literally tok like an hour on this

Death Month

Not gonna lie, school has been rough. This month is probably one of the busiest in my IB curriculum, and I keep having doubts about whether I am good enough. I’ve got IB1 finals in less than a month, two SAT subject tests, all 6 IA’s and a ToK presentation due before that. Teachers assign bucketloads of homework every day and we have a test about something or the other every couple days. I am outright failing Math HL, have already written three separate Physics IA’s with different experiments and hated the outcome of all, and to top it all off, my English IOC’s and Spanish Orals are both happening simultaneously over the course of the next week. MY EE coordinator keeps reminding me to show her progress of my research, and ToK literally tires out my brain (though I love it). I’m a huge advocator for getting enough sleep, but lately, I’ve been sleeping maybe 3-4 hours a day, and the exhaustion shrouds me like a blanket. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to not be stressing about the upcoming deadlines and exams, to have conversations with friends that don’t revolve around school and university. I’m jealous of the people who can cope with the pressure while making it look effortless, and somehow still make time to pursue their passions. I don’t even find enough time to finish my daily todo lists. 

To all of you out there who are going through a similar situation at school, stay strong. There is a whole community of students out there who are going through the same thing, and I promise you, no matter how poised someone else looks, they are freaking out inside the same way you are. Just do your best, try to get enough sleep and look after your physical and mental health, give it your all and hopefully, it will all be worth it in the end. 

Cheers,

~M

arabmedblrhybrid  asked:

Ohh and how did you get an A in tok? We have the worst TOK teacher and it seems as if it's impossible to get an A in this class! We have our presentation due soon and then the essays in November so please help!(:

Hi there!

I do agree that TOK can be a very nebulous subject, but at the end of the day you just have to realize that it’s a presentation and an essay. Nothing more, nothing less. I’d advise you to pay more attention to the essay, since it is worth more than the presentation and is externally assessed.

For the essay:

Get acquainted with the prescribed titles early on

And by acquainted, I mean sit down on the weekends and have a long brainstorming session (either by yourself or with a group of close friends) about the titles that pique your interest. It is not always a good idea to pick a question and bury yourself into it, only to realize that there were better alternatives all along. Granted, you may be intuitively drawn to one particular title, but don’t let this stop you from making an informed judgment!

Stick to the fundamentals

As nebulous and vague as TOK may seem, there are still a list of core “elements” that all essays must offer. These are: knowledge questions, claims, counterclaims, at least 2 areas of knowledge, at least 2 ways of knowing, real life examples, and implications on the wider scope of human knowledge. These are like trigger words to examiners; the more explicitly you mention them, the more assurance you’re giving to examiners that you know your sh*t and that all those 2 years have not gone to waste. There are no particular order or structure that you have to put these in, but as long as they are prominently and frequently featured in your essay, you’re headed in the right direction.

Don’t be generic

A good TOK essay always include a few paragraphs about you as a knower. If you don’t find yourself talking about, well, yourself in your essay, then it definitely isn’t up to standard. Celebrate your culture, your heritage, individual and unique background stories about you! E.g. As a student with a Western-inclined education, as a student coming from a Confucian upbringing, I feel, etc. Don’t just regurgitate stories about Galileo or Copernicus (which, btw, are blacklisted examples since they are so cliché).

Look for past TOK essays

It’s immensely helpful to get a feel for the “voice” of a TOK essay and how they should flow. There isn’t always one approved magical structure for TOK essays that will automatically get you an A, so it’s useful to know what examiners in the past like and do not like.

Look for TOK examiner reports

These are written every year by examiners around the world and help to point out what candidates have done well and not so well. I’ve lived by these because examiners literally point out the worst mistakes that they don’t want to see again. They also list real life examples that were overused/cliché, which can help you to stay away from them!

Draft, and redraft

This may seem common sense, but a TOK essay is just that. It is the result of hours and hours of philosophical ponderings and intellectual probing. Don’t be afraid to rewrite. By extension, this also goes to say that TOK essays cannot be rushed. I mean, as IB students, we can all bs a science lab or a literature essay, but quality TOK essays need time and nurturing, so just hang in there!

I didn’t want to make this post too long but honestly I can rant so much more about TOK! If you have any further questions just ask! :D