An Evaluative Study of the End-of-Semester Examination Papers: Bloom’s Taxonomy as a Framework

Sarkawt Muhammad Qadir
English Department, College of Education, University of Raparin

Rukhsar Muhammad Omar
Community Health Department, College of Nursing, University of Raparin


One of the fundamental transformations that the Kurdistan region of Iraq (henceforth KRG) has witnessed is the implementation of the Bologna process that has been in force since 2017. This change from the traditional system to the Bologna process system has also affected the assessment schemes. More clearly, more wight has been devoted to the formative assessment that can help raise students’ grades and ease success in the courses. Nevertheless, the final exam, which is a part of summative assessment, still carries most of the grades. Therefore, setting appropriate questions that can satisfy all the cognition levels represented in Bloom’s taxonomy assist in raising students’ cognition to higher levels of analysis, synthesis and evaluation rather than only testing bookish knowledge that is located on the lower levels of Bloom’s taxonomy, namely knowledge, comprehension, and application. To this intent, the present study endeavoured to evaluate the end-of-semester examination papers set by instructors at both colleges of nursing and science at a public university in KRG during the application of the Bologna process system. It aimed to identify if instructors at these colleges adhere to the various levels of Bloom’s taxonomy including knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation to raise the level of critical thinking that is central to Bologna process. More importantly, the association of each of the socio-demographic variables such as teaching experience, rate of success, academic title, and instructors’ qualification to the level of the final examination questions was also examined. Totally, a sample of 75 final examination papers were collected from instructors at these two colleges including 515 individual questions. For the analysis of the data, the researchers relied on SPSS (v. 28) and used both descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study revealed that most of the examination papers includes low order questions locating on the baseline of Bloom’s taxonomy, i.e. comprehension and knowledge. Furthermore, the association of the rate of success to the level of the questions was highly statistically significant. This means the rate of success was lower for instructors who set questions at higher levels of thinking.