IB Extended Essay leaves many students overwhelmed

Diploma candidates rush to complete their EE’s as the deadline closely approaches

On top of taking the most rigorous courses the school has to offer, completing Internal Assessments, passing IB exams, and turning in college applications, IB candidates are required to write a 4,000 word research essay on a topic of their choosing called the Extended Essay.

“The EE was expected to be completed during the period of college apps along with our IAs for all of our IB classes. The timing of where this essay falls is just poor,” senior Anna Delaney said. “For anyone involved in extracurricular activities and looking to have a sleep schedule It was very hard to even find the time to complete any of the steps on time.”

To put together their EEs, senior candidates were required to select a topic, create a research question using the IB command terms, gather research from trustworthy sources and combine each of those steps into their final drafts.
“Writing the EE is easy, you’re simply writing a paper on a topic of your interest,” senior Dalal Moura said. “It’s the fact that we have to do it that makes us begin to hate it.”

However, completing the short deadlines for these steps have been tedious for candidates.

“The steps are simple, however, the amount of work it takes to write the essay is much worse than what people make it out to be,” Delaney said.

Students were able to receive support from their teachers throughout this process along with work days during the school day.

“Covid along with being online for 2020-2021 made the current senior IB diploma candidates at a disadvantage, but I feel even then communication and announcements could have been more clear and given more,” Moura said. “We got support from teachers and luckily were able to have lenient extensions on some deadlines, but even then communication could’ve been clearer.”

The amount of time and work that seniors had to put into the EE during their senior year, makes them wish the communication of what the process and deadlines were made more clear to them or completed during their junior year.

“I think that the EE should be introduced much earlier to IB juniors and worked on junior year to the point where a draft is obtained so that senior year it is just the final that is being worked on,” Delaney said. “The thing that stressed me most about working on it is the amount of words that need to be written and finding the time to actually begin to think about it. This is why starting early would be much better.”

At the end of the day the EE is a research paper, so once students were able to put in the time to complete their research, starting their essay was much easier.

“I highly suggest starting your research early, and I know a lot of people say it but I mean it,” Moura said. “Have a topic that you want to talk about, and make sure you are aware of the criteria for that topic. Try to get the motivation and flow going to write the essay early, because once you start it’s really easy.”

With the EE deadline closely approaching, diploma candidates are continuing to work to complete the essay before they run out of time.