IB Extended Essay: EE Home
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Reading to Generate Questions
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What IS the Extended Essay?
- IB: Extended Essay Guide
- Independent research on a topic chosen by the student in consultation with SIS supervisor
- Formal piece of academic writing, 4,000 words long, accompanied by a reflection of no more than 500 words
- Approximately 40 hours of work by the student
- 3-5 hours of supervision + 3 mandatory reflection sessions
- Ends with a Viva Voce: final reflection session with supervising teacher
IB EE Guide
- EE Guide 2018 PDF
Subject Specific Standards
- Language & literature (language A)
- Language acquisition (language B)
- Visual Arts
- World Studies
- Business Management
Additional EE resources
- IB: Subject specific guides Information from the IBO about EE specific subject areas.
- Other EE options: World studies Blog post about the world studies option for the EE. Written for students!
- Next: Lessons >>
- Last Updated: Feb 13, 2023 11:38 AM
- URL: https://sis-cn.libguides.com/ExtendedEssay
- Support Sites
Extended Essay Support Site
After marks are awarded for all five assessment criteria , they are converted into letter grades using 'grade boundaries'. Grade boundaries are not subject specific. In theory these boundaries can change from year to year. In practice they usually stay the same. The following boundaries can be applied to sample Extended Essays. They can also be used as a tool to determine a candidate's 'predicted grade'. Please note, however, that the 'official' boundaries are not published by the IB until after each exam session.
Extended Essay Grade Boundaries
I found this table under extended essay marking criteria. Are they still accurate? Extended Essay Grade Boundaries
Grade Mark Range
They change it every year but I’m pretty sure this one is very wrong. EE should be out of 34 not 36. I don’t know grade boundaries for everything but typically an A is 26-28/34
Hi thx for your reply. What are the grade boundaries normally? I know they are set newly every year but they would be similar every year right?
Grade boundaries are made after markings. And the EE has 34 marks not 36.
CLASS 2024 - CORE MEETING Feb. 28th - Check Google Classroom for Timings
EE Assessment Explained
On this page....
You are provided with summary information regarding the assessment of the EE
By navigating to the offical IB resources you can directly access the IB EE Handbook for more information
The EE is graded out of 34 points; broken into five mains sections.
A: Focus and method [6 points]
B: Knowledge and understanding [6 points]
C: Critical thinking [12 points]
D: Presentation [4 points]
E: Engagement [6 points]
Criteria A to D is for your Extended Essay, whilst E is for the 500 word reflection.
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.
The following boundaries were used for the Class of 2018, 2019 and 2020
A = 27 - 34
B = 21 - 26
C = 14 - 20
TOK AND EE TOGETHER
Remember that the Extended Essay in Combination with the Theory of Knowledge Grade make up a total of 3 bonus points towards the IB Diploma.
The matrix on the right shows how the points can be combined from TOK and EE to earn the points.
*If you do not complete or fail either TOK or the EE you are not eligible to receive an IB Diploma.
A: Focus & Method
This criterion focuses on the topic, the research question and the methodology. It assesses the explanation of the focus of the research (this includes the topic and the research question), how the research will be undertaken, and how the focus is maintained throughout the essay.
click the document to see the full description
B:Knowledge & Understanding
This criterion assesses the extent to which the research relates to the subject area/discipline used to explore the research question, or in the case of the world studies extended essay, the issue addressed and the two disciplinary perspectives applied, and additionally the way in which the knowledge and understanding is demonstrated through the use of the appropriate terminology and concepts.
C: Critical Thinking
This criterion assesses the extent to which critical-thinking skills have been used to analyse and evaluate the research undertaken.
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.
This criterion assesses the student’s engagement with their research focus and the research process. It will be applied by the examiner at the end of the assessment of the essay, and is based solely on the candidate’s reflections as detailed in the RPPF, with supervisory comments and extended essay itself as contex
This two page doc is extracted from the IB Booklet titled Grade Descriptors .
The IB EE Guide clearly states...
"The extended essay is externally assessed, and as such, supervisors are not expected to mark the essays or arrive at a number to translate into a grade. Predicted grades for all subjects should be based on the qualitative grade descriptors for the subject in question. These descriptors are what will be used by senior examiners to set the boundaries for the extended essay in May 2018, and so schools are advised to use them in the same way."
Unpacking the Criteria
What are your chances of acceptance?
Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, next step: add more factors to complete chancing.
How to Choose an IB Extended Essay Topic
What’s covered:, what is the ib extended essay, what makes a good extended essay topic, narrowing down your focus, how is the extended essay scored.
- How Does The Extended Essay Affect My Admissions Chances?
