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Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay


Ecoursework Subject Specific guidance for

Extended Essay

For the September 2016 RM Assessor release and later

User instructions for RM Assessor, the worlds
most widely used high stakes onscreen marking software

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

International Baccalaureate
Peterson House, Malthouse Avenue, Cardiff Gate
Cardiff, Wales GB CF23 8GL
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 29 2054 7777
Fax: +44 29 2054 7778

International Baccalaureate Organization 2016

The International Baccalaureate (IB) offers four high quality and challenging educational
programmes for a worldwide community of schools, aiming to create a better, more peaceful

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the IB, or as
expressly permitted by law or by the IBs own rules and policy. See

The RM Assessor trademark is owned by RM. International Baccalaureate hereby acknowledge

all trademarks and copyrights of RM products.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Table of Contents

A. Introduction
B. Extended Essay specific annotations
C. Setting up RM Assessor
D. Annotations
E. Marking in RM Assessor
F. Recording marks
G. Preparation, using familiarisation and simulation mode
H. Extended Essay specific details
I. Reports

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Please note that for the purposes of Extended Essay marking, this document should
be read in conjunction with

appropriate external assessment E-marking section for November 2016 in the

Marking instructions available on IBIS
the extended essay assessment criteria and the appropriate subject-specific chapter
in the Extended essay guide (First examinations 2013)
ethical guidelines for extended essay research and fieldwork (May and November
2013 sessions onwards), available on IBIS
the IB Animal experimentation policy (this applies to group 4 science essays),
available on IBIS
the Further guidance to examiners about group 1 category 3 extended essays
document available on IBIS.

A. Introduction
Welcome to the May 2017 examination session. This document will take you through the
process of marking an ecoursework response step-by-step, offering hints and tips that will
allow you to avoid making any mistakes. However, it is still essential that you utilize all other
training documents that you have been provided with as this document does not cover every
facet of emarking.
Clerical errors have been prevalent in past sessions with examiners assigning marks to the
wrong question or criterion. It is vitally important that the marks are assigned to the correct
question or criterion as the marks you award during marking cannot be changed once you
have submitted the responses and the grace period has expired. If you make a clerical error
on a seeding response a response previously marked by the principal examiner it is
possible that you will be stopped from marking.
Team leader mentoring
Team leaders will support examiners throughout the marking stages.
Team leaders will monitor examiner progress and make contact as soon as an examiner
is stopped from marking because a qualification or seeding response has been marked
outside of the tolerance agreed by the principal examiner. The team leader will then
provide mentoring.
Both the team leader and the examiner will be able to see the seeding response which
was outside of the set tolerance, and be able to view the examiners annotations and
the principal examiners. The team leader will explain to the examiner why the marks
they awarded were incorrect and they can together discuss the mark scheme and its
correct application.
Once the conversation is complete, the team leader will allow the examiner to continue
Examiners who continue to apply the assessment criteria incorrectly, despite the
additional training provided by the team leader, will be stopped from marking completely.
Senior examiner pool
All examiners will be allocated a team leader at the start of the marking process. Once
you mark qualification or seeding responses outside of tolerance, you could be

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

contacted by any team leader from your component. All team leaders will work together
as a single team to support examiners through the approval and seeding process. This
is so that, if you become stopped and your own team leader is either in a different time
zone or not logged into RM Assessor at the time for any other reason, you can receive
feedback from another team leader as quickly as possible. This means that you should
not be unable to mark for very long before receiving the appropriate mentoring.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

B. Subject specific annotations

The following are the annotations available to use when marking responses.

