The candidate must complete and submit an Extended Essay – a substantial piece of independent work. It must be submitted in one of the subjects of the IB Diploma Programme available for the Extended Essay and must meet general and subject-specific criteria. Work on the essay is expected to occupy approximately 40 hours and must be done under the direct supervision of an appropriate teacher at the school.
Learn what the examiners thought of previous extended essays:
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Pearson College has a database highlighting titles and abstracts of extended essays.
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More about the extended essay
The Extended Essay is a research paper of not more than 4000 words which is started in February of the junior year and completed by the following October.It is important for students to understand that success in the Extended Essay depends on the IB guidelines, both general and subject-specific, being closely followed. The Extended Essay is graded out of a total of 36 points broken down as follows:
General assessment criteria 24 points
Subject-specific criteria 12 points
It can be seen therefore, that the structure of the essay garners more points than the subject-specific content, so great attention needs to be paid to this. The Extended Essays are sent to subject examiners in all parts of the world, who then grade the essay according to these guidelines. The raw score is then converted to a letter grade that appears on the student’s IB transcript of results:
A excellent 30-36
B good 25-29
C satisfactory 17-24
D mediocre 9-16
E elementary 0-8
Every student wiring an Extended Essay is provided with a supervisor whose role is clearly laid out in the timeline shown below. The supervisor must have a good knowledge of the subject area concerned. In general, students should choose a subject and topic that they already know in some depth. For example, it may be difficult to achieve a good grade on a psychology essay if the student has no background knowledge of this subject. The total contact time with the supervisor should be no more than 3 hours, however, this is meant to be independent research. IB recommends that the student spend about 40 hours total working on the Extended Essay, but the process frequently takes longer than this, and the student should bear this in mind when looking at the timeline for submission of the Extended Essay.
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