Document Type : Research Paper


Department of English Language Teaching, University of Shiraz, Shiraz, Iran.



The main objective of this qualitative-quantitative content analysis study was to compare IELTS Academic and TOEFL iBT four modules in terms of the cognition and knowledge dimensions of Revised Bloom’s taxonomy. To this end, two authentic tests including all major modules of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in each domain, namely iBT TOEFL and IELTS Academic exams were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. These tests were randomly selected from the collection of authentic tests available in trustworthy resources. The contents of these tests were codified using a coding scheme developed by Razmjoo and Kazempourfard (2012). In this coding scheme, English alphabets and numbers were assigned to levels of cognition and knowledge, respectively. The results indicated that in general TOEFL iBT codes are more inclined toward the higher orders of thinking and knowledge and the codes are not noticeably divergent; while, the majority of the codes in the IELTS Academic test are skewed toward the lower codes of the BRT. This shows the higher stance of the TOEFL iBT test concerning the higher orders of thinking and knowledge in the BRT. A significant difference was also found between the TOEFL iBT and IELTS Academic tests concerning the highest and the lowest levels of BRT.


Main Subjects

Adams, N. (2015). Bloom’s taxonomy of cognitive learning objectives. Journal of Medical Library Association. 103(3), 152–153.
Aghaei, K. & Mirzaei Rad, E. (2018). On the Interconnection between Bloom's Critical Thinking Taxonomy & Listening Comprehension Performance of Iranian EFL Learners. ‏ International Journal of English Language & Translation Studies. 6(3), 22-31.
Amaliyah, Ayu. (2018). “An Analysis of Multiple Choice Items Made by Teacher Based on Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy Theory at Tenth Grade of SMA Negeri 1 Sidoarjo” A Thesis. English Teacher Education Department. Faculty of Tarbiyah and Teachers Training. Sunan Ampel State Islamic University, Surabaya
Amin, A. (2004). Learning objectives in university Persian and English general language courses in terms of Bloom’s taxonomy (Unpublished Master’s thesis). Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.
Anderson, L. D. Krathwohl, D. (Eds.). (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing: A Revision of Bloom's Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. U.S.: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
Arvianto, Z. I. & Faridi, A. (2016). The compatibility of reading exercises with bloom’s revised taxonomy and 2013 curriculum (A Case of English Textbook Entitled BahasaInggris for Grade XI Published by Department of National Education 2014). English Education Journal. 6 (1). 42-51.
Ary, D., Jacobs, L.C. Razavieh, A., & Sorensen, C. (2006). Introduction to research in education (7th Ed.). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace College Publishers, p.443.
Askaripour, S. A. A. (2014). A textbook evaluation of new version (2nd edition) of Top Notch English series. English for Specific Purposes World, 15(44), 1-30.
Assaly, I. R., & Smadi, O. M. (2015). Using Bloom’s taxonomy to evaluate the cognitive levels of Master class textbook’s questions. English Language Teaching, 8(5), 100-110. doi:10.5539/elt.v8n5p100
Assaly, I., & Igbaria, A. K. (2014). A content analysis of the reading and listening activities in the EFL textbook of Master class. Education Journal, 3(2), 24-38. doi: 10.11648/
Baghaei, S., Bagheri, M. S. & Yamini, M. (2020). Analysis of IELTS and TOEFL reading and listening tests in terms of Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Cogent Education, 7(1), 1-23.
Baktash, N. & Talebinejad, M. R. (2015). Evaluation of the New Iranian High School Series Books Based on Bloom's Revised Taxonomy: Prospect One in Focus.  Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods. 5 (3), p.439-446.
Birjandi, P., & Alizadeh, I. (2013). Manifestation of critical thinking skills in the English textbooks employed by language institutes in Iran. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning, 2(1), 27-38.
Bloom, B. S. (1956). Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals. New York: Longmans, Green.
Chapman, D. W; Snyder, C. W. (2000). Can high-stakes national testing improve instruction: Re-examining conventional wisdom? International Journal of Educational Development, 20, 457–474
Cumming, A; Kantor, R; Baba, R; Erdosy, U. Eouanzoui, K; James, A. (2005).Differences in written discourse in independent and integrated prototype tasks for next generation TOEFL. Assessing Writing, 10, 5-43.
