IOC Sample work

This section contains several sample individual oral commentaries from former students. You will want to look at sample work for several reasons, depending on who you are and what your aims are. Teachers may want to practice assessing students, comparing the grades that they would have given with the grades that we have given. Students may want to look at the sample work to learn from example. Either way we recommend you approach these sample works as an 'information gap' exercise, that is to say by making educated guesses before looking at the results. This can be done best by following these steps.

How to use the samples

Read the passage that has been provided for each commentary before listening to the student's response. In fact, you can already make guesses about what you think the student will say in his or her commentary before listening to the commentary. As a class make a checklist of items you would expect the candidate to include in a good commentary.

Listen to the recording of the commentary. As you listen check to see if the student has included all of the ideas that you would have included. Naturally, if you are not familiar with the work, the student will have different and perhaps better insights into the text. This does not always have to be a handicap though. As a stranger to the text, you may see things in the passage that the student is blind to. 

Assess the student's work using the assessment criteria from the IB. For each criteria, discuss what grade you would give the student together with fellow classmates or colleagues. Do not click on the [show] button, which discloses the teacher's marks and comments, until you feel you are confident about your marks.

Look at the teacher's assessment and comments and compare them to your own. Were you close? Do you agree or disagree with the teacher's comments? Perhaps you would like to post a comment to the sample work stating your opinion. Look at more sample works from this section to gain a sense of how lenient or strict teachers can be. All in all, this information gap exercise should be a learning experience. 

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Comments 17

elizabeth smith 3 November 2017 - 15:03

Hello Tim
I have a quick question about the number of extracts I should put together for 12 students. According to the IB it should be 7 extracts but this of course means that one of the texts will have to have three to make up the exact requirement? Or have I misunderstood.



Tim Pruzinsky 3 November 2017 - 23:20

Hi Elizabeth,

You've understood it correctly. This is where you enter unfortunate logistical territory. In this case, you have two options.

1. You can create 9 extracts for easy math and to make it completely even.
2. You can create 7 extracts, as required, but only give students 6 envelopes to choose from. This way, it remains even between all three texts. However, to get your 7th extract in there, halfway through, when 6 or so students have gone, replace one extract with a new one. It keeps it even, but also allows you have to 7 extracts.
3. There is probably another option that other teachers use that I'm not thinking of right now. As long as they have an equal chance of conducting their IOC on one of the three texts, you are good in the eyes of the IB.


elizabeth smith 14 November 2017 - 14:39

Dear Tim
Are there strict guides as to how the extracts are to be numbered? Can it very line or does it have to be every 5 lines?



Tim Pruzinsky 15 November 2017 - 02:58

Hi Elizabeth,

Every 5 lines.


Zak Hood 15 January 2018 - 12:13

Hey, guys.

We have a little confusion in our department about whether or not the poems used for the IOC have to be unseen poems.

The understanding is--of course--that the extracts from the two Part 4 novels will have been previously seen and probably studied in class. The students will just not know in advance which extracts will appear on the IOC.

However, we're not sure if it's stipulated that the poem extracts be unseen poems from the studied author. The guide seems a bit ambiguous on the issue.


David McIntyre 15 January 2018 - 12:45

Hi Zak,

The poetry should have been studied in class. You may decide that the student who is given a poem in the IOC, in contrast to the student who receives an extract from a 350-page novel, is advantaged. Arguably so. If you are of this view, teaching only poetry in part 4 would not be problematic. Just a thought.



Zak Hood 15 January 2018 - 14:08

Perfect. Thank you for the advice and quick reply!

Emily Prager 18 January 2018 - 05:02

I am not seeing the IOC samples. How do I find them?
Emily Prager

Tim Pruzinsky 18 January 2018 - 07:29

Hi Emily,

You'll have to click on each individual page (the first is from "Death of a Naturalist"). Once you do that, you'll find the audio recording of it on the page. If you still can't find it, please let us know!


Pratik Thapa 22 January 2018 - 02:22

Dear Tim,

Today we begin our IOC. Can you please help me answer this question as soon as possible?

For 2018 batch will the students say their name or candidate number in the introduction bit of their commentary?

I’ll be grateful if you make this urgent.

Tim Pruzinsky 22 January 2018 - 07:52

Hi Pratik,

Do NOT provide name or candidate number or school or any other identifying information. All of that is to be omitted in every single assessment across all subject areas.

Good luck with the IOCs!


Tracy Radbone 25 February 2018 - 06:16

Hello there
As we approach putting IA scores onto IBIS, I just want to confirm that mark out of 30.
Is it only the IOC mark?
Or is it the IOC and the best FOA averaged to get a mark out of 30?

Many thanks

Tim Pruzinsky 25 February 2018 - 11:19

Hi Tracy,

The first time you enter marks into IBIS, it is the final IA mark. So, take the IOC and add it to the FOA, then divide by 2, and round up if necessary to get your mark out of 30 (or what you wrote as your second option).

Once you get your moderation sample, that's when you will have to enter the actual IOC scores and fill in some paperwork. And, as always, if you have any other questions, please ask!


Tracy Radbone 25 February 2018 - 23:51

Brilliant thanks Tim!
Clear and helpful as usual!

Emily Prager 5 April 2018 - 04:26

I am not seeing any sample work for IOC, P1 or P2.

Emily Prager 5 April 2018 - 04:27

I am not able to see anything to click on. I am familiar with the site. Why would this be?

David McIntyre 5 April 2018 - 06:30

I have no idea, Emily. If you are working in a school, possibly ask your technicians for assistance. Alternatively, check the appearance of the page today; is there a difference? I am, obviously, responding to you on a page where IOCs should be visible to you. They are absolutely visible to me.

If your problems persist, please ask for further assistance.



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