Facts You Want to Know About IB Extended Essay


IB or International Baccalaureate is known to be one of the best curriculums for preparing aspiring students for the future. IB aims to produce students with excellent academic backgrounds, a well-rounded approach, and a variety of abilities and attributes.

There are four internationally accepted programs at different levels for students aged 3-19 years. The four programs are:

A student interested in the IB DP program must choose and complete a course from each of the six subject groups – First language, Second Language, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, and Arts. The subject combination they select will impact their course options at the university level. So the best way to get good grades is to select the right choice of subject in the first place.

The choice of subjects depends on two major parameters – Individual passion or interest in a subject and the stream planned for the university level.

Each subject offers two levels – Standard Level (SL) and Higher Level (HL). Usually, the students take 3 SL subjects and 3 HL subjects. But in certain cases, to fulfill the requirements of their dream university, they can also opt for 4 HL subjects and 2 SL subjects. Also to be considered is that HL requires 240 teaching hours and SL requires 150 teaching hours.

Additionally, all DP students must complete a two-year Theory of Knowledge (TOK) course, work on an Extended Essay (EE), and participate in Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS). This forms the three components of the DP program and it is mandatory that the student successfully completed these to earn his diploma certificate.


Internal Assessment (IA)

A component of the IB curriculum is its internal assessments and at least 20% to 30% percentage weightage is given to the non-written part of the subject. The IA can be in the form of a paper, project, oral exam, workbook, or a series of experiments.

  • Artistic performance and portfolios
  • Fieldwork in Geography
  • Investigations in Mathematics
  • Laboratory work in sciences
  • Oral work in Languages


8 Key Points to Consider when Writing an Extended Essay 


Concept of the Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is an integral part of the IB degree program. It is an independent piece of research, culminating with a 4000-word paper.


Significance of the Extended Essay

The Extended Essay provides:

  • Practical preparation for undergraduate research
  • Opportunity for the student to investigate a topic of personal interest to him, relating to one of the six DP subjects or taking an interdisciplinary approach of a World Studies extended essay


Understanding the Research

When the student is in the research process, he develops skills in:

  • Constructing an appropriate research question – By choosing the topic that interests the student and choosing one that is not too narrow, allowing abundant materials/resources available for research not too broad, enabling the student to stick to the 4000-word limit
  • Setting course to investigate the relevant topics – Looking at the materials and resources available to do the research


Developing the Necessary Skills

Skills required are for communicating ideas and developing an argument. Participation in the process develops the capacity to analyze, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.


Choosing the Right Advisor

Connecting with the right advisor is mandatory and the student needs to consider an advisor:

  • Who is familiar with the topic
  • Who has ample knowledge
  • Who would push the student to do the best

The advisor is usually the teacher at the school. The student is required to have three mandatory reflection sessions with his advisor. The final session, the concluding interview, is also known as the viva voce.


Structuring the Essay

The structure of the essay should include:


The student needs to present a thesis statement which should be done in a way that the readers understand the importance of the research. The research question should be stated clearly


It is mandatory to choose and state a methodological approach. The methods and tools used for collection and analysis should be included too. They may be in the form of observations, interviews, questionnaires, or background knowledge. All these make it apparent that to the examiner how the student answered his research question.

Main body

This is the most voluminous part of the extended essay. This will mainly contain paragraphs and will be crucial for the essay as they will:

  • Make the essay clear
  • Provide details and evidence that prove the argument
  • Make the writing sharp and convincing
  • Sometimes a solution for a problem may be discussed in case there is one

Each paragraph should have a topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a concluding statement.


This is the final part of the essay and focuses on summarizing the main points made earlier in the essay. No new ideas or information can be introduced in this section. All the key points must be shown here with no repetition of every argument. This will show that the student has a clear understanding of the research topic he has chosen, and a better professional touch would be to mention recommendations for new areas for further research.

Bibliography and Appendices

A mandatory focus should be on adding the bibliography which lists all the sources the student has used for the research essay. The appendices section is more of an important formality of showcasing the hard work the student has put in. A note- the content of the appendices will not add to the total word count of the essay.


Assessment of the Extended Essay

All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. The essays are graded on a scale from 0 to 34. The score the student receives relates to a band. The bands are

  • A – Excellent standard
  • B – Good standard
  • C – Satisfactory standard
  • D – Mediocre standard
  • E – Elementary standard


Value of the Extended Essay

The extended essay transforms the students to be independent learners enabling their critical thinking skills. Moreover, the immense detailed subject knowledge as a result of the deep research prepares the students for interviews conducted either for higher education or employment.


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What is an IB Extended Essay?

The extended essay is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.

What is the purpose of the IB Extended Essay?

The extended essay offers useful training for student research. This is a chance for students to research a subject of personal interest while connecting it to one of their six DP areas or using the interdisciplinary approach of a World Studies extended essay.

Is it hard to get an A in IB Extended Essay?

Only 7% of students receive an A in this subject, which is by far the most frequent one for an extended essay. To increase your chances of getting an A, pick a different subject group.

How much does the Extended Essay contribute to your final IB score?

Depending on the cumulative grades in each subject, the Extended Essay and Theory Of Knowledge can each be worth up to 3 IB points.

Q. What are the grades for IB Extended Essay?

A – Work of an excellent standard
B – Work of a good standard
C – Work on a satisfactory standard
D – Work of a mediocre standard

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