The International Baccalaureate Program (IB) curriculum requires students to go above and beyond typical academic standards for most high school students. One of the required tasks is writing the extended essay. To further understand the extended essay, we need to understand what IB’s core is, which is related to the 45 points one can achieve in IB . Out of 45 points, three of these points come from the core, which is made up of the extended essay (EE), theory of knowledge, and CAS. Performing well in the EE is critical to doing well in IB, because passing the core is a necessary component of earning the diploma.
The EE is one of the mandatory components of the IB curriculum, and it’s a practical way of preparing students to write undergraduate-level research papers in the form of a 4000 word essay. You would choose which subject to write your EE on in relation to the subject sets you take when in IB, so you have six choices. If you were to ideally timeline the extended essay and plan all the work out early, you’d start planning a topic the first semester of your junior year (or IB year 1).
Starting early to pick a topic is an advantage many students miss, because the phase of the EE in which most students get stuck on is just finalizing a solid topic to write about. While picking a topic shouldn’t be too stressful, it is important to pick one you could enjoy writing about, as lack of interest is apparent in an essay and will come across to your examiner.
Searching for ideas to create a topic can come from different sources, but for most people it usually begins with the subjects you’re already taking. For example, let’s say you chose to write an EE in Physics HL or SL, then it does not matter too much. You’d use the topics discussed in class content, ranging from textbooks to lectures as source material for inspiration to create a topic for yourself.
Perhaps you found yourself particularly interested in planetary physics – you could then read more into that unit of the course and hopefully find bits of information to help create a topic.
After finding a source of inspiration for your topic, structuring your ideas in a specific format to create a topic is important.
On the idea of physics, a great topic would be:
Physics EE on Aerodynamics: What is the relationship between frequency and surface area against lift of the propeller of a toy helicopter?
The reason this topic is great is because we can instantly tell how specified and narrowed down the central focus of the paper is just off a glance. Narrowing down your focus in your topic allows you, as the writer, to stay on track throughout the entirety of the paper. Derailing from your topic and going out of its bounds can lead to irrelevant information, making the content of your paper essentially useless. Keep your topic narrow and make sure to follow the topic throughout the entire paper, so you end up with a concise paper that actually can conclude with a solution to whatever your paper seeks to solve.
Additionally, using keywords in your topic that give the examiner an idea of what they’re going to read is important. In this case, the writer used “frequency” and “surface area,” telling us they’re writing a paper related to mechanics as well.
Understanding that the topic is the skeleton of your essay, make sure to refer back to it every time you make a finding or reveal data directly relevant to answering the topic’s question. Using data and evidence that isn’t relevant to your narrowed down topic will also cause you to lose points, simply because of the lack of use for it.
The EE is scored out of 34 total points, with grade boundaries being assigned to associated letter grades with it. The following table lists the grade boundaries with their respective letter grades:
As mentioned earlier, the EE is part of a larger component of the IB curriculum, the core of IB. The core has its own grading scheme that also determines whether or not you pass and earn the diploma. It goes by the following table:
How Does the Extended Essay Affect My Admissions Chances?
While the EE has no direct impact on your college admissions, it does impact your total IB grade. However, even though your IB grade has little impact on your college admissions, being part of IB demonstrates proof of taking rigorous classes, which will positively impact your college admissions.
That being said, writing the EE will also make you a much better essay writer, and this could later help you in writing essays for college admissions! For more information on how your chances of college admissions look, use CollegeVine’s admissions calculator ! This tool takes into account GPA, test scores, classes, and more to calculate your admissions chances at your dream schools!
Related CollegeVine Blog Posts
Extended Essay Grade Boundaries and matrix
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Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I. Library & Learning Commons
The Predicted Grade
So, nailing down the Predicted grade can seem rather daunting. Evaluating the paper is more about adherence to the “rules and regulations” from I.B. and the ability to meet the criteria than it does on how a paper “feels”. As it should, of course.
Now with the change to a “Best Fit Approach” and markbands, the E.E. assessment procedure is a little more natural than it used to be.
We’ve taught our kids well. They know the perils of plagiarism and what can happen to them if they cross the line and find themselves on the wrong side of the law. But sometimes, kids make really bad decisions.
You’ll be equipped with the Turnitin similarity report, which will hopefully show you what was taken from other sources. If you are at all uncertain about the authenticity of a student’s work, you need to address it ASAP. Hopefully that’s already been handled before the Final Submission Deadline, as the I.B. doesn’t take too kindly to plagiarism.
Based on the readings I’ve done; if the I.B. Evaluator believes there is any chance of plagiarism, the essay is kicked up the foodchain. This includes inconsistent or inadequate citation or referencing.
If an essay is reasonably suspected of being plagiarized, we may be faced with the decision to not submit the E.E. for assessment. That would be most awkward, but less awkward than submitting the paper knowingly and being questioned by the I.B.
