Faculty Publications

Using Bloom’s Taxonomy To Evaluate The Cognitive Levels Of Primary Leaving English Exam Questions In Rwandan Schools

Document Type



Assessment, Curriculum, Postcolonial context, Revised Bloom’s taxonomy

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Curriculum Perspectives


This qualitative study investigates the cognitive levels of the questions used in the English primary six leaving examinations administered in Rwandan schools from 2013 to 2019. We used the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy to scrutinize the cognitive levels of 574 exam questions. The findings revealed a remarkable predominance of the lower-order thinking skills (LOTS) (98.79%) over the higher-order thinking skills (HOTS) exam questions (1.21%). The study addresses the gap in the current literature on high-stake and accountability-driven assessment practices regarding the language educational policies involving the use of English as a classroom language and curriculum reforms in postcolonial contexts. In particular, the study provides education practitioners and decision-makers with a body of knowledge conducive to writing high-quality exams that are likely to boost effective instruction and higher student learning and success in schools and beyond.


Department of Educational Psychology, Foundations, and Leadership Studies

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version