Ib Extended Essay Grading Criteria

Assessment criteria

This section provides an overview of what each criterion assesses in the extended essay. Further advice on interpreting the assessment criteria is provided within the guidelines for each subject in the “Details—subject specific” section. The extended essay is assessed against common assessment criteria for all extended essays. Candidates must understand that the work submitted for assessment must address these criteria effectively. Supervisors of extended essays should ensure that the assessment criteria are made available to candidates and that the candidates understand these criteria.

A: research question

(Objectives 1 and 2)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the purpose of the essay is specified. In many subjects, the aim of the essay will normally be expressed as a question and, therefore, this criterion is called the “research question”. However, certain disciplines may permit or encourage different ways of formulating the research task.

Descriptor

0

The research question is not stated in either the introduction or on the title page or does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in an extended essay in the subject in which it is registered.

1

The research question is stated in either the introduction or on the title page but is not clearly expressed or is too broad in scope to be treated effectively within the word limit.

2

The research question is clearly stated in either the introduction or on the title page and is sharply focused, making effective treatment possible within the word limit.

B: introduction

(Objectives 1 and 5)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the introduction makes clear how the research question relates to existing knowledge on the topic and explains how the topic chosen is significant and worthy of investigation.

Descriptor

0

Little or no attempt is made to set the research question into context. There is little or no attempt to explain the significance of the topic.

1

Some attempt is made to set the research question into context. There is some attempt to explain the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation.

2

The context of the research question is clearly demonstrated. The introduction clearly explains the significance of the topic and why it is worthy of investigation.

C: investigation

(Objectives 1 and 3)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the investigation is planned and an appropriate range of sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, that is relevant to the research question. Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2.

Descriptor

0

There is little or no evidence that sources have been consulted or data gathered, and little or no evidence of planning in the investigation.

1

A range of inappropriate sources has been consulted, or inappropriate data has been gathered, and there is little evidence that the investigation has been planned.

2

A limited range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and some relevant material has been selected. There is evidence of some planning in the investigation.

3

A sufficient range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been selected. The investigation has been satisfactorily planned.

4

An imaginative range of appropriate sources has been consulted, or data has been gathered, and relevant material has been carefully selected. The investigation has been well planned.

D: knowledge and understanding of the topic studied

(Objectives 3 and 7)

Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2. “Academic context”, as used in this guide, can be defined as the current state of the field of study under investigation. However, this is to be understood in relation to what can reasonably be expected of a pre-university student. For example, to obtain a level 4, it would be sufficient to relate the investigation to the principal lines of inquiry in the relevant field; detailed, comprehensive knowledge is not required.

Descriptor

0

The essay demonstrates no real knowledge or understanding of the topic studied.

1

The essay demonstrates some knowledge but little understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows little awareness of an academic context for the investigation.

2

The essay demonstrates an adequate knowledge and some understanding of the topic studied. The essay shows some awareness of an academic context for the investigation.

3

The essay demonstrates a good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay successfully outlines an academic context for the investigation.

4

The essay demonstrates a very good knowledge and understanding of the topic studied. Where appropriate, the essay clearly and precisely locates the investigation in an academic context.

E: reasoned argument

(Objectives 1 and 4)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay uses the material collected to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and develops a reasoned argument in relation to the research question. Where the research question does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the subject in which the essay is registered, the maximum level that can be awarded for this criterion is 2.

Descriptor

0

There is no attempt to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.

1

There is a limited or superficial attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question.

2

There is some attempt to present ideas in a logical and coherent manner, and to develop a reasoned argument in relation to the research question, but this is only partially successful.

3

Ideas are presented in a logical and coherent manner, and a reasoned argument is developed in relation to the research question, but with some weaknesses.

4

Ideas are presented clearly and in a logical and coherent manner. The essay succeeds in developing a reasoned and convincing argument in relation to the research question.

F: application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject

(Objective 7)

Descriptor

0

The essay shows no application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

1

The essay shows little application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

2

The essay shows some application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills, which may be only partially effective.

3

The essay shows sound application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

4

The essay shows effective and sophisticated application of appropriate analytical and evaluative skills.

G: use of language appropriate to the subject

(Objective 6)

Descriptor

0

The language used is inaccurate and unclear. There is no effective use of terminology appropriate to the subject.

1

The language used sometimes communicates clearly but does not do so consistently. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is only partly accurate.

