There are only two IB assessments in TOK: the externally assessed essay and the internally assessed presentation. They are both focused on the in-depth investigation of Knowledge Questions. In practice though they are very different.

Note: This writeup is aimed at students in the last cohort of the soon to be phased out older TOK curriculum (last assessment November 2021). Check the “NEW TOK CURRICULUM (FIRST ASSESSMENT 2022) for relevant information on the new curriculum.

The TOK essay

  • Externally assessed (marked by the IB, not your TOK teacher).
  • Students write one essay that is based on one of the six Prescribed Titles for the cohort.
  • Maximum of 1600 words.
  • Students must fill in and submit the TK/PPF form along with the essay. The form is not marked.

The TOK Presentation

  • Internally assessed (marked by the teacher with marks moderated by the IB).
  • One presentation is submitted to the IB per student.
  • Can be done individually, in pairs, or in a group of three. All students in a group must receive the same score (see page 57 of the TOK Subject Guide).
  • The presentation is about ten minutes for each student (i.e two students working together get 20 minutes in total).
  • Students must fill in and submit the Presentation planning document (TK/PPD).
  • Teacher add their mark and comments to the TK/PPD form before it is submitted to the IB. This document is extremely important because the IB moderates the presentation marks based on this document.
  • Some schools in each session may be required by the IB to record and submit presentations but this is fairly rare (see page 58 of the TOK Subject Guide). Schools may decide to record the presentations for their own internal purposes such as standardization.