tok areas of knowledge

AOKs in IB TOK: Mastering the Easiest and Hardest Areas

Areas of knowledge (AOKs) in the IB Theory of Knowledge essay refer to the different ways in which we acquire and process knowledge. The IB recognizes eight AOKs: mathematics, natural sciences, human sciences, history, the arts, ethics, religious knowledge systems and indigenous knowledge systems. Let me explain each of the AOKs in IB TOK.

Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for the journey through the world of different areas of knowledge you can use in TOK essay.

Blah-blah-blah… fasten your seatbelts…ahgh…world of areas of knowledge?…cmmmon? Some of you might say it’s boring, so let me explain what this article is all about. 

In the next part, I’m going to explain each AOK in TOK in short so you have a better idea of each. Then, I’ll also give several suggestions on how to select the best AOK for a specific prescribed title and will finish with a list of the easiest and hardest AOK according to the IB students. Also, you may find additional tips for IB ToK AOK by reading other sources.

Now, enjoy reading, my friend and let’s start with the list of different areas of knowledge.


Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes, and patterns. It’s like solving puzzles, you have to think critically and creatively to find the solution.

Natural sciences include disciplines such as biology, chemistry, and physics. They allow us to understand the natural world’s mysteries, just like a detective solving a crime.

Human sciences, such as psychology and sociology, study human behavior and societies. They help us understand why people act the way they do, like trying to figure out what’s going on inside someone’s mind.

History is the study of past events and the interpretation of these events. It’s like traveling through time and discovering how people lived in the past.

The arts include visual arts, music, literature, and drama. They allow us to express ourselves and understand the world through different perspectives, like seeing the world through different colored glasses.

Ethics is the branch of philosophy that deals with moral principles and values. It’s like solving a moral dilemma, and you have to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.

Religious knowledge systems are based on the belief in a higher power or powers. They provide a framework for understanding the world and our place in it, like a map to navigate the world.

Indigenous knowledge systems are passed down through generations in traditional societies. They provide insight into the relationship between people and the environment, and the spiritual dimensions of life, like a treasure map to uncover ancient wisdom and spiritual beliefs.

Can we add some fun to AOKs for your IB ToK?

To make the learning process more fun, you can connect the different AOKs to real-life scenarios. For example, you can try to relate mathematics concepts to a video game or a board game or understand how the principles of natural sciences apply to everyday life. You can also try using different media forms like movies, music, or comics to explore different AOKs.

Another fun way to explore the AOKs is to play a game or create a role-playing scenario where you take on the role of a character from a different AOK. As an example, you can pretend to be a scientist, an artist, or a historian and see how they approach different problems and issues. AOKs in IB TOK: mastering the easiest and hardest areas is a way of expressing your self through specific criteria.

In the TOK essay, you can also try to use a creative and storytelling approach to explore the connections between the AOKs. Instead of writing a traditional essay, you can create a comic strip, a short story or a video presentation to present your ideas and arguments.

By adding a little fun to the process, you can make the learning experience more enjoyable and memorable. Remember to be creative, explore different perspectives and have fun while you are learning about the different AOKs.

Now let’s figure out how we should select an area of knowledge that will be suitable for your TOK essay prompt.

How to select appropriate AOK when writing a TOK essay?

how to select area of knowledge

When selecting appropriate Areas of Knowledge for a TOK essay, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Relevance: Choose AOKs that are relevant to the essay prompt and the ones that will help you answer the question effectively.
  2. Connections: Look for connections between different AOKs and explore how they relate to each other. This can help you create a more nuanced and complex argument.
  3. Personal Interest: Selecting AOKs that you are personally interested in can make the research and writing process more engaging and enjoyable.
  4. Evidence: Make sure that you have sufficient evidence from different AOKs to support your argument. This will make your essay more convincing and credible.
  5. Diverse perspectives: It’s important to use diverse perspectives and examples from different AOKs to make the essay more comprehensive.

