Extended Essay Changes

Junior year. As an IB candidate, junior year is what you have nightmares about the summer before classes start: WAs, IB tests, IAs….the list can go on and on. Not to mention CAS hours and the Extended Essay (EE), all of which take even more time out of an already jam packed schedule. But for years, IB candidates didn’t have to worry about their EE until their senior year, a fact which changed this 2012-2013 school year. At first the change didn’t seem so bad. Students wouldn’t have to worry about the pressure of an EE during the beginning of their senior year (a time for college applications), and the timing could be better spaced. In fact, the IB coordinators should be applauded for trying to make life just a bit easier. But in reality, the change may have made things worse. Coming into junior year, I expected to have the summer to work on my EE, a majorly needed element with all the other activities and classes I was loading up on. In addition, the spacing of the EE work didn’t go as smoothly as it did on paper. Though the research portion began in January, it wasn’t until mid-April that the EE deadlines began to start (and pile up) not to mention SOLS and AP/IB tests began to consume homework time. By late May, the EE final deadline was rapidly approaching at the set date of June 12. I, (like many IB students) had thought there would be a nice summer in-between junior and senior year to get ahead on the EE, but the new deadline changed that. Though the final deadline is set for June 12, revisions can still be made after, up until they must be sent off in December. Which brings up the question: why change the deadline if students will still get it back to work on? Though some say students wouldn’t actually work on their EE over summer that could quickly change if it was required for candidates to finish at least 2,500 words with research over the summer.  And with no other major projects to worry about over summer, the work on the EE would be much more stress free and better paced. With better communication between Theory of Knowledge teachers, IB coordinators, and the candidates, hopefully the rain cloud of the EE can get just a bit smaller.