The New ToK Exhibition Explained

This Blog Post from IB ++ Tutors is Written By  Birgitte J.

The class of 2022 marks the first cohort to engage with the radically changed new curriculum. We have taken the key component parts of the new ToK Exhibition from the ToK Guide (p. 39-43) for you to approach the assessment in a few easy steps. 

The Exhibition is an Internal Assessment graded on this rubric of up to 10 marks. Students are required to “create an exhibition that explores how ToK manifests in the world around us”. This component is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB at the end of the course. The exhibition counts towards 33% of the students’ grade in the course. (The externally moderated Essay counts towards 67% of the students’ grade in the course). The exhibition is designed to be completed in the 1st year of the 2-Year Diploma Programme. 

The new course is centered on the core theme of Knowledge and the knower” encouraging you to reflect on yourselves as knowers and thinkers, and to consider the different communities of knowers to which we belong. In the course, your teacher also choses two optional themes from the following to focus on:

  • Knowledge and technology
  • Knowledge and language
  • Knowledge and politics
  • Knowledge and religion
  • Knowledge and indigenous societies

ToK Exhibition Component Parts and Requirements

  • Base the exhibition on one of the TOK themes (Core or optional)
  • Create an exhibition of three objects that connect to one of the 35 IA Prompts
  • Write a written commentary on each object, maximum 950 words for the 3 objects
  • Multiple students in the same TOK class are permitted to create exhibitions on the same IA prompt
  • Students in the same class are NOT permitted to use any of the same objects

Summary of the Step-by-Step Process for Completing the ToK Exhibition

Step 1

Select one IA prompt and three objects, or images of objects that show how the IA question manifests in the world around us. All three objects must be linked to the same prompt. IB recommends students “root their exhibition in one of the TOK themes (core or optional).

Step 2 

Produce a single file containing their TOK exhibition, including the following:

  • A title clearly indicating the selected IA prompt
  • Images of the three objects
  • A typed commentary on each object that identifies each object and its specific

real-world context, justifies each object’s inclusion in the exhibition and links to

the IA prompt (maximum 950 words)

  • Appropriate citations and references. These are not included in the word count

Note: Teachers are permitted to provide feedback on one draft of this work but cannot edit a draft

Step 3

Schools have a variety of options for showcasing the exhibition

Choosing an Exhibition Object

  • Choose “objects that are of personal interest” that you come across in academic studies and/or life beyond the classroom. The objects may be digital rather than physical objects but they must be specific objects that have a specific real-world context—objects that exist in a particular time and place (including virtual spaces).
  • “The specific real-world context of each object is extremely important to the task. Identify specific objects to discuss rather than using generic objects and generic images from the internet. “For example, a discussion and photograph of a student’s baby brother is an example of an object that has a specific real-world context, whereas a generic image of ‘a baby’ from an internet image search is not” (p. 42)
  • The image of each object used in the exhibition must be appropriately referenced with a short explanation of what the object and the context for the object is under each image.

Examples of appropriate exhibition objects can be found here


Birgitte’s tips:

  1. Keep the focus on the IA Prompt, a Knowledge Question, throughout the writing process. 
  2. Write an outline of your main points and ideas, keeping in mind HOW knowledge is produced and received 
  3. Incorporate terms from the ToK Frameworks for the Area of Knowledge, p. 27-36 in the new ToK Guide (Scope, Perspectives, Methods and Tools, and Ethics)
  4. Describe how each of your objects represents an aspect in response to the IA Prompt, couched in one of the ToK Themes. 
  5. Review ToK Exhibition samples with examiner comments here


If you would like more detailed support in the development of your ToK Exhibition, we look forward to working with you!

Find me a tutor.

Please take one minute to fill in the form to tell us about your tuition needs. Once completed, one of our dedicated team members will reach out to you to fully understand your needs and find the best-match tutor. Our service is risk-free with our 100% money-back guarantee policy in the unlikely event that you are not satisfied with your matched ++tutor.