Sunday, June 22, 2014

Comparison Bloom and TOS Required Competence

(Updated June 24, 2014Note - Bloom's Taxonomy is not part of the exam - but it will make use of Bloom's taxonomy in framing questions for the exam. Always refer to the TOS for the exam's coverage. Please refer to the links below to know more about the context of this blog post.) 

Based on the above table, Comparing Bloom and the TOS Required Competence, we can categorized the skills demonstrated or questions cues according to: more frequent occurring, less and least. 

The following Frequent Occurring in the 3 subjects:
Apply/use  -Application
Identify      -Knowledge
Recognize  -Knowledge

The following Less Occurring in 2 subjects:
Differentiate  -Analysis
Describe        -Comprehension

The following Least Occurring in 1 subject:
Assess          -Evaluation
Evaluate      -Evaluation
Distinguish  -Comprehension
Discuss        -Comprehension
Explain        -Comprehension
Use             - Application

As to subjects Abnormal Psychology uses 6 various skills or questions cues, while Industrial Psychology uses 5, Psychological Assessment uses 5, and Theories of Personality uses 3. 

It can be observed that question cues like identify and recognize considered belonging to the basic and least complex of the cognitive system categories are still the more dominant in at least 3 subjects. Although question cue on application or knowledge utilization is appearing in the 3 subjects as well.

Examinees should therefore pay attention on these skills demonstrated or questions cues. The TOS should be referred back in order to familiarize with the possible framing of board exam questions and make use of the TOS as review guide.

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Longer version of the matrix - Table of Comparison

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy for categorizing level of abstraction of questions that commonly occur in educational settings. The taxonomy provides a useful structure in which to categorize test questions, since professors will characteristically ask questions within particular levels, and if you can determine the levels of questions that will appear on your exams, you will be able to study using appropriate strategies.


Skills Demonstrated

  • 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.
  • understanding information
  • grasp meaning
  • translate knowledge into new context
  • interpret facts, compare, contrast
  • order, group, infer causes
  • predict consequences
  • Question Cues:
    summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend
  • use information
  • use methods, concepts, theories in new situations
  • solve problems using required skills or knowledge
  • Questions Cues:
    apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover
  • 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
  • use old ideas to create new ones
  • generalize from given facts
  • relate knowledge from several areas
  • predict, draw conclusions
  • Question Cues:
    combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite
  • compare and discriminate between ideas
  • assess value of theories, presentations
  • make choices based on reasoned argument
  • verify value of evidence
  • recognize subjectivity
  • Question Cues
    assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize
* From Benjamin S. Bloom Taxonomy of educational objectives.
Published by Allyn and Bacon, Boston, MA. Copyright (c) 1984 by Pearson Education.
Adapted by permission of the publisher.

Bloom’s Taxonomy is a hierarchy of six cognitive skills arranged from less to more complex.


Recognizes students’ ability to use rote memorization and recall certain facts.
Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain:
cite, define, identify, label, list, match, name, recognize, reproduce, select, state.
Learning objectivesExam questions
The students will recall the four major food groups without error.
Name the four major food groups.
The students will list at least three characteristics peculiar to the Cubist movement.
List  three characteristics that are unique to the Cubist movement.
The students will be able to definegram-positive bacteria.
Define gram-positive bacteria.


Involves students’ ability to read course content, understand and interpret important information and put other’s ideas into their own words.
Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain: 
classify, convert, describe, distinguish between, explain, extend, give examples, illustrate, interpret, paraphrase, summarize, translate.
Learning objectivesExam questions
The students will summarize the main events of a story in grammatically correct English.
Using grammatically correct English, please summarize the main events – in three or four sentences - from the news story given below.
The students will describe in prose what is shown in graph form.
Given a graph of production trends in automobiles, describewhat the graph represents in a memo to your boss.
From a “story-problem” description, students will convert the story to a mathematical manipulation needed to solve the problem.
A researcher wonders whether attending a private high school leads to higher or lower performance on an exam of social skills.  A random sample of 100 students from a private school produces a mean score of 71.30 on the exam, and the national mean score for students from public schools is 75.62 (s x = 29.0). Convert the information in this word problem into a mathematical representation that will enable you to solve the problem.


