A core requirement of the IB programme, the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is an interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate critical reflection on the nature and acquisition of different Areas of Knowledge (AoK) and different Ways of Knowing (WoK).

The course challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and ideological biases and to develop the ability to analyse evidence. TOK is a key IBDP subject which helps students to appreciate different cultural perspectives and to develop ‘inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young individuals’ with ‘intercultural understanding and respect’ as clearly espoused in the IB mission statement.

Discussion forms the backbone of the TOK course. TOK Teachers mainly assume the role of a facilitator. Students are invited to consider knowledge questions against the backdrop of their experiences of knowledge in their other Diploma Programme subjects but also in relation to the practical experiences offered by CAS and the formal research that takes place for the extended essay. The experiences of the student outside school also have a role to play in these discussions, although TOK seeks to strike a balance between the shared and personal aspects of knowledge.

Years 3 and 4 IP students will also take the Elementary Theory of Knowledge (eTOK) as part of their preparatory course for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme in Years 5 and 6.


Dean TOK DR Philip Tieh
Deputy Dean TOK & Deputy Prefect Master MR Phee Beng Chang

Assessment Modes

The assessment model in theory of knowledge (TOK) has two components, both of which should be completed within the 100 hours designated for the course.


Assessment component
Part 1: Essay on a prescribed title One essay on a title chosen from a list of six titles prescribed by the IB for each examination session. The maximum length for the essay is 1,600 words. All essays are externally assessed by the IB. Each student has to complete an essay planning and progress form (TK/PPF), to be submitted together with the essay.
Part 2: The presentation One presentation to the class by an individual or a group (a maximum of three persons in a group). Approximately 10 minutes per student is allowed for the presentation. One written presentation planning document (TK/PPD)  must be completed by each student to be submitted to IBO at the end of the presentation.   Both the essay and the presentation are assessed using global impression marking rubrics which consists of two aspects : Understanding knowledge questions and Quality of analysis of knowledge questions.   The essay contributes 67% of the final mark and the presentation contributes 33% of the final mark.
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