2

The language used for the most part communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is usually accurate.

3

The language used communicates clearly. The use of terminology appropriate to the subject is accurate, although there may be occasional lapses.

4

The language used communicates clearly and precisely. Terminology appropriate to the subject is used accurately, with skill and understanding.

H: conclusion

(Objectives 1, 4 and 5)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the essay incorporates a conclusion that is relevant to the research question and is consistent with the evidence presented in the essay.

Descriptor

0

Little or no attempt is made to provide a conclusion that is relevant to the research question.

1

A conclusion is attempted that is relevant to the research question but may not be entirely consistent with the evidence presented in the essay.

2

An effective conclusion is clearly stated; it is relevant to the research question and consistent with the evidence presented in the essay. It should include unresolved questions where appropriate to the subject concerned.

I: formal presentation

(Objective 5)

This criterion assesses the extent to which the layout, organization, appearance and formal elements of the essay consistently follow a standard format. The formal elements are: title page, table of contents, page numbers, illustrative material, quotations, documentation (including references, citations and bibliography) and appendices (if used).

Descriptor

0

The formal presentation is unacceptable, or the essay exceeds 4,000 words.

1

The formal presentation is poor.

2

The formal presentation is satisfactory.

3

The formal presentation is good.

4

The formal presentation is excellent.

J: abstract

(Objective 5)

The requirements for the abstract are for it to state clearly the research question that was investigated, how the investigation was undertaken and the conclusion(s) of the essay.

Descriptor

0

The abstract exceeds 300 words or one or more of the required elements of an abstract (listed above) is missing.

1

The abstract contains the elements listed above but they are not all clearly stated.

2

The abstract clearly states all the elements listed above.

K: holistic judgment

(Objective 1)

The purpose of this criterion is to assess the qualities that distinguish an essay from the average, such as intellectual initiative, depth of understanding and insight. While these qualities will be clearly present in the best work, less successful essays may also show some evidence of them and should be rewarded under this criterion.

Descriptor

0

The essay shows no evidence of such qualities.

1

The essay shows little evidence of such qualities.

2

The essay shows some evidence of such qualities.

3

The essay shows clear evidence of such qualities.

4

The essay shows considerable evidence of such qualities.

© International Baccalaureate Organization | Mission statement | Learner profile

The extended essay (EE) is a mandatory core component of the IB Diploma Programme. It is a research paper of up to 4000 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, action, service activities, submitting an extended essay is a prerequisite for the award of the Diploma.

Recommended subjects[edit]

It is mandatory that the extended essay be taken from the field of one of the IB subjects being studied (e.g. the essay may be about a book that has not been studied as part of IB English).[1] However, the topic must not be too broad or too narrow as to make it difficult to write 4,000 words, and the general subject must be taught under the IB diploma program by one of the members of staff at the high school (so that there is someone with expertise able to help). The subject (not topic) on which the extended essay is written is recommended to be one that the candidate has formally studied, but this is not required. Also, the EE may not be written across different subjects – it must concentrate on one subject only, unless the student is writing under the World Studies topic. However, some subjects include several disciplines, with an emphasis towards one. An example is the subject Societies, which can include chemistry, biology, psychology, etc. generally with an emphasis toward one discipline.

Supervision[edit]

The supervisor provides the student with assistance in putting together their EE, including guiding them in finding a suitable research question and on how to acquire the necessary resources to complete the research (such as a specific resource material–often hard-to-find documents or books–or laboratory equipment). The supervisor may suggest improvements to a version of the EE, but must not be engaged in writing it. The IBO recommends that the supervisor spend approximately two to three hours in total with the candidate discussing the EE.

Assessment[edit]

Extended essays are marked by individuals named external assessors (examiners appointed by the IB) on a scale of 0 to 36. There are "general" and "subject-specific" criteria, at a ratio of 2:1 (24 possible marks for the general criteria and 12 marks for the subject-specific one). The total mark is converted into a grade from A to E. A similar system is used for theory of knowledge and students can gain up to 3 points for the diploma based on the grades achieved for EE and TOK. A scores of E on either the extended essay or TOK essay revoked the eligibility of receiving the IB Diploma (EE Subject Guide p15).[2]

Theory of Knowledge
Extended Essay
ABCDE or N
A3321Failing Condition
B3211
C2110
D1100
E or NFailing Condition
Source: The diploma points matrix. May 2015 onwards[3]

References[edit]

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