page on the CAL Store. You can order online at the CAL Store or call 1-800-551-3709 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Edit Content

No. Performance on BEST Plus 2.0 does not predict performance on BEST Literacy. You may need to check with your state’s assessment policy or program director on how each assessment is to be used within your state.

Edit Content

Laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and other related federal, state, and local laws were enacted to guarantee equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, including those in educational programs. Programs administering BEST Plus 2.0 are responsible for providing accessible services and for ensuring that requests for accommodations are considered and handled in a manner consistent with applicable laws and regulations. Program and test administrators may provide and allow accommodations in test administration procedures or in the testing environment for individuals with disabilities, provided that the accommodations do not compromise the purpose or results of the test. For example, the test administrator cannot show the prompts on the screen or in the test booklet to a person with a hearing impairment nor may a sign language interpreter be used. A permissible accommodation for BEST Plus 2.0 would be the use of hearing aids. Likewise, a test administrator cannot explain the content of a picture cue prompt to a person with a visual impairment. An appropriate accommodation would be the use of a magnifying glass to enlarge the image. BEST Plus 2.0 is not appropriate for use with individuals whose visual impairment prevents them from seeing the picture cue prompts even when enlarged or otherwise enhanced. Skipping picture questions is not a reasonable accommodation for individuals with visual impairments.

Edit Content
Edit Content

BEST Literacy tests reading and writing skills in authentic situations specifically geared for adult English language learners in the United States.

Edit Content

Test items include reading dates on a calendar, addressing an envelope, writing a check, reading a schedule, writing personal information, reading articles and other documents, and writing a short personal note.

Edit Content

BEST Literacy measures reading and writing skills and correlates to Student Performance Levels (SPL) 0 to 8 and the National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Function Levels from Beginning ESL Literacy to Advanced ESL. See this link for SPL Descriptors.

Edit Content

CAL does not require BEST Literacy training; however, BEST Literacy test administrators and scorers must read and review the BEST Literacy Test Manual before and after administering the test. Individual states and programs may have their own training requirements in order to administer BEST Literacy. Please check your state’s or funder’s assessment policy for more information about using BEST Literacy.

Edit Content

BEST Literacy does not require the use of computers.

Edit Content

To get started using BEST Literacy, you will need to know how many students you will be pre- and posttesting to determine the number of test packets to order. Test booklets and corresponding scoring sheets are sold in packets of 20 per form (B, C, and D).

You will also need to order enough copies of the Test Manual for your test administrators and scorers to read and review before and after testing. Next, you will want to contact your state’s or funder’s professional development office or coordinator to find out if the state requires BEST Literacy training.

BEST Literacy materials can be purchased online through the CAL Store or by calling 1-800-551-3709 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Quick CAL Store Links:
Order the BEST Literacy Test Manual.
Order BEST Literacy Examinee Test Booklets

Edit Content

Yes. The students will write their answers in the test booklets. Test booklets are consumable and cannot be photocopied or reused.

Edit Content

A total of 20 corresponding score sheets are included with each shrink-wrapped packet of 20 test booklets.

BEST Plus 2.0 FAQs

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is an individually administered, face-to-face oral interview designed to assess the English language proficiency of adult ELLs in the U.S. An adult is anyone 16 years or older who is not in secondary school.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 measures the examinee’s ability to communicate in English through questions tied to authentic situations that arise in daily life in the United States such as going to the doctor, getting a job, housing, and community services. The question types range from simple picture description questions to questions that require elaborate and organized discourse.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is administered individually by a trained BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 measures the full range of current proficiency levels from Student Performance Levels (SPLs) 0 through 10 and all six National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Functioning Levels. For SPL descriptors, see the Quick Links section on the BEST Plus 2.0 web page.

Edit Content

Yes. All test administrators must complete the six contact-hour test administrator training workshop and be approved by a certified BEST Plus 2.0 trainer prior to administering BEST Plus 2.0. Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Training.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 takes 5 to 15 minutes to administer with an average of 6 to 8 minutes depending on the examinee’s level of oral proficiency. Higher proficiency speakers (SPL 7-10) usually take longer than speakers with lower proficiency because they are asked more questions and their responses tend to be longer and more complex.

Edit Content

The score report contains the following information:

  • BEST Plus 2.0 scale score
  • Student Performance Level
  • NRS Educational Functioning Level
  • Administrative information (student name, registration number, date, time of the test, name of the test administrator, class, site)
  • Average subscale score for Listening Comprehension, Language Complexity, and Communication.

All score reports can be viewed through the included score management software.

Edit Content

BEST Plus 2.0 is available as either a computer-adaptive version or as a semi-adaptive print-based version. The computer-adaptive version of BEST Plus 2.0 requires one computer for every test administrator. The BEST Plus 2.0 software runs on Windows XP or higher and requires an open USB port for installation. The USB is not required to run the software after installation.

The print-based version also requires at least one computer be available at the time of scoring in order to convert the raw scores from the test booklets into reportable scale scores using the score management software. However, access to a computer is not needed at the time of testing.

