The Individual Oral Assessment

Welcome to your one stop shop for everything IO.  Dave and Andrew are confident that working through this page will give you all you need to succeed on the Big Day.  It’s all here.  Whether you are an IB Literature student or an IB Language and Literature student, we’ve broken down the entire process into manageable chunks.  Trust the process.  Crush the IO!

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”

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 critical to success on this assessment. 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 til the end. We nail the GI in this video!

Document: “Refining the Global Issue 2.0”

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


The ability to read images is crucial for Language and Literature success.  As you know, many of the texts we explore are multimodal, meaning they have both text and image.  So, we need to understand how to read photographs, analyze them, and make meaning.  There are some basic terms and approaches to close reading that will open up some important analytical doors.  Watch these videos and improve your visual analysis!

Our students use this mnemonic with great success...give it a try!

Analyzing Photographs

Let's apply our skills to a great image from a famous photographer.

Website: Body of Work – Philip Jones Griffiths

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

Information & Skill

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IB English Guys

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