Annotation Explanation


CriA - Criterion A (criterion

annotations can be used
with other annotations,
such as a tick or a cross
show strength or that
requirements are lacking).
CriB CriB - Criterion B
CriC CriC - Criterion C
CriD CriD - Criterion D
CriE CriE - Criterion E
CriF CriF - Criterion F
CriG CriG - Criterion G
CriK CriK - Criterion K
CriH CriH - Criterion H
CriI CriI - Criterion I
CriJ CriJ - Criterion J

Incorrect point

CTX CTX - Good context


EXP - Expression

GEXA - Good Example

Underline tool

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Wavy underline tool



Lacks Depth

Lengthy narrative

No Example

OK OK Acceptable

On page comment tool


REF Reference needed



Too vague

Unsp Assertion Unsupported

Vertical wavy line

Very limited

C. Setting up RM Assessor

The following are a few short cuts that we have found which should help you navigate around
the system. Please also refer to the user guides available on IBIS.

a) Initial Set-up

Click the Controls icon at the top right of the page and select User Options.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

The User Options window is displayed. Tick the following options to ease
navigation when marking:-

b) Navigation

To navigate through the files within the response you will be required to click on the file
links in the left hand panel. Documents are displayed in the marking window and by
default. Image, video, and audio files are opened in the marking window once the file
link is clicked and you are able to view or play the file. The file name and other data
associated with the selected ecoursework file is always displayed in the left-hand lower

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

c) Moving between responses

Using the Previous Response and Next Response buttons on the toolbar you can
navigate to the next or previous response in the currently selected worklist, while you
remain in the Marking page.

d) Moving between question items

There are three methods of moving between question items in the mark panel:
Press Enter after you have entered a mark. This moves you to the next question
item to be marked (if assign single digit without pressing enter is selected in the
User Options settings you will automatically move to the next question item to be
Click a particular question item in the mark panel.
Use the arrow buttons at the bottom of the mark panel to move up and down the
list of question items. However, this is not the most efficient way of navigating
through the mark panel if it is a particularly long mark structure.
We recommend that you experiment with these methods in familiarisation mode, to find
which one suits you best. Please note that if you use Enter, when you reach 100%, the
marks will be saved and RM Assessor will advance to the next response. Note: if there are
no more unmarked responses in your worklist, RM Assessor will advance to one that is
already marked: please check responses carefully before you start marking.

D. Annotations
The annotations that appear on the toolbar are the ones used most frequently used by
default. For components with document or image files it is possible to order the annotations
by name or by frequency of use. By default the Frequency option shall be selected the first
time you log in to RM Assessor. When you chose to order annotations by frequency, the

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

annotations in the annotation toolbar shall be ordered based on the frequency of use. i.e. the
most frequently used annotations will be listed first followed by other annotations.

Note: As currently, the order of the annotations shall only update when a new response is
opened and not during marking of a response.

If you choose to order annotations by name, the annotations in the annotation toolbar shall
be ordered alphanumerically by the annotation name and will remain static on the toolbar.
You can display more annotations, if available, by clicking on the drop down arrow at the right
of the toolbar this will display further annotations in a vertical toolbar. There is also hover
text giving the definition of each annotation.

The undock button at the left-hand side the annotations toolbar can be used to show a
floating annotation palette and hence make all annotations visible on screen.
For multimedia files the only annotation applicable is the enhanced off page comment. This
comment tool enables you to capture multiple off page comments, during marking, in a
structured manner. These comments can be used to comment holistically on the files within
the ecoursework response or can optionally be linked to question items or to specific files in
an ecoursework response. When a question item is selected in the marks panel, linked off
page comments shall be highlighted in the off page comment list. When a file is selected in
the file list, linked off page comments shall be highlighted in the off page comment list.
To add an enhanced off page comment click the Add Comment icon from the tool bar

Alternatively click on the Add Comment link

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

By default the item and file corresponding to the item selected in the mark panel will
To add a comment which applies to all files within the ecoursework response select the Item
and File dropdown as None.

Add your comments and click OK.

