TOK exhibition

The TOK exhibition

The TOK exhibition is the ‘new’ assessment task for the 2022 syllabus, replacing the presentation from the 2015 syllabus. It is an individual task, taking up around 8 hours of teaching time, and is completed at the end of the first year of the DP.

It involves students choosing 3 ‘objects’ and one of the 35 IA prompts, and writing a commentary to demonstrate how TOK concepts manifest in the real world.

TOK exhibition support pages

Click on the buttons below to take you to our advice on each aspect of creating a TOK exhibition. The final button takes you to our webinar page, where you’ll find a wide range of step-by-step video guides on this challenging assessment task.

How to create a TOK exhibition: webinar

Many people are still unsure how to tackle the TOK exhibition, which is why we designed and delivered a webinar on how to get it right, and avoid the most common mistakes.

We identify the key assessment targets, discuss unpacking the prompt, and offer advice on choosing three objects to link to it. We also look at what context works best, and how to write, your commentary. Purchase a ticket on the exhibition here.

A quick overview of the exhibition

  • It represents one third of the overall mark for TOK
  • It is assessed internally, with a selection of exhibition files from each year group sent off to be moderated by the IB
  • You choose one IA prompt to explore, from a list of 35 options. These remain the same for every exam session
  • Three objects are also selected for the exhibition
  • The aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate the relationship between the objects and the IA prompt in a 950-word commentary
  • There is a single criterion for marking, and three characteristics of an excellent essay (convincing, precise, and lucid)
  • The context of the exhibition should be based on the core theme, or one of the optional themes
  • Ideally, your exhibition should form the basis of a public event, to showcase TOK to the rest of the learning community
  • The exhibition is done at the end of the first year of the DP

The exhibition prompt decoder

Our exhibition prompt decoder enables students to link each of the 35 IA prompts to the 12 key TOK concepts, to the BQs, and to the core and optional themes. It will allow students to explore their choice of prompt for the exhibition via questions, quotes, media sources, and key thinkers.

More support for the TOK exhibition

Make sure that your TOK teacher has given you access to all the documents and online material that support the exhibition. These include the TOK Subject Guide (for the 2022 syllabus) – where you’ll find the IA prompts, and the exhibition rubric – and the exemplar TOK exhibitions (found in ‘MyIB’, which is accessible to teachers).
Follow the links above to take you to the three different elements of the TOK exhibition; we’ve also created a page giving some tips on how to put on your exhibition if your school is running a public ‘exhibition day’ which you can visit here. It suggests ways of presenting ideas to an audience.
If your school is a member of, we have designed a series of lessons on the exhibition, with a three practice exhibition tasks. These will familiarize you with the IA prompts, how to select effective objects, and the assessment rubric. If you are signed into the site, you can access these lessons here

FAQs about the TOK exhibition

How is the TOK exhibition marked?

The exhibition commentary, and images of the three objects (along with references) is added to an exhibition file. This is marked internally by your TOK teacher, and uploaded to your IB dashboard, to be moderated externally. Your TOK teacher will explain this process in more detail.

Where can I find out more about TOK exhibition rubric?

Read our guidance on the rubric for the exhibition here. You can read the official rubric in the TOK subject guide, on page 47. Your TOK teacher will give you a copy of this.

What are the IA prompts for the TOK exhibition, and how to I choose one?

This page discusses the IA prompts. Your choice of a prompt should be driven by what you find interesting and engaging, and align to the experiences you’ve had inside and outside the TOK classroom. It should also allow you to explore either the core theme, or one of the optional themes.

What do you mean by exhibition ‘objects’?

Find out more about the exhibition objects here. These allow you both to demonstrate the way TOK manifests itself in the real world, and link your experiences as a knower to the TOK course.

How do I write my exhibition commentary?

We discuss the commentary here. In a nutshell, the commentary relates your objects to the IA prompt you’ve chosen, and shows how TOK is relevant to both the world around us, and to you personally.

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