Were you aware that a new EE guide was out? It has been live for around three months and is for first examinations May 2018, so that will be students whom you start to teach this coming August / September.

Now that things have got quieter with IB teaching (IB2 students are finished) I thought it was worth writing about it so that it can inform your planning.

The first thing is that the guide is entirely electronic. I am sure that a pdf version of it will be released soon (it may have even been released when you read this) but at the time of writing it is only an online guide. You can access where else but through the OCC.

Some things are the same, ie, no more than 4000 words, 40 hours of research and a grade ‘D’ minimum is needed to ‘pass’ the diploma. The reflection is 500 words but there are now three mandatory reflection sessions for the student.

The biggest change though is the way the essay is assessed. There now only five assessment criteria (down from, was it twelve? I’m not sure how many there were but it was a lot!)

The criteria are as follows:

  • Criterion A: Focus and Method – marked out of 6
  • Criterion B: Knowledge and Understanding – marked out of 6
  • Criterion C: Critical Thinking – marked out of 12
  • Criterion D: Presentation – marked out of 4
  • Criterion E: Engagement – marked out of 6

Giving a total of 34.

Each criterion is now split into mark bands, just like our IA and there are certainly some similarities between the IA ‘communication’ and the EE ‘presentation’ and also the IA ‘personal engagement’ and the EE ‘engagement’ – although I really do need to stress ‘some’ similarities.

Obviously, the big one is the critical thinking – twelve marks – over a third of the EE


This still focuses on the research question – that research question is still important and the student still needs to relate everything back to it, but also deals with analysis and discussion / evaluation. In some ways, it is like a hybrid of some of the old EE assessment criteria.

There is some subject specific guidance on the ebook as well… although at the time of writing it was quite limited and linked to a pdf file that looked very much like it was from the old EE guide (I have not confirmed this rumor!) but if it does link with the old EE guide, I don’t think it is such a bad thing anyway.

After looking at the new guide, what do you think? It would be great to read some of your thoughts below.


Image taken from: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Tower_of_the_Five_Orders_Oxford.jpg