The extended essay is an independent, self-directed academic research, in the form of a 4,000-word paper. One component of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) core, the extended essay is mandatory for all students. The final work is given a grade from E to A, and makes up part of each student’s final IB score.

An independent research project all IB students have to embark on, the EE requires students to design a research question that falls within one of the six approved IB Diploma Programme subject groups. Students conduct both primary and secondary research to write an academic journal on their research findings. Most IB schools in Singapore require students to start on their EE drafts in the middle of the first year. Students will continue to refine their EE till the final submission in the second year of the IB Diploma Programme.

Besides writing the EE paper, IB students are also required to complete three reflection sessions. These sessions are mandated by IB and are typically conducted with the student’s EE advisor before, during and after the completion of the EE. These compulsory reflections form part of the formal assessment for the final IB score.

Students and Counting
Scored 6 & 7 in the 2022 IB Exams
Scored A/A* in the 2022 IGCSE Exams

Extended Essay
Scoring Rubric

Graded by IB-appointed examiners, the Extended Essay uses a combination of formative assessment- the Reflections on planning and progress form- and summative assessment- the EE itself- to arrive at the final EE grades. In general, the EE is assessed based on five criteria; each evaluating a specific skill the IB student is expected to demonstrate.  The maximum marks a student can score for each criteria depends on the importance of the respective criterion. Out of the 5 criteria, Critical Thinking makes up approximately 35% of the EE’s grade.

Extended Essay
Grading Criteria

  • Topic chosen is identified, contextualised and justified.
  • The title addresses the intended focus of the Extended Essay
  • The purpose and focus of the research question is specified as a research question, outlined in the introduction, and addressed within a 4,000-word EE.
  • Appropriate data collection methodology is chosen and identified to address the research question.
  • Sources and method of research is relevant, appropriate and sufficient for the academic standards of the discipline.

Maximum score: 6

  • Research question is contextualised to the subject, discipline, or issue.
  • Research question utilises appropriate subject-specific terminology.
  • Sources and methods supports knowledge and understanding in response to the research question.

Maximum score: 6

  • Sources and methods are used appropriately to develop the argument.
  • Analysis of research is effective and focused on the research question.
  • Research discussion develops a clear and coherent reasoned argument.
  • Arguments presented in the essay are critically evaluated.

Maximum score: 12

  • The structure of the essay is compatible with the expected conventions of a research paper in the subject for which the essay is submitted in.
  • The layout of the EE are done in accordance with the expected conventions:
    • Title page, table of contents, page numbers, section headings
    • Effective inclusion of illustrative materials: tables, graphs, illustrations
    • Quotations, bibliography, referencing
  • EE is appropriately formatted.

Maximum score: 4

  • Students are engaged with the research process and their research focus.
  • Student’s Reflections on planning and progress form will be taken into consideration

Maximum score: 6

Extended Essay
Final Grade

The final EE grade is derived by summing up the marks awarded for each of the five assessment criteria. Alongside the quantitative grade, IB students will also receive a letter descriptor, running from A to E. To graduate with an IB diploma, IB students are required to score at least a D for their IB Extended Essay.

The grades an IB student score for their Extended Essays are crucial. When combined with their TOK grades, these two grades will determine how many points will go towards the student’s IB Diploma.

Many IB students are intimidated by the EE grading requirements. However, with professional assistance and supplementary guidance, IB students can easily score an A for their EE.

As Singapore’s leading IB tuition specialists, QE offers a range of IB tuition programmes for IB students studying in Singapore IB schools and international IB schools in Singapore. Our comprehensive EE programme is created by premium IB examiners and top IB graduates from Singapore’s leading schools. IB students who have enrolled in our proprietary EE programme receive masterful guidance, extensive topic notes, and invaluable advice to help them ace their EEs.

Doing Well For The Extended Essay

Broaden Your Perspective

> Read up on effective sample questions from IB.

> Discuss your topic with individuals from different backgrounds.

Have a Success Framework

> Identify key primary and secondary data sources.

> Lay out key methods of investigation.

Resources and Citations

> Resources are relevant and updated.

> Citation formatting is kept consistent.

Design a Good Research Question

> On a topic you have a firm grasp in.

> On a topic with a good research scope.

> On a topic you enjoy or have a personal interest in.

Choose a Suitable Extended Essay Advisor

> Knowledgeable with the chosen research topic.

> Committed to reading multiple EE drafts and asking difficult questions.

> Provide extensive notes and constructive feedback.

Work on the Extended Essay Reflection

> Highlight problems faced during the research.

> Discuss limitations of the research and how it can be expanded on.

    Need Help
    With Your
    Extended Essay?

    Simply fill in and submit the form here to indicate your interest in our classes and we’ll be in touch to meet your needs.

    Our Programmes

    Find out more about our comprehensive range of courses here:

    IB Tuition

    IGCSE Tuition

    A-Level Tuition

    Crash Course

    University Admissions

    Learn How QE Can Help Your Children Achieve Their Potential

    Take the first step towards your child’s academic success. Contact us now to learn more about our programs and how we can support your child’s learning journey!

    Recent Tips & Advice