Bloom’s Taxonomy provides a useful structure in which to categorize test questions when assessing student learning. The table below describes skills demonstrated for each level of thinking according to Bloom as well as question cues that can be used to elicit student responses within that level. The same content information can be assessed at different levels of cognition. Here are some examples of test questions reflecting the six levels of learning according to Bloom.

Knowledge• observation and recall of information
• knowledge of dates, events, places
• knowledge of major ideas
• mastery of subject matter
list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.
Comprehension• understanding information
• grasp meaning
• translate knowledge into new context
• interpret facts, compare, • contrast
• order, group, infer causes
predict consequences
summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend
Application• use information
• use methods, concepts, theories in new situations
• solve problems using required skills or knowledge
apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover
Analysis• seeing patterns
• organization of parts
• recognition of hidden meanings
• identification of components
analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer
Synthesis• use old ideas to create new ones
• generalize from given facts
• relate knowledge from several areas
• predict, draw conclusions
combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite
Evaluation• compare and discriminate between ideas
• assess value of theories, presentations
• make choices based on reasoned argument
• verify value of evidence
• recognize subjectivity
assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize

Sample Test Questions

This information has been adapted  from the University of Victoria Counseling Services.

Recognition Questions

(knowledge – simple recall)

  1. A society where daughters are expected to remain in their parents’ household and the sons move in with their wives is called:
    a. a matrilocal society
    b. a neolocal society
    c. a matriarchal society
    d. a bilateral society
  2. A group of relatives by marriage constitute:
    a. a conjugal family
    b. an extended family
    c. a nuclear family
    d. none of the above
  3. People who are related by blood are kin. (True or False?)

Recall Questions

(Comprehension – shows understanding)

  1. Describe the major differences among patrilineal, matrilineal, and bilateral societies.
  2. Define:
    a. extended family
    b. nuclear family

Application Questions

(use the information in a new context)

  1. Sammy’s parents had a party for him on his fifth birthday. They invited both sets of grandparents, and Sammy’s father’s brother and his children. This is called a gathering of:
    a. a consanguine family
    b. a conjugal family
    c. an egalitarian family
    d. a patriarchal family

Analysis Questions

(connecting patterns, identifying hidden meanings)

  1. Explain the patrilocal society in terms of lineage and dominance of the sexes.
  2. Explain the term conjugal families, by making reference to the different types of societies to which they could belong.
  3. Kin can be best analyzed by examining:
    a. the society to which they belong
    b. their pattern of descent
    c. their form of family organization
    d. the type of family unit to which they belong

Synthesis Questions

(relate knowledge from several areas)

  1. Explain why it is likely that a matriarchal family system would be found in a matrilocal or matrilineal society
  2. Which one of these combinations of society descriptions is unlikely to exist within one society:
    a. neolocal, egalitarian, nuclear
    b. patrilocal, patrilineal, patrilocal
    c. bilateral, egalitarian, nuclear
    d. extended family, conjugal family, kin

Evaluation Question

(assess value of theories)

  1. Describe the economic consequence of a neolocal society. Support your description with information you have learned from this course.