International Baccalaureate

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What is the IA, EE or TOK? Everything you need to know about the IB written assignments

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, students are required to complete various written assignments as part of the core components. Here’s an overview of the major written assignments: Internal Assessments (IAs), Extended Essay (EE), and Theory of Knowledge (TOK).

  • Internal Assessments (IAs):
    • What it is: Internal Assessments are assignments that are internally graded by the subject teacher and then moderated by the IB.
    • Subjects: IAs are typically associated with specific IB subjects, such as sciences, languages, and the arts.
    • Nature of the Assessment: IAs can take various forms, including essays, laboratory reports, language portfolios, or artistic performances. They assess a student’s understanding of the subject matter and their ability to apply knowledge and skills.
    • Weightage: The percentage of the final IB grade attributed to IAs varies depending on the subject.
  • Extended Essay (EE):
    • What it is: The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word independent research paper on a topic chosen by the student. It is a requirement for the completion of the IB Diploma.
    • Subjects: Students can choose a topic related to one of their six IB subjects.
    • Nature of the Assessment: The EE encourages students to engage in independent research, develop critical thinking skills, and produce a formal academic essay. It involves a research question, methodology, analysis, and conclusion.
    • Supervision: Students work under the guidance of a supervisor, usually a teacher, who provides support and feedback throughout the process.
    • Assessment: The EE is externally assessed by IB examiners and contributes to the overall IB Diploma score.
  • Theory of Knowledge (TOK):
    • What it is: Theory of Knowledge is a core component of the IB Diploma Programme that explores the nature of knowledge and the ways in which we acquire, interpret, and apply knowledge.
    • Nature of the Assessment: TOK assessment includes an oral presentation (TOK Presentation) and a 1,600-word essay (TOK Essay). Both assess a student’s ability to critically examine knowledge claims, evaluate perspectives, and reflect on the nature of knowledge.
    • Assessment: TOK assessment is internally assessed by the teacher and externally moderated by the IB. It contributes to the overall IB Diploma score.
    • Interdisciplinary Nature: TOK encourages students to consider knowledge across disciplines and explore the connections between different areas of study

In summary, the Internal Assessments, Extended Essay, and Theory of Knowledge are integral components of the IB Diploma Programme, designed to foster critical thinking, research skills, and a deep understanding of various subjects and the nature of knowledge itself. Each contributes to the holistic assessment of students and plays a role in determining the awarding of the IB Diploma.


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