Using the EE markbands

How to use the EE mark bands?

The extended essay criteria contains a range of different indicators for each level.  This is especially true for criteria C, critical thinking as this is now graded out of 12. Therefore, examiners may find it more difficult to find a grading criteria which exactly describes the student work.  On some occasions students may produce work which fits into different levels.  For example suppose a mark band requires candidates to demonstrate competence in three areas but only achieves one completely, while the other two are only partially completed.  In this case the examiner would use a best fit approach to decide the exact mark band to award.

As the extended essay is assessed externally (and not by the school) EE supervisors are required to provide a predicted grade to the IB.  A full understanding of the criteria will also help supervisors better guide their students in writing their extended essay.  Simply put, a best fit approach aims to award a candidate the fairest reflection, given the balance of achievement against each specific mark band.  Supervisors can still award a candidate a level if every indicator in the criteria is not met, though may tend towards the lower end of the mark band if one or more of the grade descriptors, within a level, are seriously lacking. 

Supervisors should take particular note of the candidates performance in the evaluation and discussion skills (AO3) as well as their performance in their demonstration of analysis skills, listed as (AO2).  During assessment examiners will work upwards and continue until they find a descriptor which most appropriately reflects the work being assessed.

As with all other assessment criteria, within the IB, students can still score at the highest mark descriptors if the work is not faultless in quality, providing that it most accurately matches the stated criteria.

For a more detailed explanation of each of the new criteria go to: Focus on the criteria

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