IB TOK Exhibition Rubric: Learn About the Assessment Criteria

January 9, 2024

tok exhibition rubric

This guide covers everything you need to know about TOK exhibition rubric. We’ve included everything you need to know about the assessment criteria so that you can have an easy time working on the assignment.

Introduced to the TOK syllabus in 2022, the ToK Exhibition subject is a replacement for the ToK Presentation. 

The exhibition is an individual project worth 33% of the total grades awarded to the Theory of Knowledge subject.

Although the TOK Exhibition is a relatively new subject, it’s not complicated because the concepts taught in the subject are easy to understand.

Your TOK teacher is the one to moderate the work, so you do have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you can to get the assignment right.

The aim of the Theory of Knowledge Exhibition is to assess your ability to apply ToK concepts to the real world.

If you can demonstrate your ability to discuss the subject matter that you’ve studied in the classroom, based on evidence, you’re already a step ahead to score good marks for the exhibition.

Once you have looked at exhibition examples and understood the basic requirements of the TOK exhibition, spend some time to understand how your teacher evaluates and marks the work.

You will get the information in the assessment instrument that your teacher will share with you.

TOK Exhibition Rubric Explained

Below is a detailed explanation of the TOK Exhibition rubric:


Scoring a zero means you failed to meet the standards that IB set for the TOK exhibition project.

In other words, either you’ve failed to submit your assignment or it doesn’t reflect the standards set out by other levels in this assessment criteria.

Also, it’s possible to get a zero if your TOK exhibition doesn’t answer one of the topics provided in the IA prompts. 

Rudimentary (1 to 2)

A student who earns rudimentary score has identified the three TOK exhibition objects but failed to explain their real-world context.

Also, you score 1 to 2 marks if you present generic images instead of real-world objects - or images of objects.

IB teachers also award 1 to 2 points to students who link minimally between their IA prompts and the objects.

More often than not, tenuous linking means a student isn’t sure about what they’re trying to communicate.

Rudimentary marks show that a student offered minimal justification for including the three objects in their exhibition.

Also, the commentary isn’t descriptive enough or includes assertions that you haven’t attempted to support.

Basic (3 to 4)

IB students who earn 3 to 4 marks for their exhibition are those who have identified the three objects in their exhibition but failed to state the real-world context of these objects.

They have made link between their selected IA prompt and the objects, but they don’t offer a comprehensive and convincing explanation of the link.

If you score the basic marks, it’s because your justification for including the objects in the commentary is but superficial. And although you’ve given reasons for including the three objects in your work, you’ve not backed them with relevant evidence.

Basic marks is also an indication that your commentary has a series of repetition in the text.

Satisfactory (5-6)

You have successfully identified three objects in the TOK exhibition. However, your objects’ real-world context is vague.

While you’ve explained the link between the IA prompt and the three objects, your explanation doesn’t meet the standards set by the TOK Exhibition assessment criteria because it’s weak.

 In other words, you only include brief explanation for including each object in the exhibition, backing only a few of your points with evidence.

Good (7-8)

If you score a 7 or an 8, it means you’ve identified the three objects, explained their real-world context, linked the three objects to each other, and explained how each object (or image of objects) relates to your IA prompt.

In addition to justifying the contributions the objects make to the exhibition, you’ve included evidence and reference link to the IA prompt to make your work as comprehensive as you possibly can.

However, your work isn’t suitable for the excellent marks because it lacks clarity and precision in some parts.

Excellent (9-10)

It’s the highest score awarded to TOK learners whose exhibitions identify three objects, their definite real-world contexts, and make clear links between the selected IA prompts and the three objects.

Your exhibition demonstrates strong justification for the specific contribution that individual objects make and provides appropriate evidence for all the   points you’ve made.

Also, your work includes clear references from each object back to your chosen IA prompt.

The TO Exhibition Assessment Cornerstone

The overriding objective of the TOK exhibition is to show how theory of knowledge (TOK) manifests itself in the real world.

To do this, you have to demonstrate four skill sets in your exhibition.

These include the following:

1. Interlinking Ideas

 Your exhibition commentary should explain the links or connections between your chosen objects and the IA prompt.

You also need to make distinct references to the IA prompt

2. Justification for Ideas

Your TOK commentary should feature a bold justification for why you have chosen the objects for your exhibition.

You should do this within the core theme context or one of the optional themes in TOK.

3. Using Evidence

Support all the points you make in your commentary with evidence.

Hinge all opinions and ideas you use on real-life situations and you can even use ideas by top thinkers to support your points or opinions.

4. Identifying the Real-world Context

In TOK exhibition, you have to go beyond identifying the three objects – or images of the objects. You also have to explain their real-world context.

In other words, you have to choose images of objects or real objects as opposed to just generic objects.

Final Thoughts

Page 47 of the TOK subject guide outlines the rubric for the exhibition.

The criteria include information on what you should do to get the highest marks, so you should aim to get a 7 to an 8 if not a 9 to a 10.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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