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.
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
TOK exhibition pages
Learn about how the exhibition is marked, and the skills you are expected to demonstrate in order to succeed.
Find out about the IA prompts used to write your exhibition commentary, and tips on choosing the right one.
Find out what ‘exhibition objects’ are, how to choose effective ones, and linking them to a theme and prompt.
Learn about the 950-word exhibition commentary, ways to link it to your IA prompt, and how to set it within a theme.
Get tips on how to set up a TOK exhibition, talking in public, and showing off your TOK knowledge to a public audience
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.
The exhibition and the TOK themes webinar
The TOK exhibition should be understood alongside the core and optional themes of TOK, which we discuss at length in this webinar. You can also read our responses to FAQs asked about the exhibition here, and the webinar presentation here.
To watch all of our TOK videos, and be updated when we add new ones, subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
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 theoryofknowledge.net, 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.
Get real with TOK by subscribing to the newsletter
Step into the real and unpackaged world by subscribing to our unique monthly TOK newsletter. You’ll receive links to great media sources from all over the world that place the TOK themes and areas of knowledge into an authentic context.
You’ll meet great thinkers and ideas, hone your understanding of key TOK concepts, and build up a library of examples for the essay and exhibition. Subscribe HERE!