EE Assessment Explained

On this page...

  • You are provided with summary information regarding the assessment of the EE

  • By navigating to the offical IB resources you can directly access the IB EE Handbook for more information

Total Points

The EE is graded out of 34 points; broken into five mains sections.

  • A: Focus and method [6 points]

  • B: Knowledge and understanding [6 points]

  • C: Critical thinking [12 points]

  • D: Presentation [4 points]

  • E: Engagement [6 points]

Criteria A to D is for your Extended Essay, whilst E is for the 500 word reflection.

Letter Grades


All extended essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB. They are marked on a scale from 0 to 34.

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.

Grade Boundaries

The following boundaries were used for the Class of 2018, 2019 and 2020

A = 27 - 34

B = 21 - 26

C = 14 - 20

D = 7 - 13

E = 0 - 6


Remember that the Extended Essay in Combination with the Theory of Knowledge Grade make up a total of 3 bonus points towards the IB Diploma.

The matrix on the right shows how the points can be combined from TOK and EE to earn the points.

*If you do not complete or fail either TOK or the EE you are not eligible to receive an IB Diploma.

Summary EE Rubric
Full EE Criteria

A: Focus & Method

This criterion focuses on the topic, the research question and the methodology. It assesses the explanation of the focus of the research (this includes the topic and the research question), how the research will be undertaken, and how the focus is maintained throughout the essay.

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Criterion A: Focus and method

B:Knowledge & Understanding

This criterion assesses the extent to which the research relates to the subject area/discipline used to explore the research question, or in the case of the world studies extended essay, the issue addressed and the two disciplinary perspectives applied, and additionally the way in which the knowledge and understanding is demonstrated through the use of the appropriate terminology and concepts.

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Criterion B: Knowledge & Understanding

C: Critical Thinking

This criterion assesses the extent to which critical-thinking skills have been used to analyse and evaluate the research undertaken.

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Criterion C: Critical Thinking

D: Presentation

This criterion assesses the extent to which the presentation follows the standard format expected for academic writing and the extent to which this aids effective communication.

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EE Criterion D: Presentation

E: Engagement

This criterion assesses the student’s engagement with their research focus and the research process. It will be applied by the examiner at the end of the assessment of the essay, and is based solely on the candidate’s reflections as detailed in the RPPF, with supervisory comments and extended essay itself as contex

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EE Criterion E: Engagement

Grade Descriptors

This two page doc is extracted from the IB Booklet titled Grade Descriptors.

The IB EE Guide clearly states...

"The extended essay is externally assessed, and as such, supervisors are not expected to mark the essays or arrive at a number to translate into a grade. Predicted grades for all subjects should be based on the qualitative grade descriptors for the subject in question. These descriptors are what will be used by senior examiners to set the boundaries for the extended essay in May 2018, and so schools are advised to use them in the same way."

EE Grade Descriptors.pdf

Unpacking the Criteria

Unpacking the EE criteria.pdf