IBDP core

Theory of Knowledge

Theory of Knowledge (TOK), an interdisciplinary requirement intended to stimulate critical reflection on knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom, is a course of study unique to IB and is mandatory for every IB Diploma student.

TOK challenges students to question the basis of knowledge – to reflect critically on how they know what they believe to be facts or the truth. It consists almost entirely of exploring questions of different sources of knowledge (perception, language, emotion, reason) and different kinds of knowledge (scientific, artistic, mathematical, historical).


Internal ……...…………........... 33%
Oral Presentation: Each student makes a 10-minute presentation to the class and writes a self-evaluation report that includes a concise description of the presentation and answers to questions provided by the IBO.
External ……...…………........... 67%
Essay (1200 – 1600 words), the topic for which is selected from a list of ten titles prescribed by the IBO for each examination session.

The grade for TOK contributes to the overall diploma core through the award of points in conjunction with the Extended Essay. A maximum of three points are awarded according to the candidates’ combined performance in both the Theory of Knowledge and the Extended Essay.

Creativity, Activity, Service

CAS is a compulsory element for all students in Grades 11 and 12 at Qatar Academy, Al Khor. It is organised around the three strands of creativity, activity and service as defined below:

  • Creativity: exploring and extending ideas leading to an original or interpretive product or performance.
  • Activity: physical exertion contributing to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Service: collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to authentic need.

Through CAS, students are expected to demonstrate attributes of the IB Learner Profile in real and practical ways, to grow as individuals and to recognise their role in relation to others. Students develop skills, attitudes and dispositions through a variety of individual and group experiences that provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and express their passions, personalities and perspectives. CAS complements a challenging academic programme in a holistic way, providing opportunities for self-determination, collaboration, accomplishment and enjoyment. However, work completed by students in their diploma subjects may not be included as part of their CAS programme. 

The CAS programme formally begins at the start of Grade 11, and continues regularly for at least 18 months, with a reasonable balance of creativity, activity and service. While not formally assessed, students reflect on their CAS experiences and provide evidence in their logbooks that they have achieved the seven key learning outcomes. Successful completion of CAS is a requirement for the award of the IB diploma, High School Diploma and QAK graduation.

Learning outcomes

The completion decision for the school in relation to each student is, simply, “Have these outcomes been achieved?” As a result of their CAS experience as a whole, including their reflections, there should be evidence that student:

  1. Identify their own strengths and develop areas for growth
  2. Demonstrate that challenges have been undertaken, developing new skills in the process
  3. Demonstrate how to initiate and plan a CAS experience
  4. Show commitment and perseverance in CAS experiences
  5. Demonstrate the skills and recognise the benefits of working collaboratively
  6. Demonstrate engagement with issues of global significance
  7. Recognise and consider the ethics of choices and actions 

All seven outcomes must be present for a student to complete the CAS requirement. Completion requires only that there is some evidence for every outcome. This focus on learning outcomes emphasizes that it is the quality of a CAS activity (its contribution to the student’s development) that is of most importance. The guideline for the minimum amount of CAS activity is approximately 150 hours in total. “Hour counting”, however, is not encouraged.

Extended Essay

IB Diploma Programme students are required to undertake original research and write an extended essay of 4,000 words (maximum). This essay offers the student the opportunity to investigate a topic of special interest and to become acquainted with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected at the university level.

A student may choose to write on a topic in one of the 22 IB Diploma subjects. It is recommended that each student devote a total of about 40 hours of private study and writing time to the essay.

Each student works with a teacher who acts as supervisor during the time taken. The extended essay is mandatory to be awarded an IB Diploma.


External ……...…………........... 100%
Research Essay of 4,000 words or less

The grade for the Extended Essay contributes to the overall diploma in conjunction with Theory of Knowledge (TOK). A maximum of three points is awarded according to the candidate’s combined performance in both TOK and the Extended Essay.