When adding comments at an Item or File level ensure the items selected correspond to the
mark item selected in the marks panel to ensure the comment is being applied to the correct
item and file. You can ensure the applicable items are selected and amend if necessary by
selecting from the drop down lists:

Enter your comments and click OK

To view the added comments click on the Show Comments link.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

The comments and linked marking items and files if applicable are shown as below:

It is possible to edit or delete added comments by clicking on the button below on the right
hand side of the comments box

It is possible to edit or delete the added comment or cancel the edit as required.

It is possible to use bookmarks to help navigate through responses during marking, for
example in long essays.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

To add a bookmark to a page:

On the toolbar, click the bookmark icon ( ). When you move your pointer over the
page notice that it has changed to a bookmark annotation ( ).
At the place on the page that you want to bookmark, click your pointer. A dialog box
is displayed and a green bookmark icon ( ) is placed on the right of the page.

Enter a name for the bookmark, and then click OK. Notice that the green bookmark
icon now remains on the page.

To add a bookmark to a file:

To the right of the file you want to bookmark, click the grey star.

A dialog box is displayed.

Enter a name for the bookmark, and then click OK.

To see a list of bookmarks:

In the left-hand panel, click the Bookmarks tab to see a list of bookmarks.

To go to a bookmarked page or file, click an item in the bookmarks list.

To edit or remove a bookmark or a bookmark icon, right-click and select the required

To return to a previously selected bookmark:

Use the drop-down list to select one of up to 5 of the previous five references.

E. Marking ecoursework in RM Assessor

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

In the Worklist screen, click on the New Response button to download a response to
your worklist; to open a response, either double-click on it or highlight it and click on
Mark response.

Or click on the New response drop down list, click Download to Concurrent Limit.

Multiple responses up to your concurrent limit, or marking target if lower, will be downloaded.

Many ecoursework components comprise a mixture of materials, such as document, image,

video or audio files. When this is the case you will see an extra column in your worklist with
eye shaped icons as shown below.

These icons indicate the following:

Icon Description
All or some ecoursework files are
All ecoursework files have been

When you open a response, a list of the ecoursework files are displayed on the left-
hand side of the screen. Documents are displayed in the marking window and by
default, image, video and audio files are opened in the marking window by clicking on
the file link. The file name and other data associated with the selected ecoursework
file is always displayed in the left-hand lower box.
It is also possible to easily view all image files at a glance that exist in a candidate's
portfolio. An alternative view of the file list will provide two different ways to view files
in the file list panel, List view and Icon view. List view will display by default.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

The below screen displays the file view in List view.

The below screen displays the file view in Icon view.

You can resize the thumbnails panel by using the re-size buttons and the image
thumbnails shall automatically re-size to fit the panel.

If you experience difficulty playing or viewing a file, there may be various options
available to you via the problem solving menu or you can contact the assessment

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

operations officer responsible for your subject. If you need to raise an exception, click
the next to the file item and select Report a problem. The Create Exception
form, is displayed and the file name is automatically added to the exception
comments. Exceptions for document files can be raised in the usual way by pressing

the raise exception button ( ) on the toolbar when you have the response open
on screen. The Create exception form will then be displayed and can be populated

Note: You will not be able to submit a response until all files that are part of the
response has been viewed or listened to.

More information on Extended Essay specific exception scenarios can be found in

section H.

F. Recording marks

When marking document or Image files select an annotation from the toolbar and
stamp this in the appropriate place on the response image or for adding comments
to multimedia files such as video or audio files select the Add Comment icon or link.
When you have finished annotating or making comments regarding the ecoursework
response files, either type a mark directly into the mark entry box beneath the mark
panel or select a mark from the list of marks available for the question:-

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

When you have selected the correct mark, press the enter key on your keyboard.
The focus in the mark panel will then move on to the next question in the list and you
can begin marking the next question. From within the marks panel the eye indicator
displays to show if all or some ecoursework files are viewed or un-viewed.
Continue marking the response as indicated.

