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A look inside IB’s extended essays

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Students aren’t just recovering from winter break; some students are getting IB essays ready to turn in on January 6 and January 20.

Ms. Sudman, the IB Coordinator at Hillcrest, explained, “There is something called the Extended Essay(EE) which is due in January. That is an essay that is 4,000 words maximum and our students write that to prepare for college-level writing and senior thesis writing.”

It can also prep students for research beyond high school.

“Students are often in science labs or they are doing other things that way. We have a lot of students working with the University of Utah and the healthcare system and they are using that for their EE and using that to learn how to perform that research to better be successful for college,” noted Ms. Sudman.

The Extended Essay topic depends on the class the essay is for. If a student is in an IB ab initio Chinese class, they could write on the economic difference between the US and China or another comparison.

Students typically work for two years on their essay with a supervisor who watches over the essay.

“The students start their junior year and they finish their senior year and they have a supervisor who has been helping them through this process so they will usually turn it in on a program we have specifically for IB students called ManageBac,” Ms. Sudman explained

What’s rather interesting about the program is that it was founded by IB students.

Ms. Sudman noted, “It stands for Manage Baccalaureate. It was a program was created by IB students who graduated to help IB students to be more organized and IB teachers communicate better.”

In a way, it’s the IB version of Canvas, only with more features.

Ms. Sudman explained, “Parents can see different things their student turned in and the IB Coordinator can see classes and see what’s being turned in because I have to make sure all of that gets uploaded to the IB network so it can be graded for students to receive their diplomas.”

Additionally, there will times throughout the year where students turn in their essays to their supervisors so that they can guide the student on what to work on with the essay.

Even after January is over with, IB students have internal assessments multiple times in the year that teachers provide, such as an oral assessment if the students is in a language class. Another stressor is preparing for the IB exams in April and May, which can be akin to AP exams but have several differences to them.

If a student has both IB and AP exams and they conflict, it is advised that he or she schedule their AP tests for different dates because, unlike AP exams, IB assessment dates cannot be rescheduled.

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A look inside IB’s extended essays