How to Find ToK Exhibition Objects: The Complete Guide

In this guide, you’ll learn exactly how to find the three TOK Exhibition objects fast. Whether you’ve already picked your prompt or you’re still learning about the basic of TOK exhibition, you’ll find this guide helpful.

To be clear:

This guide isn’t about an introduction to objects. Rather, it’s a systematic process that shows exactly how to identify objects (or images of the objects) and single out the right ones.

Let’s get started.

Key Takeaways

  • The exhibition project requires you to choose three objects that can link to one selected IA prompt. 
  • Each object requires a definition and a clear description on how it fits within the context of the IA prompt.
  • The objects must have real-world context and, more importantly, demonstrate how Theory of Knowledge manifests itself to the real world.

What are TOK Exhibition Objects?

Before we look at how to choose the objects, let’s make sure you understand what an object is in the first place.

We can define an object as a product of knowledge with a real world context. Your object can be digital or physical, but it cannot be generic and symbolic.

IBO gives you the freedom to choose whatever objects you like. Therefore, we highly recommend that you choose objects that align with your personal interest, even if you’ve come across them outside your classroom.

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What Counts as a TOK Exhibition Object?

Before we look at how to choose the right objects for your exhibition project, let’s make sure you know what counts as an object based on IB’s guidelines.

Generally, for an item to count as an object and therefore a product of knowledge in TOK:

  • It must have a real-world context.
  • It must be specific in kind.
  • It must exist in a specific time and a particular place.

Given these conditions, the objects (or images of the objects) that you chose must have pre-existed. Otherwise, they cannot have real-world context attached to them.

While you can choose to create objects yourself, you cannot use them for the exhibition because they are not pre-existent.

How to Find the Three TOK Exhibition Objects

Here’s how you can find the best objects for your TOK Exhibition assignment:

1. Ground Your Exhibition on One Theme

The step is to pick a theme on which to base your exhibition project.

You can ground the assignment on one of the optional themes or the core theme in Theory of Knowledge.

Having this foundation enables you to narrow down your options, so you can select the most relevant objects to focus your exhibition.

2. Choose Specific Objects with Real-World Context

IB makes it clear that the objects (or images of objects) that you choose for the exhibition cannot be generic or hypothetical.


  • They must exist in a space, which can be physical or digital.
  • They must have pre-existed. So, if you can’t state the time in which an object existed, it can’t be a good fit for the exhibition.
  • You must be able to discuss each object within the context of the core or optional theme.

It isn’t mandatory to link your objects to each other. However, doing so makes it easier to develop a clear context when writing the commentary.

3. Don’t Worry About Relating Objects

Many IB students find it difficult to write a commentary because of relational issue, but this is something you can avoid easily.

To the best of our knowledge, the objects you choose don’t have to relate to each other. They can be 100% independent of each other.  

However, you need to make sure that your objects are specific in kind, exist in a particular space and time, and relate to the core theme or one of the optional themes.

You can interlink your object to each other even if they’re not related, but your TOK teacher won’t assess this in the commentary.

4. You Can Pick Physical or Digital Objects

IB’s guidelines for the ToK exhibition state that your objects can be physical or digital as long as they have spaces within which they exist.

  • Physical Object: It refers to the photo of an actual building.
  • Digital Object: An image of an object or an object created digitally.

The guidelines are very specific when it comes to self-created objects. It states that while you can create your own objects, you cannot use them for the exhibition project because they don’t meet the criteria of what counts as an object.

5. Pick Objects You Can Easily Justify

Ensure that you can give or demonstrate a strong justification for each of the three objects that you’ve selected.

IB doesn’t state that your object must relate to each other. However, they must be suitable and relevant to the question that you choose from the list of questions provided by IBO.

6. TOK Objects and Concepts

Pick objects (or image of objects) that let you draw on the key concepts in TOK. Drawing on these concepts has two benefits:

  • These concepts make it easier for you to show how your commentary meets the aim of the exhibition project, which is to show how TOK manifests itself to the real world.
  • They help to context to and therefore strengthen your commentary.

Final Thoughts 

We hope that this guide makes it easier for you to find the exhibition objects for your commentary.

Feel free to ask your teacher for guidance if you feel stuck. They may give you written or oral feedback on your first draft. The feedback can be quite useful in helping you to score 10 out 10 for the exhibition.

And if you need professional help to get your exhibition project handled, feel free to get in touch with us and our team will help you to get the work done.

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