TOK Exhibition Assessment Skills

Although TOK should be a course that is much greater than the sum of its parts, ultimately students are evaluated on two final assessment tasks. At the end of the first year of the DP, they are expected to create an exhibition demonstrating how “TOK manifests in the world around us”, and in the second year, they offer a 1600-word essay, that offers a “clear, coherent, and critical analysis” of one of the prescribed titles.

There are four different assessment skills which candidates are expected to demonstrate. This table outlines what students need to do to place their exhibition in the ‘excellent’ band on the rubric.

Interlinking ideas

It clearly and explicitly explains the links between the objects and the IA prompt, and explicit references are made to the selected IA prompt.

Justifying ideas

There is a strong justification why the objects have been chosen for the exhibition.

Using evidence

All the points in the commentary are well-supported by evidence.

Identifying a clear real-world context

The exhibition clearly identifies three objects and their specific real-world context.

Formative assessment tasks for the exhibition

You should practice the four skills identified above in normal lesson contexts, via discussions, short written tasks, and group activities. But you should also think about setting specific formative assessment tasks, which you formally assess, and use as a way of familiarising students with this new assessment task. Below we suggest two practice exhibition tasks, which you can use to prepare students for the final exhibition task. Underneath the table, we’ve gone into a little more detail about how these tasks help to build up the relevant skills.

Exhibition practice 2

Exhibition practice 2

Final exhibition

Identifying a clear real-world context

Identifying a clear real-world context

Using evidence (250 words)

Using evidence (350 words)

Using evidence (950 words)

Justification (250 words)

Justification (350 words)

Justification (950 words)

Making links (one object, from list)

Making links (one object, chosen)

Making links (three objects chosen)

Exhibition practice task 1 Keep the word limit low for this task (for example, 250 words), focusing on helping students to use evidence, justify why they have chosen their object (chosen from a list supplied by you), and making links between their object and one of the IAs (which we suggest you narrow down, linking it to the unit that you are exploring at that time).

Exhibition practice task 2 For this task, you would be doing something similar to the last, but extending the word limit a little (by an extra 100 words or so), and getting the students to choose their own objects. It’s still recommended that you narrow down the IA prompts to a single theme or unit title. offers two practice exhibition tasks, complete with a list of objects for students to choose from (for task 1), adjusted assessment rubrics, and instructions on how to link TOK concepts under investigation to the IA prompts. For more details, see their website.