Removing an annotation

To remove an annotation, select the pointer from the toolbar ( ), click on the
question in the mark panel from which you would like to remove an annotation, right-
click on the annotation you wish to remove and select Remove annotation:-

a) Submitting Responses
When you have marked all the responses in your Worklist and viewed or listened
to all files comprising the ecoursework response file, click on the Submit
Response button in the Worklist screen and select the Submit completed
responses option:-

When you submit all responses in a batch in this way, any seeding responses in the
batch of responses will be submitted first and will be analysed by RM Assessor to

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

determine whether your marks are within tolerance of the principal examiners marks
or not. If your marks are within tolerance, the entire batch of responses will be
submitted. If your marking falls outside of tolerance, the live responses in the batch
will remain in your open worklist and you will be able to revisit your marking of these
after having reviewed the quality feedback for the seeding response.

If there are any files within the ecoursework responses which have not been viewed
or listened to, even if the response is 100% marked the Submit Response button will
not be available for selection.

b) Viewing definitive marks on closed qualification responses and seeding

When you have marked and submitted qualification and seeding responses, it is
possible to open the responses on screen and view the definitive marks and
annotations side by side with your own.
To view the definitive marks and annotations on closed qualification responses,
navigate to the Closed responses section of your Live worklist:-

Locate the qualification responses in the list and double click on a response to
view on screen and to see your marks and annotations along with the definitive
marks and annotations/comments:-

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

To view the definitive marks and annotations on submitted seeding responses,

navigate to the Closed responses section of your Quality Feedback worklist:-

Double click on a seeding response to view it on screen and to see your marks and
annotations along with the definitive marks and annotations:-

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

If you are viewing a closed practice, qualification or seed response and comparing
your marks against the definitive marks you may sometimes be unable to see all of
the definitive annotations if your current annotations have been stamped over the
top of them.
You can turn off the visibility of the current annotations or definitive annotations
depending which ones you would like to view by clicking the button below on the top
toolbar and selecting to hide.

G. Preparation, using familiarisation and simulation mode

Prior to the start of the marking session, it is possible to practice using RM Assessor in
an environment known as familiarisation mode. The responses in familiarisation mode
are generic responses which cover the different styles of marking. There are not
responses available for all components but the aim of this environment is to give you the
opportunity to get to grips with the mechanics of how RM Assessor works without
worrying about the marks you award. To access familiarisation mode, tick the
Familiarisation Mode box on the login screen when logging into RM Assessor:-

The familiarisation mode home page will then be displayed. The ecoursework
familiarisation components can be found at the bottom of the list of components, there
are TOK components and a multimedia Familiarisation components to choose from
depending on the type of component you are marking.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

In addition to familiarisation mode, there is also an environment known as simulation

mode which becomes available once responses are uploaded to Assessor and up until
the time standardisation set up is completed. To access simulation mode, login to RM
Assessor as normal and you will be taken directly to simulation mode where you can
practise marking your component, as described above, with the annotations or marking
tools which will be available to you in live marking. Your team leader is not able to see
your simulation marking and when the standardisation meeting is completed, simulation
mode disappears and you are able to start marking the practice and qualification
responses. Please note that if you are a member of the standardisation team, simulation
mode is not available to you.

H. Extended essay specific details

Important dates

Event Deadline
School deadline for uploading EEs 15 March / 15 September
Standardization takes place amongst the 10 20 March / 10 20 September
senior team
Qualification and live marking begins 20 March / 20 September
(TBC by the AO for your subject)
Marking to be completed 1 May / 1 November

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Quality assurance models for the Extended Essay

The quality model requirements applicable to your subject can be found in the
Marking tab of RM Assessor.

Model Requirements
Full quality model 3 practice, 3 first qualification scripts, 3
second qualification scripts and 9
Seeding only All examiners to be involved in
standardization exercise and seeds at a
rate of 10%. 9 seeds to be classified.
Single marker subject Principal examiner to review EE specific
principles of standardization prior to
marking, and marks all scripts.

