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What Happens If You Fail TOK Essay?

Many students struggle a lot when it comes to writing the TOK essay. They feel like no matter how hard they try, they just can’t seem to get it right. Some students start off with getting help from other outside sources because they worry that they will not be able to do justice to it anyway. Many ask, what happens if you fail TOK essay? Let’s figure it out.

Your IB grade depends on your TOK exhibition as well as your TOK essay. So if you fail the TOK essay, you will not necessarily fail the IB as well. It depends entirely on how well you have done on the TOK exhibition, since these two are components of the IB.

If you failed TOK essay and got an E for the TOK exhibition, it’s a bad sign, my friend, so you better this article to avoid such a sad picture.

What should you do if you fail the TOK essay?

Here are a few things that you can do if you fail the TOK essay:

  • Check what you have scored on your TOK exhibition to see if you’re clearing this as a whole overall.
  • If you have scored really badly on it, then you can choose to reappear for it. That is the only option that you have at this point. If you reappear for it, then you need to be extremely well prepared, with full know how of what is expected of you.

what to do if you fail your ib tok essay

Having said that, you can only fail the IB TOK essay when you really don’t follow the requirements that you ideally should have. If you search online, there are so many guidelines that can make you understand what exactly is required of you when you work on a TOK essay. If you follow those and get your thoughts flowing correctly, then chances are that you will not fail your TOK essay.

To better understand how it all happens, let’s delve further into the details of why students fail their TOK essay.

Five reasons why students fail their TOK essay

Here are a few reasons why students fail their TOK essay. Make sure you do not make these mistakes while writing your TOK:

Choosing a Topic That Isn’t in the List

There’s a list of TOK topics you are given. If you opt for something that isn’t in the list of topics for that year, then it just shows that you are completely uninformed and have gone entirely off tangent, which will eventually lead you to fail.

So before you start off, go through all the different topics there are first. Reconfirm won’t others too, just to be sure.

Choosing the Wrong Topic

While there are many topics you can choose from, you should go for the one that you can do best. The worst mistake you can make is to select a topic based on what you think you can do best, without ample research to support that. You must first do your research on all the topics and then choose the one you think you can do best.

If you go for the seemingly easy one, you might not be able to entirely support your argument, which can eventually lead to problems. You might even fail the TOK essay if your argument is very weak and you aren’t able to support your claims well.

Giving the Wrong Examples

If you end up giving the wrong examples, that can also make you fail the TOK essay. What exactly do we mean by wrong examples? Either the examples might not be relevant to the argument you are giving, or they might just be factually wrong. This is why it is important that you check your facts from several different sources first just to be sure.

When using information from sources, try to use trusted sources like peer reviewed journal articles. This is important to help you give relevant examples and also be sure that you are giving the right information. Also, be in touch with your supervisor and share the examples you have in mind with them to get guidance about whether you are on the right track with them or not.

When working on a TOK, spend the most time looking for the proper TOK essay examples. You will only be able to manage well when you have the right examples in place to support your arguments.

Using the Wrong Areas of Knowledge

There are certain areas of knowledge already given for the TOK. You need to stick to these, and don’t have to go for something out of context. Remember, the examiner is testing your knowledge.

If you go for something that is totally out of context, then that shows them that you don’t have any idea about a TOK essay, which then implies that you aren’t well researched at all about it either. This gives off a very bad image about you as a student and is the worst thing you can do.

Using the Wrong Ways of Knowing

Similar to the areas of knowledge, there are certain ways of knowing as well that need to be used. These have been specified by the IB, and people are supposed to used the ones given. However, if you use outdated ones or ones that are not part of the syllabus, then situation gets worse. It shows the examiners that you have no idea about what is being taught and that you are clueless about what is required from you.

When using ways of knowing, you have to make sure to use the right ones. Not just that, but you also have to make sure to use ones that fit in with the examples you have given. Everything that you write needs to fit in well with the context for you to do a sound job. This is one of the most important things there is.

Do Not Follow the Structure & Wordcount

Comparing many other essays that each student has to write, TOK has a specific structure and exact word count to follow. So there is no need to write a lot just to make your essay longer, TOK has strict minimum and maximum in accordance to wordcount criteria. Moreover, sometimes these criteria might be changed by IBO. Through the last few years, there were way fewer changes in the criteria TOK essay criteria, but there were money updates regarding the extended essays and internal assessments. Therefore each student should follow the latest updates from the IBO and at least consult his/her supervisor prior to writing a TOK essay.

If you make these mistakes, then the chances of you failing are much higher. You need to understand that the idea is for the examiner to understand that you know what is required from you. You need to make sure to do just that so that the examiner can assess you well.

Now you know how NOT TO FAIL your TOK essay

The one major way for you to score well on the TOK essay is if you make sure to do your best. But before that, you need to study the marking rubric first. Once you do that, you will better understand what is required of you, and you will also definitely be able to do a great job.

If you follow the marking rubric correctly, then you will surely be able to impress the examiner. Once done with your essay, also go through it again to review- you need to make sure that your essay is free from any errors!

If you still believe that TOK essay writing is way too hard for you, or you are facing tough deadlines, our TOK experts can lend you a hand.

⏩ Get help with your TOK essay

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Vasy Kafidoff

Vasyl Kafidoff is a co-founder and CEO at WritingMetier. He is interested in education and how modern technology makes it more accessible. He wants to bring awareness about new learning possibilities as an educational specialist. When not working, he’s found behind a drum kit.

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