Individual Oral

The Individual oral - it hardly needs saying - is a spoken exam done individually with your teacher. In the exam, you must address this question: Examine the ways the global issue of your choice is presented through the content and form of one of the works and one of the non-literary bodies of work you have studied. With guidance from your teacher, you will select an extract from a literary work and an extract from a non-literary body of work that you have studied, and you will discuss how the global issue is represented in these works and texts.

Essential Questions

The IB Diploma is the global benchmark for pre-university, post-16, High School education. Being an inquiry-driven programme, the articulation of essential questions at the forefront of any study is a prerequisite. Below you find kinds of questions that will be answered within this section of the site:

What is an effective global issue for the Individual Oral?


What is the difference between a non-literary extract and a non-literary body of work?


How much of the Individual Oral should be about the extracts and how much about the wider works?


What does an excellent Individual Oral sound like?

This section will:

  • Give you the basics about the Individual Oral;
  • Help you to identify pertinent global issues;
  • Explain the fundamental importance of the Bodies of Work as opposed to discussing just your chosen extract;
  • Give you guidance on how to use the ten minutes and to structure your oral to gain the best possible mark;
  • Share with you samples of student work and examiners' comments, and give you the opportunity to mark a few for yourself.

  • Individual Oral - The Basics

    This page gives you a clear and basic introduction to the Individual Oral. Later pages, provide you with tips, models, and activities to help you develop the understandings and skills to confidently deliver great oral presentations that help...

  • Individual Oral - Commentary or Issue?

    Individual Oral: is it a commentary on two texts (indeed, is it comparative?) or is it a framing of an argument about a global issue for which the two texts are merely illustrative material?

  • Individual Oral - Bodies of Work

    Christmas: a time for giving... not to mention a time for rapacious marketing and commodification of love, relationships and the joy of family.

  • Individual Oral - Structure Ideas

    Exploring a global issue and how it is presented by two different texts, considering both their content and form, all in only ten minutes presents challenges of organising the oral effectively.

  • Individual Oral - Student Samples

    This page will give you some sample material to listen to, some stimulus work to look at, and an opportunity to mark and look at examiner's commentary.

  • Individual Oral - Boiling it down

    Now you're familiar with the nature of the Individual Oral, this page is a quick guide into exactly what you need to do to prepare for the big assessment in the weeks building up to finalising and presenting your Individual Oral.

  • Individual Oral - To mock, or not to mock?

    Your school is probably giving you a mock individual oral, perhaps very soon in the summer term of IB1. This page will give you some guidance on the value of a mock IO, as well as some helpful tips on how to prepare.