Support avenues

Moodle access for standardization or

Marking (administrative, technical or the Assessment Officer (the person that
procedural queries) sent you a welcome email), or
Assessment queries initially your team leader via the RM
Assessor messaging functionality

Assessment of all documents forming part of a candidates submission

All candidate submissions will comprise of the essay itself, and the coversheet. Both files
must be accessed, viewed and considered for assessment. Note that the coversheet
includes the supervisory comment which should be used to assess criterion K

Reflections on planning and progress forms

From May 2015, in order to conform to regulatory requirements, some schools are
required to upload supporting Reflections on planning and progress forms to IBIS when
they submit their extended essays. Some schools may incorrectly submit the form with
their essays when these are uploaded for assessment. These are not to be assessed by
the examiner. The examiner should consider only the supervisors report (and not the
information contained in the Reflections on planning and progress form) to assist with the
application of criterion K.

Practical information on marking the Extended Essay

Annotations and comments

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

While it is not mandatory to include annotations and comments, examiners may find it useful
to annotate essays for their own benefit, and as a way to explain the application of criteria
marks to team leaders assessing samples. Should examiners wish to annotate and include
comments, they should be explicitly linked to the assessment criteria and support the
marking exercise, as opposed to being directed towards the candidate. Examiners who do
not include comments should include on each page of the essay an indication that it has
been seen.

Marking positively

Examiners should mark positively, giving credit where appropriate for what candidates have
written rather than looking for omissions.

Examiners should allow for the fact that the organization of the essay will vary and should
not look for a prescribed structure.

When assessing a candidate's essay, examiners should read the descriptors for each
criterion carefully, alongside the paragraph in the subject chapter that interprets that criterion
for the subject. It is important that the level achieved for each criterion is identified
independently of other criteria unless otherwise stated. For instance, if the research question
is given level 0 either because it is not stated or because it is obscure or unclear, but the
essay develops into a sound analysis, other criteria should not be affected. Only where level
0 is given because the topic is unsuitable for the subject in which it is registered should the
specified penalty in criteria C, D and E be applied (see Further clarification of the individual
criteria for all subjects below).

'Best-fit' approach when marking

The aim is to find, for each criterion, the descriptor that conveys most accurately the level
attained by the candidate, using the best-fit model. A best-fit approach means that
compensation should be made when a piece of work matches different aspects of a criterion
at different levels.

The mark awarded should be one that most fairly reflects the balance of achievement
against the criterion. It is not necessary for every single aspect of a level descriptor to be met
for that mark to be awarded.

When assessing a candidates work, examiners should read the level descriptors for each
criterion until they reach a descriptor that most appropriately describes the level of the work
being assessed. If a piece of work seems to fall between two descriptors, both descriptors
should be read again and the one that more appropriately describes the candidates work
should be chosen.

Where there are two or more marks available within a level, examiners should award the
upper marks if the candidates work demonstrates the qualities described to a great extent;
the work may be close to achieving marks in the level above. Examiners should award the
lower marks if the candidates work demonstrates the qualities described to a lesser extent;
the work may be close to achieving marks in the level below.

Only whole numbers should be recorded; partial marks (fractions and decimals) are not

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Examiners should not think in terms of a pass or fail boundary, but should concentrate on
identifying the appropriate descriptor for each assessment criterion.

The highest-level descriptors do not imply faultless performance but should be achievable by
a candidate. Examiners should not hesitate to use the extremes if they are appropriate
descriptions of the work being assessed.

A candidate who attains a high achievement level with one criterion will not necessarily
attain high achievement levels in the other criteria. Similarly, a candidate who attains a low
achievement level for one criterion will not necessarily attain low achievement levels for the
other criteria. Examiners should not assume that the overall assessment of the candidates
will produce any distribution of marks.

