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How to Get a Good Score in Your IB Extended Essay

IB students are under a lot of pressure - to put it mildly. They're considered to be the best of the best in not just their own special field of study, but in all fields. These Great Expectations can go a long way towards dragging them down to a place they don't want to see - much like the characters in Dickens' own novel. However, it can also push them forward to new heights, and one measuring stick used to see just how far they've come in their IB education is the IB extended essay.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you navigate the Dickensian twists and turns of the IB extended essay and avoid Hard Times and get a good score.

Less is More...

Remember - the IB extended essay is a long piece to work on. You're going to have a lot of time to work on it, and you're likewise going to have a lot of space within which to do your best work. What's that mean? In short, you want to pace yourself. Trying to do everything at once is a sure-fire way to confuse yourself, your points, and your reader, and you want no part of such a trifecta of confusion.

...Except When More is More

That being said, you don't want to hold back on the IB extended exam, either. If you have outside knowledge, think you can bring it in without going too far off the main point, and can do so within the time and space allotted, then by all means - go ahead and strut your stuff. Remember, you're trying to set yourself apart with exams like this, and showing just how broad your base of knowledge is and demonstrating a knack for making your points briefly and concisely while showing off that knowledge is a sure-fire way to help get a good score.

Be Brief...

"Brevity is the soul of wit" says Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet - advice he doesn't take himself (and just look where that gets him) but good advice nonetheless. Remember, your graders are going to read a lot of papers. Brevity and conciseness will be appreciated.

...But Don't Shortchange Yourself

While you want to exercise a bit of brevity here and there, you don't want to shortchange yourself, or leave important things out. Stay on topic, and cover that topic as well as you can given the time limit - and, of course, if you can slip in a reference to Shakespeare or Dickens or other such writers and make it work, by all means, give it a shot.

Just don't become ruled by that strategy.



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