In this study, we introduce and use Efficiency Analysis to compare differences in the apparent internal and external consistency of competing normalization methods and tests for identifying differentially expressed genes. Using publicly available data, two lung adenocarcinoma datasets were analyzed using caGEDA (http://bioinformatics2.pitt.edu/GE2/GEDA. html) to measure the degree of differential expression of genes existing between two populations. The datasets were randomly split into at least two subsets, each analyzed for differentially expressed genes between the two sample groups, and the gene lists compared for overlapping genes. Efficiency Analysis is an intuitive method that compares the differences in the percentage of overlap of genes from two or more data subsets, found by the same test over a range of testing methods. Tests that yield consistent gene lists across independently analyzed splits are preferred to those that yield less consistent inferences. For example, a method that exhibits 50% overlap in the 100 top genes from two studies should be preferred to a method that exhibits 5% overlap in the top 100 genes. The same procedure was performed using all available normalization and transformation methods that are available through caGEDA. The ‘best’ test was then further evaluated using internal cross-validation to estimate generalizable sample classification errors using a Na ve Bayes classification algorithm. A novel test, termed D1 (a derivative of the J5 test) was found to be the most consistent, and to exhibit the lowest overall classification error, and highest sensitivity and specificity. The D1 test relaxes the assumption that few genes are differentially expressed. Efficiency Analysis can be misleading if the tests exhibit a bias in any particular dimension (e.g. expression intensity); we therefore explored intensity-scaled and segmented J5 tests using data in which all genes are scaled to share the same intensity distribution range. Efficiency Analysis correctly predicted the ‘best’ test and normalization method using the Beer dataset and also performed well with the Bhattacharjee dataset based on both efficiency and classification accuracy criteria.