Further clarification for Language A examiners

Language A examiners are referred to the document entitled Further guidance to examiners
about group 1 category 3 extended essays in the IBIS library, which offers more advice and
information on marking this option.

At the point of submission theres now a piece of metadata that identifies which category of
essay it is (1, 2, 3 group 1, 1, 2a, 2b, 3 group 2). This makes it clearer for examiners against
which category they should be considering the work submitted.

Further clarification of the individual criteria for all subjects

Criteria are to be applied distinctly and assessed individually (unless otherwise specified, for
example, the capping of C, D, E where A is a 0). This means that a fundamental
misunderstanding or error in an investigation would be penalized in knowledge and
understanding, and limit depth of analysis and quality of argument, but marks will be

A: research question: the research question should be stated at the beginning of the essay
in such a way as to make the focus of the investigation clear. Level 2 can be achieved even
if the research question is not integrated into the introductory paragraph but is clearly stated
as a sub-heading in the introduction or on the title page. If a candidate submits an essay
which, in the examiners opinion, does not lend itself to a systematic investigation in the
subject in which it is registered it should be marked regardless, but cannot be awarded any
marks for criterion A. It cannot gain more than a maximum of 2 in criteria C, D and E. The
candidate can still score fully on the other criteria. As with criteria C, D and E, one of the
requirements of criterion K is the need for relative depth of understanding which relies on the
appropriateness of the subject/topic. As criterion K is holistic, it is left to the judgement of the
examiner, with the supervisor comment taken into consideration. Criterion K does not just
reward the intellectual, however; it can also attract marks for an impressive research
undertaking which sets it above and beyond the average or an essay is produced which
evidences a passion materialized into their efforts.

Some examples of essays that are inappropriate for the subject in which they are registered
are given below:

A group 1 or group 2 (category 3) essay that does not comply with the regulations on
translated literary texts
A group 2 (category 1 or 2) essay that does not focus on subjects directly related to
the language and/or culture of the target language

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

A history essay which focuses on events within the last ten years or counterfactual
topics would be considered inappropriate due to lack of sufficient historical
A psychology essay that focuses entirely on experiments, surveys, observations
and/or case studies
A business and management essay that focuses entirely on primary research
A mathematics essay devoted to mathematics in art, architecture or music containing
only purely subjective considerations about the use of Golden number in these

B: introduction: the introduction does not have to be set out under a separate heading, and
may be included under a different heading such as "background information", but it is
important that the early part of the essay meets the requirements of this criterion.

C: investigation: for level 4 an imaginative range of appropriate sources has been

consulted should be interpreted broadly to mean a diverse range of appropriate sources. It
is the quality of the source that is being judged, not how those sources are accessed (for
example, through the internet or other means).

D: knowledge and understanding of the topic studied: the phrase academic context is
not intended to imply awareness of cutting edge research.

E: reasoned argument: in a well-argued essay the parts of the essay will be related
coherently and explicitly.

F: application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject: in some

subjects it is possible to reach the top level descriptors for a largely analytical approach and
in others evaluation will play a larger part than analysis. Candidates are not required to give
equal treatment to both evaluation and analysis. Such phrases as effective and
sophisticated are relative to what can reasonably be expected of a pre-university candidate.

G: use of language appropriate to the subject: language must be interpreted broadly to

mean all appropriate forms of communicating knowledge and understanding of the subject,
for example, graphs, charts, maps, musical scores, etc. Examiners should be aware that on
the back page of the extended essay cover sheet, an abbreviated heading for the criterion is
given but appropriateness should be considered.

H: conclusion: this does not have to be set out under a separate heading, but it is important
that the final part of the essay meets the requirements of the conclusion.

I: formal presentation: examiners should carefully consider the guidance provided in their
subject chapters when judging which level to award for this criterion. Candidates should not
be penalized again for weaknesses that have been already taken into consideration under
other criteria (for example C and G). The IB does not prescribe or favour a documentation
style, but candidates are expected to be consistent in applying one. It is not a requirement
that an essay is double-spaced, and marks would not be deducted for this. Excellent does
not mean perfect; a small error should not necessarily prevent candidates from reaching the
top level.

