Process of TOK

How the TOK course is organized and assessed

There are many ways to deliver the TOK course, but the vast majority of schools will have a TOK coordinator, and a small team of TOK teachers. They will design and deliver TOK classes, and give you written and oral tasks to help you develop the skills required to complete the two assessment tasks.

In terms of structuring the course, the TOK units you study may be synonymous with the different areas of knowledge and TOK themes, so that you go through the elements of the course one-by-one.

Alternatively, you may explore the course via big questions that interlink multiple elements of the course at the same time. Individual lessons will be based in part around engaging ‘real-life situations’ and the ideas of key thinkers, which will be linked to ‘knowledge questions’ that your teacher will help you explore.

TOK Exhibition

At the end of the year, you’ll design and deliver an individual ‘TOK exhibition’.

This exhibition or internal assessment (IA) task will involve you selecting three different objects, which you will link to your choice of the 35 IA ‘prompts’, and discuss within the context of one of the TOK themes (e.g., knowledge and language, knowledge and technology, etc.).

The aim of this assessment is to demonstrate how 'TOK manifests itself in the world around us'.

Your teacher will obviously support you with the exhibition, and you’ll probably carry out a couple of formative exhibition tasks during the course of the first year to practice how to create it. You will meet with your teacher to discuss the objects you’ve selected, how effectively you’ve linked them to your prompt, and whether your commentary explores them in a clear TOK context.

Your school may get you to present your exhibition publicly, inviting students, other teachers, and even parents to attend the event.

TOK Essay

The TOK essay is written in the second year of the course. You’ll be given a list of six prescribed essay titles (PTs), and given an initial ‘unpacking session’ to help you choose which one to write. You’ll then meet with your teacher for three interactions, in which you will justify your choice of title, create an essay plan, and be given written feedback for your draft.

The overall aim of the essay is to provide a 'clear, coherent and critical exploration of the essay title'. This means:

  • constructing an objective and well-balanced argument

  • supporting it with real-life examples

  • considering the ideas of the key thinkers of the course

  • including a consideration of different perspectives

  • linking your discussion to the areas of knowledge.