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IB Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK)

The IBDP requires students to complete the TOK assessments and the EE , which students can obtain up to 3 bonus points for their diploma. 

The TOK assessments comprise an internally graded presentation and an externally marked essay. The TOK presentation takes up 1/3 of the final TOK grade, while TOK essay takes up 2/3 of the grade.


How to do well in the TOK presentation

Students can pick their own topic in the TOK presentation where they will have 10 minutes to present their ideas. To do well in the TOK presentation, students should: 

  • Pick a real life situation and explore one knowledge question involved. Real life situations need to be from an actual article e.g. a research paper, a newspaper article etc., but not from daily anecdotal experiences.
  • Identify topics that allow a broader discussion that could demonstrate areas of knowledge (AOK) and ways of knowing (WOK). 

How to do well in the TOK essay

Students can pick one title out of the six prescribed titles provided by the IBO, and write up to 1,600 words in the TOK essay.

To do well in the TOK essay, students should:

  • Pick the question that students can understand and identify relevant knowledge questions related to the prescribed title.
  • Analyse the examples in a way that answers the knowledge question. 
  • Try to use less clichéd examples or at least, bring in new insights to the commonly used examples. The IB examiners think that some examples are overly used such as the example of how Galileo discovered Heliocentrism.

How Cana coach students in their TOK presentation and essay 

For the TOK presentation, we work with you to refine your presentation topic, review your chosen real life situation to ensure that it will enable you to engage in insightful claims and counter claims. In addition, we brainstorm with you on the claims and counter claims to be made in the presentation. The lesson would be more effective if you have researched into the topics that they are interested in and provide us with the topic in advance.

For the TOK essay, we work with you to choose an essay question and brainstorm examples that are relevant to the title. Once the examples have been mapped out, we discuss the relevant issues that answer the question.

Under our TOK tutor’s guidance, we trust our students to come up with their own unique analysis and supporting examples. Our tutors’ role is to assist students by clarifying their ideas and ensure that their ideas are relevant to TOK. We do not write the presentation or essay for the students.


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