Edit Content

The print-based version is administered in the same manner as the computer-adaptive version except the test administrator writes the scores in the test booklet, uses a Picture Cue Book for the picture description questions, and manually enters the scores into the score management software to get a complete score report. All of the test items in the print-based version are drawn from the same item pool as the computer-adaptive version. The primary difference is the printbased is semi-adaptive in that it has three fixed forms (D, E, and F) and three sublevels per form.

Edit Content

The decision to use either the semi-adaptive print-based version, computer-adaptive version, or both should be based on your capacity to administer the test. If your testing site does not have computers available when testing or laptops are too cumbersome to transport from one site to another, then you should consider using the print-based version. Keep in mind that access to a computer is required to convert the semi-adaptive print-based raw scores into scale scores.

Even if you use the computer-adaptive version exclusively, CAL recommends that copies of the print-based version be available as backup to allow for testing under all circumstances.

Edit Content

Yes. You will need at least one computer to convert the raw scores into scale scores using the score management software.

Edit Content

The first step is to attend a BEST Plus 2.0 test administrator training workshop either through your program, state, or CAL. Once you and your staff have been trained, we can help you order the materials you’ll need to get started. Learn more about BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Training Workshops.

Edit Content

In order to administer BEST Plus 2.0, you will need the following:

Materials received at training

  • BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Guide
  • BEST Plus Scoring Rubric

Materials to be purchased before testing:

  • Computer-adaptive users
    • BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
    • Computer test administrations
    • Laptop or desktop computer
  • Print-based users
    • BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
    • Semi-adaptive print-based examinee test booklets and corresponding picture cue booklets
    • Computer to score print-based test booklets using the Score management software

Test administrators must have the Test Administrator Guide and Scoring Rubric available during testing.

Visit the Resources section of our website to view a complete list of CAL’s Adult ESL Assessment Resources with links to the corresponding page on the CAL Store. You can order online at the CAL Store or call 1-800-551-3709 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Edit Content

No. Performance on BEST Plus 2.0 does not predict performance on BEST Literacy. You may need to check with your state’s assessment policy or program director on how each assessment is to be used within your state.

Edit Content

Laws such as the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990 and other related federal, state, and local laws were enacted to guarantee equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities, including those in educational programs. Programs administering BEST Plus 2.0 are responsible for providing accessible services and for ensuring that requests for accommodations are considered and handled in a manner consistent with applicable laws and regulations. Program and test administrators may provide and allow accommodations in test administration procedures or in the testing environment for individuals with disabilities, provided that the accommodations do not compromise the purpose or results of the test. For example, the test administrator cannot show the prompts on the screen or in the test booklet to a person with a hearing impairment nor may a sign language interpreter be used. A permissible accommodation for BEST Plus 2.0 would be the use of hearing aids. Likewise, a test administrator cannot explain the content of a picture cue prompt to a person with a visual impairment. An appropriate accommodation would be the use of a magnifying glass to enlarge the image. BEST Plus 2.0 is not appropriate for use with individuals whose visual impairment prevents them from seeing the picture cue prompts even when enlarged or otherwise enhanced. Skipping picture questions is not a reasonable accommodation for individuals with visual impairments.

BEST Literacy FAQs

Edit Content

BEST Literacy tests reading and writing skills in authentic situations specifically geared for adult English language learners in the United States.

Edit Content

Test items include reading dates on a calendar, addressing an envelope, writing a check, reading a schedule, writing personal information, reading articles and other documents, and writing a short personal note.

Edit Content

BEST Literacy measures reading and writing skills and correlates to Student Performance Levels (SPL) 0 to 8 and the National Reporting System (NRS) Educational Function Levels from Beginning ESL Literacy to Advanced ESL. See this link for SPL Descriptors.

Edit Content

CAL does not require BEST Literacy training; however, BEST Literacy test administrators and scorers must read and review the BEST Literacy Test Manual before and after administering the test. Individual states and programs may have their own training requirements in order to administer BEST Literacy. Please check your state’s or funder’s assessment policy for more information about using BEST Literacy.

Edit Content

BEST Literacy does not require the use of computers.

Edit Content

To get started using BEST Literacy, you will need to know how many students you will be pre- and posttesting to determine the number of test packets to order. Test booklets and corresponding scoring sheets are sold in packets of 20 per form (B, C, and D).

You will also need to order enough copies of the Test Manual for your test administrators and scorers to read and review before and after testing. Next, you will want to contact your state’s or funder’s professional development office or coordinator to find out if the state requires BEST Literacy training.

BEST Literacy materials can be purchased online through the CAL Store or by calling 1-800-551-3709 from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Eastern Time.

Quick CAL Store Links:
Order the BEST Literacy Test Manual.
Order BEST Literacy Examinee Test Booklets

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Yes. The students will write their answers in the test booklets. Test booklets are consumable and cannot be photocopied or reused.

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A total of 20 corresponding score sheets are included with each shrink-wrapped packet of 20 test booklets.