J: abstract: the abstract should be judged on the clarity with which it presents the three
required elements. Neither the quality of the research question itself nor the conclusion is
assessed in this criterion.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

K: holistic judgment: in applying this criterion, a judgment should be made on the essay as
a whole. Supervisor's reports are useful when assessing criterion K as they provide an
insight into the problems or challenges that candidates may have overcome. These
comments should not, however, form the entire basis for the application of this criterion.
Achievement level 0 is awarded only to extended essays that are very poor and appear to
have been produced with no personal input from the candidate.

Academic misconduct and EE assessment criterion I

With regard to referencing and bibliographies, criterion I is reserved for the assessment of
how the essay is formally presented. If the referencing is inadequate and/or inaccurate
(inconsistencies, mistakes, minor omissions), the essay will be penalized under this criterion.
Please see the last page of the document entitled Effective citing and referencing (2014)
which has been made available to schools and summarizes minimum requirements for
varying publication formats.

Examiners are reminded of the procedure for suspected academic misconduct for consistent
lack of referencing and incorrect attribution. Please raise the appropriate exception
suspected malpractice.

Referencing systems
The requirement is that any referencing system which is used is used consistently. Provided
there is consistency, the system should be accepted. However, there are minimum
requirements from the IB Assessment Centre which are communicated to schools via the
Acknowledging the works or ideas of another person document in the Coordinator Notes.

Regardless of the reference style adopted by the school for a given subject, it is expected
that the minimum information given include: name of author, date of publication, title of
source and page numbers as applicable.

Examiners must ensure that any penalties applied to or comments made on essays
regarding the referencing systems used do not contradict this information to schools."

Candidate reliance on external resources not submitted with the EE

Irrespective of the subject, the EE should be modelled on an academic journal/research
paper which can exist and be understood on its own, without the need to access external
links or accompanying material such as DVDs.

There is no requirement for the examiner to refer to any material that is not included in the
EE itself when assessing an essay.

As with appendices, if information central to the argument is included in the external link, it is
treated as though the point has not been made and, as such, could affect different criteria,
for example criterion F (application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the
subject), depending on the quality of the other analyses.

Exceptions the e-marked equivalent of Problem Report Forms

With the move to e-marking, physical Problem Report Forms are no longer required. RM
Assessor has the ability to raise exceptions to deal with issues that PRFs historically have
dealt with.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Please see the table below for information on specific Extended Essay exception types.
Please always remember to explain the extent of the problem, and highlight which guideline,
policy, or other has been contravened. Note that there are other exception types such as
offensive content but as they are generic there is no specific reference to them in this

Scenario Detail Action

Essays involving research If essays have involved research at an Select exception entitled
at an institution other than institution other than the school and there is no Concerns about support
the school, with no accompanying letter to outline the degree of and guidance.
accompanying letter support given (these essays are mainly in the
sciences), this has the potential to give rise to
academic misconduct.
Essays that state number of This information is being input as metadata by Examiners who are
supervision hours as too schools, therefore examiners need not raise concerned about the number
few or too many exceptions about number of hours. of hours spent with the
supervisor must not alert the
IB. This information is
routinely reported on by the
Policy violations Essays in all subjects must comply with Select exception entitled
accepted standards of ethical practice as Violation of a Policy.
outlined in the following IB publications:

The IB Animal experimentation policy;

breaches occur most frequently in
biology essays.

