The Extended Essay

The Extended Essay is highly regarded by universities as it develops research and academic writing skills that will be required for undergraduate study and beyond. In addition, many pupils have found it advantageous to be able to talk expertly on a specific subject at interview.

The Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic chosen from a broad range of subjects. It is intended to promote high-level research and writing skills, intellectual discovery and creativity. It provides pupils with an opportunity to engage in personal research in a topic of their own choice, under the guidance of a supervisor (a subject specialist in the school). This leads to a major piece of formally presented, structured writing of 4000 words, in which ideas and findings are communicated in a reasoned and coherent manner, appropriate to the subject chosen.

The essay is marked externally, although first drafts will receive comments from the supervisor. Completion of the written essay is followed by a short, concluding interview, or viva voce, with the supervisor. The supervisor also completes a short report on the performance of the pupil, which is then combined with the pupil’s reflections recorded throughout the process. For those studying towards the IB Diploma, the grade (A-E) is combined with the grade from Theory of Knowledge to determine a score out of 3 for the core points. A level pupils will receive the grade, which is certificated