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This page presents 'the basics' of the Extended Essay. It is a good starting point for candidates and first-time supervisors. For an in-depth understanding see the official IB guide or explore this Support Site further. 

In a nutshell

The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word research paper that must be written to earn the full Diploma from the International Baccalaureate (IB). It is based on a topic of the candidate's choice and, in most cases, one of the candidate's six subjects. The EE provides students with an opportunity to develop their skills in academic research and writing. Candidates work under the guidance of a supervisor, who is usually one of the student's subject teachers. Besides informal meetings and 'check-ins', candidates meet with their supervisor for three sessions to complete their Reflections on Planning and Progress Form (RPPF). The essay and RPPF are externally assessed by an IB examiner for 34 marks. The five assessment criteria are common for all subjects and applied to all essays, though examiners, candidates and supervisors are encouraged to read the subject-specific interpretations of the criteria. Grade boundaries are applied to convert marks into letter grades. The letter grade from the EE is combined with the letter grade from Theory of Knowledge (TOK) to award up to 3 bonus points toward the Diploma. Candidates should spend at least 40 hours working on their essay. Supervisors should spend between 3-5 hours supervising each candidate.

Short introduction to the EE


Learner profile

An IB learner is an inquirer. The Extended Essay is your opportunity to engage in inquiry. What does this mean? Think of yourself as a detective, solving a mystery. Think of yourself as a journalist, asking difficult question. The best way to do inquiry is to be curious, inquisitive and critical.

Last modified: Tuesday, 9 June 2020, 7:59 AM