The extended essay is a required component of the International Baccalaureate® (IB) Diploma Programme (DP).
It is an independent, self-directed piece of research, finishing with a 4,000-word paper.
What is the significance of the extended essay?
The extended essay provides:
- practical preparation for undergraduate research
- an opportunity for students to investigate a topic of special interest to them, which is also related to one of the student's six DP subjects.
Through the research process for the extended essay, students develop skills in:
- formulating an appropriate research question
- engaging in a personal exploration of the topic
- communicating ideas
- developing an argument.
Participation in this process develops the capacity to analyse, synthesize and evaluate knowledge.
An extended essay can also be undertaken in world studies, where students carry out an in-depth interdisciplinary study of an issue of contemporary global significance, across two IB diploma disciplines.
How is study of the extended essay structured?
Students are supported throughout the process of researching and writing the extended essay, with advice and guidance from a supervisor who is usually a teacher at the school.
The IB recommends that students follow the completion of the written essay with a short, concluding interview with their supervisor. This is known as viva voce.
The extended essay and interview can be a valuable stimulus for discussion in countries where interviews are required prior to acceptance for employment or for a place at university.
How is the extended essay assessed?
All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. They are marked on a scale from 0 to 36.
The score a student receives relates to a band. The bands are:
- A – work of an excellent standard.
- B – work of a good standard.
- C –work of a satisfactory standard.
- D – work of a mediocre standard.
- E – work of an elementary standard.
Find out how points awarded for the extended essay contribute to a student’s overall diploma score.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why is Plano East Senior High the only senior high that has the IB Program ?
In the early 1990s, the staff at Plano East challenged themselves to learn about other respected academic programs which would give students another choice. The IB program continued to resurface as a program that is not only challenging and well-respected nationally, but one that has gained international recognition as a complete, well-rounded liberal arts education. The administration and faculty at Plano East researched the IB program, made application for accreditation, visited existing IB schools, trained teachers, underwent a site visit from representatives from the New York office, and were awarded the status of participating IB school. The process takes about three years.
Who is the program designed for?
It is designed for highly motivated students who seek the challenge of a well-rounded, liberal arts, international curriculum.
Why are some courses taken at the higher level and others at the standard level?
HL and SL courses allow students to explore some subjects in depth and others more broadly, a deliberate compromise between the early specialization of some national systems and the breadth found in others. The science-oriented student is challenged to learn a foreign language and the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures.
What are the benefits of earning an IB Diploma?
The Diploma Program equips students with the skills and attitudes necessary for success in higher education and employment. The IB Organization’s goal is to provide students with the values and opportunities that will enable them to develop sound judgment make wise choices, and respect others in the global community. Just like Advance Placement, each university sets its own criteria for awarding college credit and/or scholarships. Students and parents can view each university’s IB policy for awarding credit by visiting the IBO University web page http://www.ibo.org/recognition/ .
How is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program SIMILAR to the College Board Advanced Placement Program?
Both programs are excellent preparations for higher education. Both offer challenging curricula. Success in either program is an excellent indicator for success in college. Both programs provide students the opportunity to place out of college courses. Both programs require several hours of homework or off campus preparation each day.
How is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program DIFFERENT from the College Board Advanced Placement (AP) Program?
AP students can choose one or more AP exams/courses. IB students must take one course (which leads to an external exam) from each of the six IB subject groups. IB students must also write an extended essay of 4,000 words, enroll in the Theory of Knowledge course during their senior year, and complete the experiential learning portion of the program CAS (Creative, Action, and Service) during the 11th and 12th grade years. IB assesses students with exams in May. IB also requires that students are assessed internally through the form of such products as written papers, and oral examinations, portfolios, dossiers, and projects.
Can a student who is in the IB Program also take AP courses and examinations?
Can a student who is in the AP Program also take IB courses and examinations?
No, Plano East offers a complete diploma program only. Students who want to choose one or a few challenging courses are better served by taking AP courses and exams.
Does the International Baccalaureate Diploma replace the state of Texas or Plano ISD graduation requirements?
No, but most of the IB courses will fulfill many of the Texas and PISD graduation requirements. It is very important for IB students to work closely with their school counselors to ensure that all graduation requirements are met. The IB Coordinator will work closely with the IB students to ensure that all IB Diploma internal and external requirements are met.
How much does it cost to be in the IB Diploma Program?
There is no additional tuition for Plano ISD residents. Like AP, student must pay for their IB exams. On average a student will pay about $800 for all six exams, per capita & registration fees, Extended Essay fee, and Theory of Knowledge fee.
What percentage of Plano East Senior High IB students earn the IB Diploma?
Typically, 75 – 80% of diploma candidates (seniors) earn the IB Diploma. Plano East Senior High IB students typically score higher than the world average on 15 out of 19 exam subjects.