What Is The Word Count for ToK Exhibition? Let’s Find Out

The Theory of Knowledge Exhibition task requires you to complete four things. You should choose an IA prompt, conduct extensive research, find three objects, and write a commentary.

But what exactly is the word count for the ToK exhibition?

The ToK Exhibition commentary should be no more than 950 words long. IB examiners will not assess more words than the recommended limit. Therefore, we strongly advise that you stick to the suggested length, and you can do so by distributing the words evenly among the three objects.

Our goal with this guide is to help you structure the commentary the right way so that you don’t go outside the recommended word count.

Let’s begin.

Key Takeaways

  • Many IB schools now require students to complete an exhibition in place of the ToK Presentation.
  • The exhibition needs a written commentary, and every IB student must ensure that their work don’t exceed the maximum recommended word count.
  • Remember, the exhibition project accounts for 33% of the final grade.
  • You will write a ToK essay, which accounts for the 67% of the final Theory of Knowledge grades.

What is ToK Exhibition Exactly?

The ToK Exhibition is a new assessment assignment that requires you to conduct individual research.

Its aim is to determine whether you can explain how Theory of Knowledge manifests itself in the real world by applying the ToK concepts taught in your classroom.

Marked internally and moderated externally, the assignment requires you to do a live presentation of the three exhibition objects. However, your teacher doesn’t grade you for the live presentation session.

Your exhibition file is what your IB teacher will mark after the oral presentation. That’s why it’s important to come up with a comprehensive commentary.

How is The Exhibition Different from the Presentation?    

Before we look at the length of the project and the structure to use, let’s make sure you understand how the exhibition differs from the presentation.

The following table is a summary of the differences between the two:

1.DiscussionYou’re free to do the work alone, or in a group of two to three students.Exhibition is an individual project, as there can’t be an overlap of the selected objects.
2.ModerationIB required the PPD file for external moderation.Your teacher will score the Exhibition internally and IB will moderate it externally.  
3.PresentationYou (or your group) should present the work based on a real-life situation.Students must present their work only based on the context of one of the prescribed IA prompts.
4.EvaluationThe presentation is part of your ToK assignment. Teachers review the work to determine your ability to communicate your thoughts during presentation delivery.While the assessment encourages school activities, these aren’t activities are not part of the ToK assessment.

Notably, the exhibition evaluates how you can manifest ToK outside your classroom. The assignment has a unique assessment instrument, task, and moderation process.

There are two optional themes in the exhibition project, and these are “knowledge and technology” and “knowledge and politics”.

Also, knowledge and the knower is the core theme for the exhibition. Here, IB tests your ability to think of yourself as the knower with a strong link to the IB learner profile.

What’s the Maximum Word Count for the ToK Exhibition?

The maximum word count for the Theory of Knowledge exhibition commentary is 950 words.

Understand that IB instructs examiners to be strict with the assessment. To be precise, they aren’t supposed to consider additional words pasts the set limit.

Given that they’ll base their assessments only on the first 950 words, it’s important to hit the mark or keep everything under the recommended limit.

We understand that you may have a lot to write about each object, and often there’s the temptation to think that more words is better.

While it’s important to take risk and have an open mind, IB also requires you to be a principled learner. So demonstrate that you can follow instructions by keeping the commentary’s length as instructed.

ToK Exhibition Optimal Word Count Distribution

You want nothing more than to get the commentary part of the exhibition project right. To do so, it’s important to have a structure you can use for word count distribution.

Here’s a simple but effective format that you can use:

  • Title: Write your selected IA prompt as given by IB. You should not modify the prompt or reword it in any way. Instead, ensure it appears as is.
  • Introduction (30 Words): You don’t need to write an introduction. However, having one can go a long way to make it clear to your ToK teacher what your commentary intends to explore.
  • Object 1 (290 words): Here, you should define your first object, give a comprehensive explanation, and mention its real-world context.
  • Object 2 (290 words): Here, you should define your second object, give a comprehensive explanation, and mention its real-world context.
  • Object 3 (290 words): Here, you should define your third object, give a comprehensive explanation, and mention its real-world context.
  • Conclusion (50 words): Here is where you summarize the objects that you used to explain your IA prompt.

You don’t necessarily have to use the above structure, but we think it’s a fair option to use if you intend to maintain a fair distribution of the word count.

The description that you give for each object should link to the main concept of the prompt. Also, ensure that the points you make for each object are 100% unique and independent of each other.

Your conclusion should accomplish two things:

  • It should comment on the question or the exhibition IA prompt that you selected.
  • It should demonstrate exactly how the Theory of Knowledge manifests itself in the real word based on the images of objects or the objects that you chose.

You can vary the word count for each object as you wish. Just make sure you don’t go outside the recommended word limit.

Lastly, your work should NOT include extended footnotes or appendices.

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