Bloom’s Taxonomy

Many students don’t understand the difference between "C", "B" and "A" level work on their exams and papers. According to Benjamin Bloom, there are six levels of mental skills that demonstrate the kind of understanding a person has about a subject. Starting with the lowest level, knowledge, and building to the highest level, evaluation, students demonstrate depth of understanding of a topic or concept. Each level has key words that suggest the level of thinking. Levels one and two would probably receive a C, levels three and four a B. Five and six are A-level work as long as other requirements for the assignment or test are met.

Bloom’s Taxonomy (summary)

  1. Knowledge
  2. Comprehension
  3. Application
  4. Analysis
  5. Synthesis
  6. Evaluation

For an example of C-, B- and A-level work, please see The Adult Student’s Guide to Survival and Success, 7th edition.

For a clear succinct description of all the levels you can go to the following web site:

and, with a lot of cross links:

The reference work for descriptions of Bloom’s Taxonomy come from:

Bloom, B.S. (Ed.), Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals: Handbook I, cognitive domain. New York: Longmans, Green (1956).

The following site contains a 21 page essay about critical thinking. (PDF file format – updated 2007)

Quia – Bloom’s Taxonomy, a site with flashcard, word search and a concentration type game, activities created by Carolyn Hopper

An online demonstrative quiz of Bloom’s Taxonomy, Choose "Bloom’s Taxonomy." Courtsey of, a demo for their quiz producing software that happens to cover Bloom’s Taxonomy.