Duplication of work Essays should not re-use work undertaken for Selection exception entitled
any other components. Candidates may share Suspected malpractice if an
resources with other assessment components, examiner suspects
but the focus of their use for the EE must be duplication.
completely different.
Subject of the extended The candidate may have written his/her Please select the exception
essay is not the subject extended essay in a subject other than the one entitled Incorrect File and
allocated to the examiner for which it was registered. Where this is add further detail.
evidenced by a) a different subject is stated on
the coversheet and or title page, the IB must
be informed as soon as possible. This includes
essays in subjects (other than group 1 or 2
languages) written in a different response
language from the one registered. Essays in
groups 1 and 2 written in the wrong language
should be reported promptly to the IB.

This does not apply to essays where an

examiner thinks it would be better placed
under a different subject. If there is no
evidence to suggest that there may have been
an administrative oversight then the essay
must be marked regardless. Please see

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Further clarification of the individual criteria A:

research question for more information.

Please note that it is the schools responsibility

at the point of submission to ensure that each
extended essay is being uploaded against the
correct subject. At the point of upload, schools
are now given an extra opportunity to ensure the
extended essay is being uploaded to the correct
The only element on which the examiner should
raise a concern is if the subject as stated on the
title page is different to the subject of
registration, or if the research question on first
glance is glaringly for another subject.
Extended essays in excess If examiners suspect that the candidate has No exception should be
of the word limit exceeded the word limit of 4,000 words, they raised.
are requested to count the number of words.
Some sections of an extended essay do not
count towards the word limit and examiners
should refer to pages 16 to 19 of the extended
essay guide for further details.

Extended essays longer than 4,000 words

must receive a zero for criterion I, and
examiners should not read or assess beyond
the limit.
Violation of ethical or Scenarios will likely be: Select exception entitled
subject specific guidelines Violation of ethical or
- No evidence of consent for data use subject specific guidelines.
- Experiments or interviews for Please detail the specific
Psychology EEs guideline contravention in
- Cultivating bacteria at unsafe question.
- Using bodily fluids for experiments

The role of the team leader

Team leaders are responsible for

making sure they are familiar with the instructions and procedures
consulting with their own Principal Examiner if they have any questions about
welcoming their team, establishing themselves as a contact point for assessment
related queries, and cascading pre-session notes and reminders from the Principal
providing support for the members of their team,
offering advice and guidance where needed.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay

Team leaders should be on hand to respond to queries from their team regarding any
assessment issues that they have. If examiners are experiencing difficulties in receiving
responses, then they should alert the IB to the issue so that assistance can be sought.

Team leaders are not required to respond to administrative queries from examiners,
and these should be referred or forwarded to the Assessment Officer for the subject
in question (the IB staff member who emails you at the start of the session). If
examiners are unsure of who the Assessment Officer for their subject is, please
contact IB Answers.

I. Reports
When you have submitted the qualification responses, in addition to viewing the
definitive marks and annotations on the responses themselves, you can also view the
Standardisation Feedback report to see a comparison of your marks and the
definitive marks in report form.
To access the Standardisation Feedback report:
1. Open the worklist and click the Reports button at the top of the screen
2. In the reports list click Standardisation Feedback.
3. Enter your search criteria and then click Execute Report Now.

Similarly, when you have submitted some seeding responses, in addition to viewing
the definitive marks and annotations on the responses themselves, you can also view
the Marking- Daily Seeding Feedback report to see a comparison of your marks and
the definitive marks in report form.
To access the Marking- Daily Seeding Feedback report:
1. Open the worklist and click the Reports button at the top of the screen
2. In the reports list click Marking- Daily Seeding Feedback.
3. Enter your search criteria and then click Execute Report Now.

Guidance for May 2017 E-Marking: Extended Essay


Before starting marking

Read all the relevant documents

Take the opportunity to get to know RM Assessor in familiarisation and simulation
Complete initial set up

During marking

Check that marks are being allocated to the correct criteria

Take advantage of viewing all definitively marked seeding responses after submission

Marking of response finished

Check all criterion or questions have marks recorded against each part, including 0 if
Ensure all files have be viewed or listened to
Check that all questions have been marked
Final check that all files and pages as appropriate have been marked