TOK essay rubric

TOK Essay Grading Rubric

The TOK essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program. It is a strict word count – 1600-word essay that requires students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and how we know what we claim to know. The essay is assessed using a specific TOK rubric provided by IBO that evaluates various aspects of the essay.

TOK essay rubric in detail:

The TOK essay rubric consists of eight criteria, each of which is given a score of 0-2 points. The total score for the essay is a maximum of 16 points. The IB criteria are as follows:

  1. Knowledge question (0-2 points): TOK essay must address a knowledge question that is relevant to the specified title. The knowledge question should be clearly stated and should guide the analysis and argument of the essay.
  2. Understanding of knowledge issues (0-2 points): The essay should demonstrate a deep understanding of the knowledge issues related to the knowledge question. This includes an understanding of the different ways in which knowledge can be acquired and the limitations and biases that can affect our understanding of the world.
  3. Analysis and evaluation (0-2 points): Theory of knowledge essay should provide a critical analysis and evaluation of the knowledge question, using appropriate examples and evidence to support the argument. This includes an examination of the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to knowledge and an evaluation of their relative value.
  4. Integration of AOKs and WOKs (0-2 points): The essay should demonstrate an understanding of the different ways in which knowledge is acquired, including the use of empirical evidence, logical reasoning, and personal experiences. It should also show an understanding of the different Ways of Knowing (WOKs), such as reason, emotion, perception, and language, and how they relate to the knowledge question.
  5. Personal engagement (0-2 points): TOK essay should demonstrate personal engagement with the knowledge question and show an awareness of the implications of the argument for the student’s own life and the world around them.
  6. Structure and organization (0-2 points): The essay should be well-structured and organized, with a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. The structure should be logical and coherent, and should support the argument of the essay.
  7. Presentation (0-2 points): Theory of knowledge essay should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It should also use appropriate referencing and citation style.
  8. Creativity and initiative (0-2 points): The essay should show creativity and initiative in the approach to the knowledge question and in the use of examples and evidence to support the argument.

What is the passing grade for TOK essay?

To pass the TOK essay, a student must score at least an “E” grade, which corresponds to a minimum of 9 points out of 16. An “E” grade indicates that the essay meets the minimum requirements for a passing grade, but may have some weaknesses in one or more of the criteria.

tok essay grading criteria

Students who score higher than an “E” grade will be awarded scores ranging from “D” (10-11 points) to “A” (14-16 points). 

  • “D” grade indicates that the essay is of a satisfactory standard, but may have some limitations. 
  • “C” grade (12-13 points) indicates that the essay is of a good standard, with only minor weaknesses. 
  • “B” grade (14 points) indicates that the essay is of a very good standard, with only minor weaknesses. 
  • An “A” grade (15-16 points) is the highest possible grade and indicates that the essay is of an excellent standard, with no major weaknesses.

You should note that the TOK essay rubric is highly subjective and the grading may vary depending on the individual assessor. Therefore, it is important for students to carefully consider the criteria and ensure that they meet the requirements as fully as possible to maximize their chances of receiving a passing grade, even if they want to write a TOK essay in a week.

Follow the TOK essay rubric to score well

Overall, the TOK essay rubric evaluates the student’s ability to think critically and reflectively about the nature of knowledge and how we acquire it. 

It is a challenging and rewarding task that requires students to engage with some of the most fundamental questions of human existence. Same thing with following the main 12 TOK concepts, other IB TOK criteria.

In some cases, it’s also important not to miss the moment when is the TOK essay due for submission. So, if you need assistance with your TOK essay, we are always ready to help you. 

Need help with your IB TOK essay?

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8 thoughts on “TOK Essay Grading Rubric”

  1. Thanks for the read. Maybe you can help to understand, how do I analyze my TOK essay before submission. I know it should follow the provided rubric, but what main points should I consider before submission?

    1. Before you turn in your TOK essay, you should make sure that you have done the following:

      1) Answered the question the essay is asking.
      2) Organized your ideas in a clear way.
      3) Used examples to support your points.
      4) Used proper language, spelling and grammar.
      5) Included information from reliable sources.
      6) Used ideas from the class that you have learned.
      7) Thought about other points of view and addressed them.
      8) Summarized your main ideas in the end.

      It’s also a good idea to have someone else read your essay and give you feedback before you turn it in.

    1. The International Baccalaureate Organization does not mark the TOK essays themselves. Instead, the essays are assessed by the student’s own teacher (supervisor), who is trained and certified by the IBO to grade the TOK essays.

      The teacher uses a specific set of assessment criteria and guidelines provided by the IBO to evaluate the student’s understanding and application of the TOK course material. The teacher then assigns a grade for the essay, which is sent to the IBO for moderation. Moderation is a process where the IBO checks the consistency of grading across different schools and teachers.

    1. If we sum up the article above, to get an A for your TOK essay, you should:

      – Understand the essay requirements and choose a good topic.
      – Use TOK concepts and theories to explore your topic.
      – Write clearly and logically, with good grammar and punctuation.
      – Develop a strong argument supported by evidence and examples.
      – Reflect on your own biases and perspectives, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your knowledge.
      – Show creativity and originality in your ideas.

      Remember to follow the guidelines and demonstrate a deep understanding of TOK concepts. By doing so, you increase your chances of getting an A for your essay.

  2. After sifting through the labyrinthine explanations on the IBO website, I was relieved to find a clear and concise guide right here. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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