Cunningsworth, A. (1995). Choosing your coursebook. London: Heinemann.
Davari Ardekani, N., & Aghaebrahimi, H. (2012). The authenticity of three PFL textbooks from the cohesion viewpoint. Journal of Teaching Persian Language to Non-Persian Speakers, 1(1), 151-168.
Ebadi, S. & Mozafari, V.  (2016). Exploring Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of Educational Objectives in TPSOL Textbooks. Journal of Teaching Persian Language to Non-Persian Speakers. 5(1), 1-29.  
Ebadi, S., Salman, A. R., & Ebrahimi Marjal, B. (2015). Gender representation in the textbooks of teaching Persian to speakers of other languages. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research, 2(4), 143-157.
Fiegel, G. L. (2013). Incorporating learning outcomes into an introductory geotechnical engineering course. European Journal of Engineering Education, 38(3), 238–253.
Ginns, P. & Leppink, J. (2019). Special Issue on Cognitive Load Theory: Editorial. Educational Psychology Review, 31, 255–259.
Gordani, Y. (2008). A content analysis of guidance school English textbooks with regard to Bloom's levels of learning. Unpublished master’s thesis, Shiraz University, Iran.
Gordani, Y. (2010). An analysis of English textbook used at Iranian guidance school in terms of Bloom’s taxonomy. The Journal of Asia TEFL, 7(2), 249-278.
Hanna, W. (2007). The new Bloom‘s taxonomy: Implications for music education. Arts Education Policy Review, 108(4), 7-16.
Hashemi, A. & Daneshfar, S. (2018). A Review of the IELTS Test: Focus on validity, reliability, and washback. Indonesian Journal of English Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics. 3(1), 39-52.
Haycroft, J. (1998). An introduction To English language teaching. Longman.
Hoeppel, F. (1981). A taxonomy analysis of questions found in aiding skills developmental books used in Maryland Community College. Dissertation Abstracts International, 41(12).
Hughes, A. (1989). Testing for language teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hutchinson, T., & Torres, E. (1994).The textbook as agent of change.ELT Journal, 48(4), 315-328.
Hutchinson, T., & Waters, A. (1987). English for specific purposes: A learning-centered approach. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Igbaria, A. (2013). A content analysis of the WH-questions in the EFL textbook of Horizons. International Educational Studies, 6(7), 200-224. doi:10.5539/ies.v6n7p200
Javid, Ch. Z. (2015). English for specific purposes: role of learners, teachers and teaching methodologies. European Scientific Journal, 11 (20), 17-34.
Khorsand, N. (2009). Cognitive levels of questions used by Iranian EFL teachers in advanced reading comprehension tests. Retrieved from ERIC database. (ED507869)
Lorenzo, F. (2005). Teaching English for specific purposes.Available at: http:/
Mckinley, J. (2015). Critical argument and writer identity: social constructivism as a theoretical framework for EFL academic writing. Critical Inquiry in Language Studies, 12 (3), 184-207.
Mizbani, M., Salehi, H., & Tabatabaei, O. (2020). Content evaluation of Iranian EFL textbook vision 1 based on Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of cognitive domain. International Journal of Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 8(29), 11–24.
Mosallanejad, N. (2008). Evaluation of high school English textbooks on the basis of Bloom's taxonomy. Unpublished master’s thesis, Shiraz University, Iran.
NamazianDoost, I. & HayaviMehr, M. (2017). A comparative study of critical thinking skills in high school and simulated IELTS reading comprehension questions. International Journal of English Language Teaching. 5(6), 35-69. 
Nkhoma, M., Lam, T., Richardson, J., Kam, K., & Lau, K. H. (2016). Developing case-based learning activities based on the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Proceedings of Informing Science & IT Education Conference (InSITE) 2016, 85-93.
O'Neill, R. (1982).Why Use Textbooks.ELT Journal. (36) 2, 104-111.
