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About to start "Theory of Knowledge", any tips?

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Hello guys (and girls), I am about to start my first Theory of Knowledge class very soon. I am both very excited and nervous about this because I have never done something similar to Theory of Knowledge in my academic career. Although I  often score high marks such as A-'s and low 7's, I am unsure on whether or not I will be able to achieve an equally outstanding grade in Theory of Knowledge and would like to ask anyone who has completed the Theory of Knowledge course for any tips on doing well. Any information will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Crash «MemeReviewer» Bandicoot

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Hey there,

Now, ToK has changed somewhat since I was at IB, but like anything at IB, it's not really something you can or should prepare for too much in advance. ToK is a weird subject in many ways, but it is linked somehow with epistemology - in other words, the more basic questions that is asked is how do we know what we know? What do we assume we know? What do we not know? How do we know what we (do not) know? Questions like these will come up quite a lot, though any reading on epistemology beforehand would be of limited worth as ToK has developed into its own kind of weird thing (i.e. the specific areas of knowledge and ways of knowing). I am sure debates on morality will also come up, such as the classical Utilitarian vs Kantian ethical philosophy. The Prisoner's Dilemma and the 'trolley problem' are things that definitely will pop up. 

The best advice I can give for doing well is to keep an open mind, allow yourself to be confused, and then figure out exactly why you are confused. Brush up your critical thinking. Also, read through the pinned threads in this sub-section of IBS. Some might be a bit outdated, depending on the changes made in the curriculum, but many should still be more or less correct. 

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Hey,

So I'm a May 2016 student (yes, 18 days to go).  I was exactly the same as you before starting TOK.  When I went to my first class my teacher tried to convince me that her desk was an optical illusion.  Me being me, I looked at her plainly and said "right, and all the stuff on the desk is floating then?".  I definitely gave her a laugh. Next subject: aliens.  This went down exactly the same with me.  I simply did not get it and I just ended up thinking "what the heck am I doing here?"

HOWEVER, I did find it amusing to see how philosophical everybody else was getting!  TOK is a great moment to wind down and be a bit ridiculous in your suggestions! (We had a debate about whether there was a correct version of the English language - American vs. English).  Also, as I'm pretty good at English and love writing, and the essay questions are always broad and interesting, it wasn't too bad.

Also, in my school, there is no continuous assessment in TOK.  This means that the only thing we really get graded for is the TOK essay, which is extremely easy to bull****.  You just have to make sure you sound confident and intelligent.  Use big words.  Be concise but general and you'll be fine!

It's only a small part of the IB anyway and if you're good at everything else, you'll work the essay out for sure :)

Good luck. 

Edited by daiisycurtis
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I'm currently taking the some what revised IB course (class of 2017) and it isn't to different in Theory of Knowledge. I'm 100% sure that the most important thing in TOK is to have an open mind, and question literally everything. A big part of any theory is that you have reason when you suggest 'why' something is. Really try to get into the habit of using the terminology, one way my friends and I review or practice is we use the vocabulary at least once a day and try to relate something we see online to the theory of knowledge way of thinking.

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TOK is one of those classes where you sit for 45 minutes at 6:30 in the morning and stare off into space, trying to understand what exactly the teacher is saying, at least for the first half of it. (Up until this year, my school had it as a early-bird class.) Everyone is trying to stay awake and avoid being called on to talk about what they think. In my class, we looked at a lot of quotes and cartoons and discussed them with TOK terms. Every six weeks we had to bring in a cartoon, Real life situation, and a quote and be prepared to briefly talk about it. We also did a book report and a practice essay, but I think those are unique to my school.

TOK is about what do we what we know and why that matters. So, basically keep an open mind and be willing to talk about things in relation to the TOK concepts.

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