Basic English Skills Test ( BEST )
Bulk Discount Ordering Through TCALL

published by Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL)


BEST Literacy

BEST Plus Oral English Proficiency Test


BEST Literacy
The BEST Literacy assessment tests reading and writing skills in authentic situations specifically geared for adult English language learners in the United States. BEST Literacy can be administered individually or to groups of examinees in one hour or less. Reading tasks include reading dates on a calendar, labels on food and clothing, bulletin announcements, and newspaper want ads. Writing tasks include addressing an envelope, writing a rent check, filling out a personal background form, and writing personal notes. BEST Literacy is available in three parallel forms (B, C and D) for pre- and posttesting. The BEST Literacy Test Manual is designed to provide test administrators and scorers with all the information they need to give and score the test, including a rubric with clear benchmarks for scoring the note-writing tasks as well as many student samples.


Approximately once per calendar year, TCALL solicits orders for BEST Literacy from eligible local programs as part of a bulk discount order for the state. These ordering cycles are announced on TCALL's email discussion lists TWC-funded Adult Education and El Civics programs.

At any time, programs may place orders for BEST Literacy directly with CAL using their online store. Regular, non-discounted retail prices and shipping charges will be applied to all orders placed directly with CAL.


BEST Plus Oral English Proficiency Test
BEST Plus, developed by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL), is an individually administered face-to-face adaptive oral interview designed to assess the English language proficiency of adult English language learners. BEST Plus is intended to assess interpersonal communication using everyday language. BEST Plus comes in two versions—a computer-adaptive version on CD-ROM and a semi-adaptive print-based version and is available in three equivalent forms, A, B, and C. For more information on this test visit the BEST Plus page on CAL's website.


BEST Plus test materials can be purchased only by programs that have access to the services of a CAL-certified BEST Plus test administrator.

Who is a BEST Plus Certified Test Administrator?
After each BEST Plus training workshop, the CAL trainer or state BEST Plus trainer who conducted it is required to send to CAL the Test Administrator Registration forms that were completed by all workshop participants. CAL staff enters the information from these forms into their test administrator database, where each test administrator is then associated with the specific program(s) to which they belong or for whom they test.

Training to become a BEST Plus Certified Test Administrator
For information on how to obtain BEST Plus training in Texas, contact TCALL at tcall@tamu.edu or 800-441-7323. When test administrators contact CAL to activate computer-based test administrations (or to score print-based test administrations using the Score Management Software on the BEST Plus Test CD), they must login with their email address and Customer Number to verify that they are 1) a trained test administrator from the registry and 2) associated with the program for which they are requesting test administrations to be activated.

Approximately three times per calendar year, TCALL solicits BEST Plus orders from local programs as part of a bulk discount order for the state. These ordering cycles are announced on TCALL's email discussion lists. CAL will not charge shipping for bulk orders placed through the distribution center (e.g., TCALL) and delivered to that one address. TCALL adds a shipping charge to cover the cost of insured mailing of print materials from TCALL to the local programs.


Should programs wish to place orders for print materials directly with CAL, please visit CAL's online store. However, regular, non-discounted retail prices and shipping charges will be applied to all orders placed directly with CAL.


For more information on how the BEST tests are used in accordance with the State Assessment Policy, see the State Assessment and Goal Setting/Attainment Policy for Adult Education. Guidance in that document will continue until modified or superceded by TWC actions.

For more information on the BEST Plus or BEST Literacy test, visit the Adult ESL Assessment page of CAL's website or call CAL at 1-866-845-BEST (2378).

Still have questions? Email tcall@tamu.edu or call 1-800-441-READ (7323 toll-free).

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