The May 2022 set of TOK essay prescribed titles is quite a bit different from the last few years’.  This set includes references to AOKs in prescribed titles which the IB has not done for years. The fact that almost all of the May 2022 prescribed titles mention an AOK does limit student options compared to previous sets of prescribed titles.

The reason why the IB has put specific AOKs into different prescribed titles is still unclear but it may have to do with a push to improve the reliability / standardization of marking in TOK. Narrowing the range of student essays (by funneling AOKs towards certain prescribed titles) is perhaps one way to improve the marking as markers see less of a range for each prescribed title. However, one could argue that a more important way to improve the marking in TOK would be to provide more resources and information for markers and teachers.

The “unofficial” May 2022 TOK essay prescribed titles:

  1. Can there be knowledge that is independent of culture? Discuss with reference to mathematics and one other area of knowledge. 
  2. To what extent do you agree with the claim that “there’s a world of difference between truth and facts” (Maya Angelou)? Answer with reference to two areas of knowledge. 
  3. Is there solid justification for regarding knowledge in the natural sciences more highly than knowledge in another area of knowledge? Discuss with reference to the natural sciences and one other area of knowledge. 
  4. How do historians and human scientists give knowledge meaning through the telling of stories? Discuss with reference to history and the human sciences. 
  5. How can we distinguish between good and bad interpretations? Discuss with reference to the arts and one other area of knowledge. 
  6. If we conclude that there is some knowledge we should not pursue on ethical grounds, how can we determine the boundaries of acceptable investigation within an area of knowledge? Discuss with reference to two areas of knowledge.