Planning Guide for the Individual Oral

There’s no reason to fear this assessment!  Once you understand what’s required, the rest can actually be quite enjoyable. As long-time IB teachers, we’ve identified key aspects each student should include in their IO.  Let us guide you!

Part of our IBDP English A Student Toolkit, The Individual Oral Complete Planning Guide includes:

  • 100+ pages of updated material
  • The best of our website videos and documents
  • NEW content not available in Teacher Resource Packs
  • 4 samples with examiner notes
  • Highlighted transcripts of all recordings
  • Full assortment of graphic organizers
  • Sentence stems and other guidance for analysis

Individual Oral “Start to Finish” Video Course

This assessment doesn’t have to be difficult…we can help you!  Use our 15-video course and let us guide you step-by-step through the entire process.  We’ll show you how to craft a strong Global Issue statement, discuss the extracts, discuss the works as a whole, and how to get ready for the Q and A.  Our students use these methods and achieve their goals.  Join them!

Part of our IBDP English A Student Toolkit, the Individual Oral Start to Finish Guide includes:

  • step-by-step approach to building the IO
  • 15 lessons and 2 hours of new videos
  • side-by-side highlighted IO transcripts
  • “Start to Finish” graphic organizers
  • 3 NEW sample recordings, outlines, and more!
  • Guidance on outlines and the Q/A

Let's Meet the Assessment:

So what is the Individual Oral anyway?  How much is it worth?  What if I’m taking IB Literature and not IB Language and Literature.  What is my objective in this thing?  No worries!  Dave and Andrew answer all your questions here.  You can’t defeat the beast until you learn what you’re up against. 

The Course Guide has too many words. Watch this video and understand the assessment.

Document: “IO – Essential Information”

Still a bit confused? This video clarifies what "to do" and what "not to do."

Document: “IO – What It Is, What It Isn’t”

We're lead IO Examiners. Be sure to add these 5 ingredients to maximize your IO score.

Document: “IO – Five Essential Ingredients”

Sure, we've told you all you need to know. But it's always wise to fully understand the Criteria.

Document: “IO – Unpacking the Criteria”

The Individual Oral

This assessment doesn’t have to be stressful!  Trust us, if you follow the advice on this page, we’ll guide you through the entire process.  Our students crush this assessment, and so can you.  Take a deep breath.  Relax.  You’ve got this!

2024 IO Update!

It’s hard to believe that our first IO videos were released more than two years ago.  Since then, we’ve examined more recordings and added some more insights to our videos.  Be sure to watch the new series!

Extract Analysis – The First Minute

Remember: The Global Issue is the "Backbone"

We’ve said it a thousand times.  You’ve got to keep the Global Issue as the focal point of your entire presentation.  And, if indeed it’s the backbone, it better be strong.

A strong Global Issue is needed for IO success. Learn how to arrive at something you're proud of and love.

Document: “Refining the Global Issue”

Just like you, sometimes we need to do things twice. Watch until the end. We nail the GI in this video!

Document: “Refining the Global Issue 2.0”

Still confused? Try this video for another approach to GI statements. This just might be what you're missing!

Document: “Global Issue Workshop”

The Individual Oral - The Complete Course

Now you understand the nuts and bolts of the IO, so it’s time to move on to our “Complete Course” for the Individual Oral.  Working through each video sequentially will lead to a strong IO that you can be proud of.  Our students use this series, and so should you!

Learn to choose your texts and think about the Global Issue. Start with Video 1 of 5

Document – Starting the IO and Selecting Texts

Locate and annotate those extracts! What authorial choices show your GI?

Document – Choosing and Annotating Extracts

Please don't forget to discuss the Work as a Whole or BoW as a Whole!

Document – Examining Whole Text / Whole BoW

It time for the “official” outline. You only get 10 bullet points, so choose wisely!

Document – Creating the Outline

Listen to this sample recording. Steal the good stuff. Notice weaknesses. Listen and learn!

Document – Sample Recording
Document – Recording Transcript

Skill Practice and Support for the IO

Nice!  You’ve finished “Individual Oral – The Complete Course.”  But, are you sure you have command of all the skills?  Remember to make sure your structure, discussion of the extracts, discussion of the literary work as a whole (or BoW as a whole) are fully explored in a balanced way.  Make sure you have a clear introduction, a clear conclusion, and you speak in an engaging and passionate way.  No robotic or speed racer deliveries!

Check out this video for three different structural approaches to the IO.

Document: How to Structure the IO

The introduction is the handshake (or bow, or wai, or namaste) with your examiner. Make a good first impression!

Document: How to Deliver the Introduction

Check out this video and make sure your extract analysis satisfies the task.

Document – How to Zoom In

About half the candidates miss this step! Don't be like them!

Document – How to Zoom Out

Poetry is IO gold. Stop rolling your eyes and give it a try.

Document – Zooming In With Poetry

Stop repeating yourself in the conclusion! Watch this video and end with a flourish.

Document: Concluding the IO

Don't forget this assessment has a listener! Learn 10 ways to impress your examiner.

Document: Deliver and Speak with Confidence

This video provides students with 10 important tips for the Q and A session of the IO.

Document: 10 Tips for the Q and A

Watch and hear what we learned from our students last exam session.

Document: Examiner's Reflection

Don't forget to use clear transitions and signposts between sections!

Document: Transitions and Signposting

All extracts aren't created equal...choose the "right" one!

Document: Choosing the RIGHT extract

Films, Documentaries, and Series

If you're using film for your IO, you must watch this video! You MUST discuss these elements!

Key Terms for Analyzing Film

You're using a film or documentary for your IO? Nice choice - watch this video or you will miss important IO requirements!

If you're using film, documentaries, or videos for your IO, then this video is MUST WATCH. Our student will show you how it's done!

Student Recording
Recording Transcript
Student Notes and Planning

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