Academic TOK

Overview: TOK Presentation

Warning: The TOK syllabus is changing! If you are taking IB exams in 2022 or later, you will do a 'TOK Exhibition', a different internal assessment to the TOK Presentation.

The TOK Presentation is a presentation that follows a central knowledge question and a main real-life situation. It is typically done individually, or in groups of 2 or 3 students. Each individual presents for 10 minutes, so a group of 3’s presentation would be 30 minutes long.

The TOK Presentation typically follows a central Knowledge Question (KQ), which is then elaborated through a series of developments. An example of a KQ would be: “To what extent does religious systems go against ethical concerns?” This would then relate to an existing RLS.

Along with the presentation, you will have to submit the TOK Presentation Planning Document (TKPPD), which details the general outline for your presentation. The document requires the student to:

  1. Describe the chosen real-life situation (RLS)
  2. State the central knowledge question (KQ)
  3. Explain the connection between the RLS and the KQ
  4. Outline the development of the TOK presentation based on the context of the RLS 
  5. Show the significance of the conclusions in the context of the RLS and show how it may be relevant to other real-life situations.

Although the TKPPD is not marked itself, it acts as a guide to the TOK presentation examiner on what you wish to convey in your presentation, hence may be taken into consideration.

General Structure


  • To introduce yourselves and the main RLS you’ll discuss.

RLS / Decontextualization

  • Elaborate on the chosen RLS (it would normally be best to find one that can be viewed by more than one perspective)
  • Explain the facts regarding the RLS, and use WOKs to show how the RLS leads up to your knowledge question. For example, a student may write that emotion in this RLS shows ______, whereas reason in this RLS leads us to think that  ______.
  • Explain your thought process in extracting your KQ from your RLS.
  • Pro Tip: Do not focus on dissecting your RLS too much (avoid FOA-like explanations)! Instead, focus on how knowledge is produced from/in that certain situation and establishing TOK links.

Knowledge Question

  • Some teachers recommend starting off by mentioning several questions that the RLS initially raised, then introduce the KQ that you will be elaborating.
  • State/write the AOKs/WOKs that you will use to link the RLS to the KQ. Personal Tip: Either 2-3 AOKs or 2-3 WOKs can be used as your developments/perspectives.
  • Don’t forget to explain any key terms that will be helpful!

Perspective / Development Structure

  • Briefly state the claim/counterclaim.
  • Expand on your claim/counterclaim using evidence. You can raise more RLS to support your claim/counterclaim. Link it back to how it would answer the KQ.
  • Make a mini-conclusion.


  • Conclude your points.
  • To aim for higher marks, many teachers recommend introducing an opposing view/potential flaw in your conclusion.

Link back to RLS

  • Explain the link between your conclusion to your main RLS.
  • Like your TKPPD, link the conclusion to 2 other applicable RLSs.

Overall Tips

Your TOK presentation does not need to follow the structure above (e.g. you can have 2 developments instead of 3), as it is just a sample suggestion. It’s always best to consult with your TOK teacher for what your school expects as the standard for a good TOK presentation, considering that most presentations are internally marked. Good luck! 🙂

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