IB Spotlight: Theory Of Knowledge (TOK)

IB Spotlight: Theory Of Knowledge (TOK)

This week, studying Theory of Knowledge (TOK) as part of the IB Diploma was placed under AIS’s IB Spotlight. For those new to the IB Diploma, TOK is one of three core required subjects that are taken alongside six chosen classroom courses, and its aim is to ask students to reflect on the nature of knowledge and on how we know what we claim to know.

To gain a greater insight into what it is really like to study TOK, we sat down and spoke to Nguyen Khanh Linh, a Year 12 student at AIS, who shared her thoughts, recent examples and advice for students on studying the subject:

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) felt daunting as a subject to study in IB. For the first time throughout my 9 years of education at AIS, the content was completely new and unorthodox. I wasn’t just studying to pass my assessments throughout the year anymore, TOK was giving me a sense about our society and teaching me to reflect on my actions and thoughts as I’m about to enter the real world after the Diploma Programme. It felt exciting and scary at the same time to study something that will directly impact me as an individual. Exciting because the course has given me an opportunity to contemplate my ways of thinking and scary because I had no idea what to expect. However, I had to move past my apprehensions and tackle TOK head on.

TOK is one of the components of the DP core and is mandatory for all students. The TOK requirement is central to the educational philosophy of the DP.

Most recently in class, we focused on a core theme within the course, Knowledge and the Knower. It made the distinction between opinion, belief and knowledge, being in a community of knowers and how we can be conscious of different aspects in our lives that can affect our perspective on issues in the world. What’s interesting about TOK to me is the fact that there are no right answers. Our culture and our lives help shape the way we see the world, meaning that there could be a million different interpretations about a dilemma and what’s ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ can be subjective to each individual. The most important thing throughout our TOK lessons isn’t about getting one answer to a question, it’s seeing things through many lenses, and ways that we can justify our answers to others.

Words of advice for future aspiring TOK students? Enjoy TOK for what it is. It’s not like every other subject, where you just memorize the content and write whatever you can on paper during exams. TOK can aid you in becoming critical thinkers in any given situation in the future. The main focus of any TOK lesson should be about how you can apply it in the real world. At the end of the day, don’t let it be your biggest source of stress. Good luck!

Nguyen Khanh Linh

Year 12 Student at AIS


To find out more about studying TOK at AIS, or about the IB Diploma in general, check out AIS’s complete comprehensive curriculum guide, which includes IB Programme FAQs, 10 reasons why you should study IB, and an IB Diploma Handbook: https://www.aisvietnam.com/curriculum/ib-diploma/



The Australian International School (AIS) invites all families to come and see all that an accredited IB World School has to offer on Saturday 28 November 2020, 9am – 11am. AIS has three campuses across District 2 in the Thao Dien and Thu Thiem Wards of Ho Chi Minh City, offering outstanding education in Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary school. Registration to Open Day is essential via the AIS website: Here

Don’t hesitate to contact us 19006940 or enrolments@aisvietnam.com if you have any questions.