For many, the Individual Oral Presentation (IOP) in Language A is the first of many Internal Assessments you do as part of your IB journey. Therefore, today’s blog post will be centered upon the most common mistakes of IOPs and how to avoid them. We will do this by first examining what the IOP actually is, before deep-diving into the individual criteria!

What is the IOP?

The IOP is a 10-15 presentation you do in your Language A: Literature course, worth 15% of your grade. Graded out of 30 points, you can score a maximum of 10 points in 3 categories:

  • Criteria A: Knowledge and Understanding of the works (10 points max)
  • Criteria B: Presentation (10 points max) 
  • Criteria C: Language (10 points max)

Further, the IOP must be based on one or more of the books that you’ve been reading in Part 4: Options. In relation to these texts, you are meant to explore a particular topic of your choice. Your IOP topic can be based on any aspect of the work, including:

  • The cultural setting of the work and related issues
  • Thematic focus
  • Characterization
  • Techniques and style
  • The author’s attitude to particular elements of the works
  • The interpretation of particular elements from different perspectives

Nevertheless, these categories are merely guiding points. Ultimately, the final decision of what to present on is up to you! 

3 tips which ensure IOP success:

Build on your personal understanding for the weeks

Criteria A: Knowledge and Understanding centers on how much you’ve understood from the texts you’ve chosen to analyze. The two most common mistakes are:

a) you choose a too broad of a topic that you are unable to tackle in 10-15 minutes 


b) that you are unable to analyze the topic you’ve chosen properly.

To avoid making these mistakes, consider two strategies. Firstly, ask yourself whether the topic you’ve chosen to answer can really be tackled in depth in 15 minutes. At this point, it’s extremely important that you are honest with yourself about the range of the topic you’ve chosen. Secondly, if you are having trouble actually analyzing your topic, an alternative would be to consider tackling your research question from the view of two books. This will give you the ability to then compare vs contrast the approach of the two novels, which will act as the focal point of your analysis.


Make sure your support material is on point

Criteria B: Presentation is all about being about to effectively and appropriately deliver a good presentation. This means being able to keep the audience attention and their interest during your presentation. In fact, to score 9-10 in criteria B, the criteria states that the “delivery of the presentation is effective, with very good strategies used to interest the audience.” Strategies which can be used to interest the audience may be audibility, eye contact, gestures and effective use of supporting material. With this in mind, you may want to expand using simply a powerpoint and reading off note-cards. Rather, consider using role-play, sound effects and video footage to engage your audience. Further, it may be worth considering whether you can change the tone of your voice and use hand gestures to maintain the audience’s interest throughout your presentation.

Using the correct language

Criteria C: Language is all about your appropriate use of literary language and whether you are articulating your ideas in a clear manner. To score 9-10 in this category, your “language is very clear and entirely appropriate, with register and style consistently effective and suited to the choice of presentation.” In this case, register refers to your use of vocabulary, tone, sentence structure, and terminology. While it will be important for you to incorporate literary terms, your teacher will also be observing the way you progress through your argument. How do you transition between different points in your presentation? Are you constantly repeating yourself or making the same point several times? Do all your sentences have a purpose or are they redundant? Consider these questions as you work your way through your questions.

That’s all for me this week! Hope this post has enlightened you about how to make your IOP a magic 7! Make sure to read about our Assignment Pack where you’ll get your own online tutor to help you, click HERE.

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