The extended essay (EE) is a mandatory core component of the IB Diploma Programme. It is a research paper of up to 4,000 words giving students an opportunity to conduct independent research or investigation on a topic that interests them. Like the theory of knowledge (ToK) essay, ToK presentation, and participation in creativity, activity, service activities, submitting an extended essay is a prerequisite to award of the IB Diploma.
Subject and Topics
Students can write an EE in all subjects offered at King Faisal School. However, we advise students they should write it on a subject they are taking. The subjects available are:
Group 1: Language A: English, Arabic
Group 2: Language B: English
Group 3: Individuals & societies: Economics, History, Geography
Group 4: Sciences: Chemistry, Physics, Biology
Group 5: Mathematics
Group 6: Visual arts, Theatre
… as well as World studies, an interdisciplinary topic combining 2 or more subjects from the IB and exploring one of the following global themes:
– Language, culture and identity
– Science, technology and society
– Equality and inequality
– Conflict, peace and security
– Economic and/or environmental sustainability
– Health and development
For more information, see pages 360-369 in the IB’s Extended Essay Guide.
You cannot write an EE in:
Ab Initio languages
Theory of Knowledge
Subjects not taught at KFS
How is the study of the extended essay structured?
Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school.
The IB recommends that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding the interview with their supervisor. This is known as viva voce.
The extended essay and interview can be a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.
What are the criteria to assess the Extended Essay?
There are five (A-E) criteria to assess the EE and each criterion is organized at three levels of information. Firstly, the markband, which relates to the mark range available; secondly, the strand, which relates to what is being assessed; and, thirdly, the indicators, which are the demonstration of the strands within a markband.
Criterion A: Focus and method – This criterion focuses on the topic, the research question and the methodology…
Criterion B: Knowledge and understanding – This criterion assesses the extent to which the research relates to the subject area/discipline used to explore the research question…
Criterion C: Critical thinking – This criterion assesses the extent to which critical-thinking skills have been used to analyse and evaluate the research undertaken.
Criterion D: Presentation – This criterion assesses the extent to which the presentation follows the standard format expected for academic writing and the extent to which this aids effective communication.
Criterion E: Engagement – This criterion assesses the student’s engagement with their research focus and the research process.
How is the extended essay assessed?
All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. They are marked on a scale from 0 to 34.
The score a student receives relates to a band. The bands are:
- A – work of an excellent standard.
- B – work of a good standard.
- C –work of a satisfactory standard.
- D – work of a mediocre standard.
- E – work of an elementary standard.
What is the order of sections of the Extended Essay?
Basically, the order is:
- title page
- contents page
- body of the essay (i.e. development, methods, results)
- works cited/bibliography
Further Information is on IB website