The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) developed two Basic English Skills Tests (BESTs) designed specifically for those individuals who are learning English as a second language. The two BEST adult English language skills tests include BEST Plus and BEST Literacy Test.


Best Plus

Using a personal interview to measure English speaking and listening skills, the BEST Plus test is a one-on-one verbal exercise. This short, practical, oral assessment follows the requirements of the National Reporting System (NRS).

The BEST Plus focuses on common communication. When taking BEST Plus, you can expect everyday language to be used within scenarios that reflect home, work and social interaction. Therefore, the subject matter of the interview concerns daily life in the U.S.

There are two BEST Plus versions: Computer-adaptive and print-based. CAL provides three separate formats for the convenient administration of the test: CD-ROM, USB and Network.

Scoring is based on listening comprehension, communication skills and language complexity. To achieve standard rating results, the Center for Applied Linguistics provides BEST Plus Score Management Software (SMS).


BEST Literacy

Reading and writing are both covered within the 1-hour BEST Literacy Test. Expect several question formats such as multiple-choice, sentence completion, fill-in-the-blank and extended response.

Reading Section – Multiple everyday reading formats are required to be understood and applied in the Reading portion of the exam. For a view of the types of activities included in this section, here are some of the items you will encounter: Labels on food and clothes, newspaper want ads, magazine articles, dates on a calendar and bulletin announcements.

Writing Section – Writing a rent check, writing personal notes, completing a personal information form and addressing an envelope are some of the writing tasks presented in this section of the exam. The assessment concerns your ability to function in the U.S. on an everyday basis through the completion of essential tasks that materialize and necessitate written communication.

Your score is based on the reading score and writing score combined. A standardized chart converts your overall score into a scaled score that reflects your actual ESL skill rating. BEST Literacy testing is designed to coordinate with the National Reporting System ESL educational functioning level or Student Performance Level (SPL).


Prepare for BEST

Employers rely on BEST test results in the hiring process when searching for employees who can handle interpersonal communication with managers, co-workers and customers. Preparing for BEST exams involves practice tests with question & answer explanations, exam strategies and the review of a BEST study guide. JobTestPrep can help you optimize your BEST Plus and BEST Literacy exam results.