Students take new concepts and apply them to another situation.
Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain:
apply, arrange, compute, construct, demonstrate, discover, modify, operate,predict, prepare, produce, relate, show, solve, use.
Learning objectivesExam questions
The students will multiply ractions in class with 90 percent accuracy.
Solve for the ten following fraction multiplication problems.  Please make sure to show all your work.
The students will apply previously learned information about socialism to reach an answer.
According to our definition of socialism, which of the following nations would be considered to be socialist?
The students will demonstrate the principle of reinforcement to classroom interactions.
In a teaching simulation with your peers role-playing 6th grade students, demonstrate the principle of reinforcement in classroom interactions andprepare a ½ page description of what happened during the simulation that validated the principle.


Students have the ability to take new information and break it down into parts to differentiate between them.
Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain: analyze, associate, determine, diagram, differentiate, discriminate, distinguish, estimate, infer, order, outline, point out, separate, subdivide.
Learning objectivesExam questions
The students will read a presidential debate and point outthe passages that attack a political opponent personally rather than the opponent’s political programs.
From the short presidential debate transcribed below:  Differentiatethe passages that attacked a political opponent personally, and those that attacked an opponent’s political programs.
The students will point out the positive and negative points presented in an argument for the abolition of guns.
From the argument given below,analyze the positive and negative points presented concerning the abolition of guns and write a brief (2-3 page) narrative of your analysis.
Students will discriminate among a list of possible steps to determine which one(s) would lead to increased reliability for a test.
Determine which of the following steps would most likely lead to an increase in the reliability estimate for a test:
  • Increasing the number of persons tested from 500 to 1,000.
  • Selecting items so that half were very difficult and half very easy
  • Increasing the length of the test with more of the same kinds of items
  • Increasing the homogeneity of the group of subjects tested.


Students are able to take various pieces of information and form a wholecreating a pattern where one did not previously exist.
Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain:combine, compile, compose, construct, create, design, develop, devise, formulate, integrate, modify, organize, plan, propose, rearrange, reorganize, revise, rewrite, tell, write.
Learning objectivesExam questions
The students will write a different but plausible ending to a short story.
Develop one plausible ending for all three short stories below.
After studying the current economic policies of the United States, student groups will designtheir own goals for fiscal and monetary policies.
Working in your groups and considering the current economic policies of the US that we have been studying, develop your goals for employment, price levels, and rate of real economic growth for the next three years.  Write these goals on the newsprint and be ready to discuss why your goals are feasible.
The students will design a series of chemical operations to separate quantitatively the elements in a solution.
In the lab, you will be given a solution to analyze to see what elements make up the solution.  Then design a series of chemical operations to separate quantitatively the elements in the solution.


Involves students’ ability to look at someone else’s ideas or principles and see the worth of the work and the value of the conclusions.
Action verbs to help write objectives or exam questions for this domain:
appraise, assess, compare, conclude, contrast, criticize, discriminate, evaluate, judge, justify, support, weigh.
Learning objectivesExam questions
The students will use the principles of socialism to evaluate the US economic system.
Using the basic principles of socialism discussed in this course,evaluate the US economic system by providing key arguments to support your judgment.
Given any research study,evaluate the appropriateness of the conclusions reached based on the data presented.
For years, misinformation about negative effects of aspartame has proliferated on the internet. The committee evaluated peer-reviewed research from the scientific literature on this topic and concluded: “Aspartame consumption is not associated with adverse effects in the general population”.  -- Given the data we’ve looked at on this topic,evaluate how appropriate this conclusion is and defend your answer.
The students will compare two pieces of sculpture, giving reasons for their positive evaluation of one over the other.
Two pieces of sculpture from different eras and artists are displayed.  Study these two pieces, use the compare-contrast method to determine which piece you prefer and write a 2-3 page report that describes your thinking process as you studied these pieces.  Utilize the skills you have learned as we have studied various pieces of sculpture over the past two weeks.

Additional information

Anderson, L. W. (Ed.), Krathwohl, D. R. (Ed.), Airasian, P. W., Cruikshank, K. A., Mayer, R. R., Pintrich, P. R., Raths, J., & Wittrock, M. C. (2001). A taxonomy for learning, teaching and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (Complete edition)New York: Longman.
Bloom, Benjamin S., et. al. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives, New York: David McKay Company, Inc.
Gronlund, N. E. (1998). Assessment of student achievement. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Hellyer, S. (n.d.). A teaching handbook for university faculty. Chapter 1: Course objectives. Retrieved October 1, 1998 from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis Web site:
Krathwohl, D.R. (2002). A revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212-218.
Kubiszyn, K., & Borich, G. (1984). Educational testing and measurement:
Classroom application and practice. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, pp. 53-55.