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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
BEST Plus 2.0 Software USB
Computer test administrations
Laptop or desktop computer
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
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.
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.