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Bloom's taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy for categorizing the level of abstraction of questions that commonly occur in educational settings. The taxonomy provides a useful structure in which to categorize questions in order to direct student thinking to appropriate levels. The levels of understanding include:

  • Knowledge - observation and recall of information; knowledge of dates, events, places; knowledge of major ideas; mastery of subject matter. Question Cues: list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.
  • Comprehension - understanding information; grasping meaning; translating knowledge into new context; interpreting facts, comparing, contrasting; ordering, grouping, inferring causes; predicting consequences. Question Cues: summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend.
  • Application – use of information; using methods, concepts, theories in new situations; solving problems using required skills or knowledge. Question Cues: 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. Question Cues : analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer.
  • Synthesis – use of old ideas to create new ones; generalization from given facts; relating knowledge from several areas; predicting, drawing conclusions. Question Cues: combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite.
  • Evaluation -comparison and discrimination between and among; assessing value of theories, presentations; making choices based on reasoned argument; verifying value of evidence; recognizing subjectivity. Question Cues: assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize.
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