Pishghadam, R. and Shams, A. M. (2013). A new look into the construct validity of the IELTS speaking module. The Journal of Teaching Language Skills (JTLS), 5 (1), 71-90.
Rashidi, N. (2012). Analytical Evaluation of General English Textbook. Studying Research and Writing University Textbooks, No.25, Summer 2012,p.59.
Razmjoo, S. A. & Raissi, R. (2010). Evaluation of SAMT ESP textbooks for the students of medical sciences. Asian ESP Journal, 6(2), 107-149.
Razmjoo, S. A. and Kazempourfard, E. (2012). On the Representation of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy in Interchange Course books. The Journal of Teaching Language Skills, 4 (1), 171-204.
Rezai, H., & Alipur, M. (2013). A study of the reading passages from “FARSI BIAMUZIM” based on Halliday’s seven functions of language. Journal of Persian Language Teaching to Non-Persian Speakers, 1(2), 163-179.
Rezvani, R., & Zamani, G. (2012). Creative thinking as generative: The cognitive taxonomy to examine translation thinking in Iran’s official textbooks. The Proceedings of TELLSI, 10, 191-205.
Riazi, A. M., & Mosalanejad, N. (2010). Evaluation of learning objectives in Iranian high-school and pre-university English textbooks using Bloom’s taxonomy. The Electronic Journal for English as a Second Language, 13(4), 1-11.
Roohani, A., Taheri, F., & Poorzanganeh, M. (2014). Evaluating Four Corners textbooks in terms of cognitive processes using bloom’s revised taxonomy. RALs, 4(2), 51-67.
Sadeghi. B., & Mahdipour, N. (2015). Evaluating ILI advanced series through Bloom’s revised taxonomy. Science Journal, 36(3), 2247-2260.
Sahragard, R. & Zahed Alavi, S. (2016). Investigating the Predominant Levels of Learning Objectives in General English Books. Journal of English Language Teaching and Learning. 17(8), 93-114.
Salmani-Nodoushan, M. A. (2020). English for Specific Purposes: Traditions, trends, directions. Studies in English Language and Education, 7(1), 247-268.
Sheldon, L. (1988). Evaluating ELT textbooks and materials. ELT Journal, 42 (4),237-246.
Strevens, P. (1988). ESP after twenty years: A re-appraisal. In M. Tickoo (Ed.), ESP: State of the art (pp. 1-13). SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.
Su, W. M. and Osisek, P.J. (2011). The Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy: Implications for Educating Nurses. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing. 42 (7), 321-327.
Taghipoor, H. (2015). Determining the emphasis on Bloom’s cognitive domain in the contents of science textbook for the sixth grade. SAUSSUREA, 3(3), 162-175.
Tangsakul, P., Kijpoonphol, W., Linh, N. D. & Kimura, L. N. (2017). Using bloom’s revised taxonomy to analyze reading comprehension questions in team up in English 1-3 and grade 9 English o-net tests. International Journal of Research. 5(7), 31-41.
Thompson, A. R. and O'Loughlin, V. D. (2015), The Blooming Anatomy Tool (BAT): A discipline-specific rubric for utilizing Bloom's taxonomy in the design and evaluation of assessments in the anatomical sciences. American Association of Anatomists, 8, 493–501. doi:10.1002/ase.1507
Thompson, E., Luxton-Reilly, A., Whalley, J. L., Hu, M., & Robbins, Ph. (2008). Bloom's taxonomy for CS assessment. Proceedings of the tenth conference on Australasian computing education. 78, 155–161.
Uysal, H. H. (2010). A critical review of the IELTS writing test. ELT, 64, 314_320.
Wall, D. (2000). The impact of high stakes testing on teaching and learning: can this be predicted or controlled? System, 28, 499-509.
Zamani, G., & Rezvani, R. (2015). HOTS in Iran’s official textbooks: Implications for material design and student learning. Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research. Volume, 2(5), 138-151.
Zareian, G., Davoudi, M., Heshmatifar, Z., & Rahimi, J. (2015). An evaluation of questions in two ESP course books based on Bloom’s new taxonomy of cognitive learning domain. International Journal of Education and Research, 3(8), 313-326.