The Extended Essay is a formally presented, 4000 word essay on a topic of your choice. The aim of the Extended Essay is to develop the independent research skills that will be necessary at University and beyond. The process of researching and writing the essay will require you to think creatively and analytically and to apply the critical thinking skills that you have been developing during the Theory of knowledge course. The essay will take approximately 40 hours of work and is a compulsory part of the Diploma. University admission officers are often keen to hear about your Extended Essay experience and the challenges you faced during the process and how these were overcome. Some universities may even ask for a copy of your extended essay as part of the application/interview process.
Through the Extended Essay process you will develop several important Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills. Research skills will be developed as you look for reliable sources of primary and secondary information and you will develop your thinking skills as you evaluate this source material and as you reflect on your journey. Communication skills will improve as you express your argument in an extended piece of writing and self-management will be important in order to meet a series of deadlines.
Together with the grade from the Theory of Knowledge, the Extended Essay grade is used to calculate the 3 possible bonus points awarded for the IB Diploma. These bonus points are calculated using the diploma points matrix.
Use the links in the menu at the top of the page to access more information about the Extended Essay. If you would like to begin some preparation work for your Extended Essay, you could consider registering for a free online course which runs over two week.