One way to select appropriate AOKs is to brainstorm different ideas and connections. Make a list of the different AOKs that come to mind and then evaluate which ones would be most effective in answering the essay prompt. You can also consult the TOK guide or ask your super for guidance.

Another way is to use a mind map or concept map to visualize the connections between different AOKs. This can help you see how different AOKs relate to each other and identify potential areas for exploration.

Ultimately, the key is to be thoughtful and strategic in your selection of AOKs, and to make sure that they are well-integrated into your essay in order to provide a strong and cohesive argument.

What are the easiest and the hardest areas of knowledge?

The difficulty of an Area of Knowledge can vary depending on an individual’s background, interests, and skills. Therefore, what may be easy for one person may be difficult for another.

For example, some students might find natural sciences to be relatively easy because they are familiar with the concepts and have a strong interest in the subject matter. On the other hand, some students may find natural sciences challenging because they lack background knowledge or find the concepts difficult to understand.

Similarly, some students might find the arts easy because they are passionate about them and have a strong background in the field, while others may find it challenging because they have a different level of interest or experience.

Nevertheless, I know that yall are waiting for exact suggestions from my end. So I have checked different forums and Q&A websites and, according to IB students’ thoughts, I found such information regarding the easiest and hardest TOK AOKs:

Generally, some IB students find the following AOKs to be relatively easy:

  • Natural Sciences: for students who have a strong interest in the natural world and enjoy experimenting and observing.
  • Mathematics: for students who are good at logical reasoning and enjoy solving problems.
  • The Arts: for students who have a strong background and interest in the arts, especially if they are visual or musical.

While others find the following AOKs to be relatively challenging:

  • Ethics: for students who have trouble understanding abstract concepts and moral reasoning.
  • Religious Knowledge Systems: for students who lack background knowledge about different religions and belief systems.
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems: for students who lack background knowledge about different cultures and traditional societies.

These are general observations, and it is only true for some. Each student has different background, interests and skills, and the difficulty level might vary from one student to another.

Select the AOKs in IB TOK that suit YOU!

In conclusion, the difficulty of an Area of Knowledge (AOK) can vary depending on an individual’s background, interests, and skills. What may be easy for one person may be difficult for another. 

It’s important to remember that no AOK is inherently easy or hard, and sometime it depends on the TOK essay prompt that you have selected, but rather it depends on how well a student understands the concepts and how well they connect with the material.

Consider your own interests, skills, and background when selecting AOKs for your TOK essay. However, it’s also important to remember that the key to success in the TOK course is approaching the different AOKs with an open mind and a willingness to learn, not forgetting to use some of the 12 TOK key concepts.

It’s also necessary to remember that even if a certain AOK may be challenging for you, it doesn’t mean you can’t excel in it. 

Another critical matter is to seek help if you’re struggling with certain AOKs, whether that be from your teacher, a tutor or online resources. If you need help writing your TOK essay, you can always contact Buy TOK Essay writing service. Our company can handle a TOK essay using any AOKs and WOKs following the desired essay prompt.

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By being open-minded, persistent and seeking help when needed, you can overcome any difficulty you might face in any AOK and achieve success in the TOK course.

So the only thing left is selecting appropriate AOKs, which should be your decision. 

8 thoughts on “AOKs in IB TOK: Mastering the Easiest and Hardest Areas”

  1. Your article is a real gem! I’ve come across several pieces on the subject of TOK areas of knowledge, but none have been as thorough and comprehensive as this one. Thank you for the great work

    1. Hello Keymn, thank you so much for the feedback. It means a lot to us! CHeck our latest updates. We will be posting two articles per week, so make sure you do not miss any of them 😉

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  5. I got what you mean about this AOKs, regards for posting.Woh I am delighted to find this website through google.

  6. Thank you for another fantastic post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? Will definately use your AOKs tips when writing my tok essay.

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