Basically; if you think there’s a chance that the paper is not the authentic work of your student; please contact me immediately so we can determine next steps.
Changing the Way We Think About a “Pass”
Basically, when you’re predicting the grade it is still important that you remove yourself from the role as mentor. You know this essay well. You’ve seen it through through conception to its maturation, and you are firmly rooting for your student.
The person grading that Extended Essay though, does not share this philosophy. They are a drive-by reader. So, it’s important to look at the The Extended Essay Assessment Criteria and only that to arrive at a P.G.
Remember that to pass the E.E. , 50% of the total marks available isn’t the target. A pass is a D, which works out to about 22% of all available marks. A 50% on the E.E., would work out to a “C”, so it’s important than when evaluating you’re “Speaking IB.”
Extended Essay Grade Boundaries (Old Curriculum)
Does that mark reflect upon me as a mentor.
No. It really doesn’t.
The Extended Essay is the student’s work; not yours.
Also, I.B. worldwide grades on the Extended Essay show that “A”s are very rare. Not exactly a Unicorn; but not far off.
Most of the E.E. grades fall into the B’s and C’s with D’s also representing a large amount. I’ll work on getting you updated global data to support that.
If you want an idea of how we performed last year…
Sir Wilfrid Laurier CI Performance on Extended Essay (May 2016)
And these are the worldwide results.
I.B. Worldwide Performance on Extended Essay (May 2016)
Variances… when my predicted a comes back as a d.
Variances will happen. It’s still valuable to look at the variance between our Predicted Grades and the I.B. grades too. To be clear, that variance is not an indicator of your effectiveness as a mentor.
If you’d like to take a look at your past Predicted Grades cross-referenced with the I.B. Grades, I’d be happy to discuss in person.
In the chart that follows, variance for the 2014-2015 year indicates how many Grade Boundaries of variance there are; not how many marks.
If you’re ever unsure of what to do with a Predicted Grade on the E.E., please come see me in the Library. We can go over it together and my goal is to ensure the mentor is as confident as can be expected about their Predicted Grade.
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IB grade boundaries
Grade boundaries for recent International Baccalaureate exams
Below are the overall subject grade boundaries for a number of International Baccalaureate (IB) courses that were assessed in May 2021. There were many changes to IB assessments in 2021 - including a non-examination route - so it can be expected that these boundaries could be quite different in later years.
Biology Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Biology Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Business Management Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Business Management Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Chemistry Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Chemistry Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Chinese B - Mandarin Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Chinese B - Mandarin Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Computer Science Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Computer Science Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Economics Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Economics Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
English A: Language and Literature Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
English A: Language and Literature Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Extended Essay Level: EE May 2021 Timezone: 0
French B Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
French B: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Geography Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Geography Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
German B Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
German B Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
History Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
History Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
ITGS Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
ITGS Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Mathematics: applications and interpretation Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Mathematics: applications and interpretation Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Mathematics: analysis and approaches Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Mathematics: analysis and approaches Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Philosophy Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Philosophy Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Physics Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Physics Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 2
Spanish B Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Spanish B Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Theory of Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge Level: TK May 2021 Timezone: 0
Visual Arts Level: HL May 2021 Timezone: 0
Visual Arts Level: SL May 2021 Timezone: 0
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What's Expected? · A: Focus and Method (6 marks) · B: Knowledge and Understanding (6 marks) · C: Critical Thinking (12 marks) · D: Presentation (4
Grade boundaries are not subject specific. In theory these boundaries can change from year to year. In practice they usually stay the same. The
The grade boundaries below are applied to give an overall grade from A-E. Overall / 30. E. D. C. B. A. 0 - 4 5 - 9 10 - 15 16 - 21 22 - 30. Extended Essay
Grade boundaries are made after markings. And the EE has 34 marks not 36.
Total Points · A: Focus and method [6 points] · B: Knowledge and understanding [6 points] · C: Critical thinking [12 points] · D: Presentation [4 points] · E:
How is the Extended Essay Scored? ; A – Excellent. 27 to 34 ; B – Good. 21 to 26 ; C – Satisfactory. 14 to 20 ; D – Mediocre. 7 to 13 ; E –
Extended Essay Grade Boundaries and matrix ... From 2010 onwards 28 points overall will be required to be eligible for the diploma if a student attains an 'E'
These are the grade boundaries for TOK for the past three years (2020, 2019, ... How do I successfully obtain an A for my TOK essay and extended essay?
A 50% on the E.E., would work out to a “C”, so it's important than when evaluating you're “Speaking IB.” Extended Essay Grade Boundaries (Old Curriculum). Show.
Grade boundaries for recent International Baccalaureate exams ... Extended Essay Level: EE May 2021 Timezone: 0. Overall boundaries: A: 26-34. B: 20-25.