Introduction to the IB Diploma Program

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Abu Dhabi
IB Booklet
Introduction to the IB Diploma Program
     Mission Statement                                      1
     The Diploma Program                                    1
     Is the program for you?                                1
     The IB Learner Profile                                 2
     The curriculum                                         3
     IB courses at ACS                                      4
     Unique characteristics of the IB Diploma               5
     A glance at the IB Diploma Program assessments         6
     Assessing student work                                 7
     The grading system                                     7
     Award of bonus points                                  8
     Examples of student grades and award of the diploma    9
     University recognition                                 9
     Results                                                9
     Application for the Diploma Program                   10
     Students on probation                                 10
     Notification of conditional acceptance                11
     Notification of IB probation                          12
     Year 1 and Year 2 at a glance                         13
     The exams                                             14
     May 2009 examination schedule                         15
     ACS release policy for IB exams                       17
Introduction to the Extended Essay
     Aims and objectives                                   18
     Extended Essay subjects                               19
     The research and writing process                      20
     Responsibilities of student and supervisor            21
     Academic honesty                                      21
     The marking of the Extended Essay                     22
     Overall assessment                                    22
     Form 1: Subject and Supervisor                        23
     Form 2: Topic and Research Question                   24
     Form 3: Initial Outline                               25
        ACS Abu Dhabi IB Booklet 2008

Contents are adapted excerpts from IB documents
 Cover art by LG; photos from Stock Exchange

                      Mission Statement
                    The International Baccalaureate Organization aims to develop inquiring,
                    knowledgeable and caring young people who help create a better and more
peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.
To this end the IBO works with schools, governments and international organizations to develop
challenging programs of international education and rigorous assessment.
These programs encourage students across the world to become active, compassionate and
lifelong learners who understand that other people, with their differences, can also be right.
                                                                                      November 2002

The Diploma Program
The International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a rigorous pre-university course of studies,
leading to examinations that meet the needs of highly motivated secondary school students
between the ages of 16 and 19 years. Designed as a comprehensive two-year curriculum that
allows its graduates to fulfill requirements of various national education systems, the diploma
model is based on the pattern of no single country but incorporates the best elements of several.
The program is available in English, French and Spanish.
Representing a common curriculum worldwide, the program enables internationally mobile
students to transfer from one IB school to another and offers a highly respected international
curriculum to those who remain closer to home. Its reputation for rigorous assessment gives IB
diploma holders access to the world’s leading universities and solid preparation for high
achievement once enrolled.

Is the program for you?
As you decide what is the best program for you to follow in high school, here are some
beginning questions for you to answer.

   1. Are you ready for a rigorous pre-university course of study?
   2. Are you ready to be challenged in the way you think?
   3. Are you willing to develop awareness, concern, and the ability to work cooperatively
      with others?

If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then the IB Diploma may be the correct program for
you. The next few pages offer some additional information about the diploma. After each
section, you are asked some questions in a green box which will help you decide if the IB
Diploma Program is the right choice for you.

The IB Learner Profile
The aim of all IB programs is to develop internationally minded people who, recognizing their
common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet, help to create a better and more
peaceful world.
IB learners strive to be:

    Inquirers               They develop their natural curiosity. They acquire the skills necessary to conduct inquiry
                            and research and show independence in learning. They actively enjoy learning, and this
                            love of learning will be sustained throughout their lives.

    Knowledgeable           They explore concepts, ideas and issues that have local and global significance. In so
                            doing, they acquire in-depth knowledge and develop understanding across a broad and
                            balanced range of disciplines.

    Thinkers                They exercise initiative in applying thinking skills critically and creatively to recognize
                            and approach complex problems, and make reasoned, ethical decisions.

    Communicators           They understand and express ideas and information confidently and creatively in more
                            than one language and in a variety of modes of communication. They work effectively
                            and willingly in collaboration with others.

    Principled              They act with integrity and honesty, with a strong sense of fairness, justice and respect
                            for the dignity of the individual, groups and communities. They take responsibility for
                            their own actions and the consequences that accompany them.

    Open-minded             They understand and appreciate their own cultures and personal histories, and are
                            open to the perspectives, values and traditions of other individuals and communities.
                            They are accustomed to seeking and evaluating a range of points of view, and are
                            willing to grow from the experience.

    Caring                  They show empathy, compassion and respect towards the needs and feelings of others.
                            They have a personal commitment to service, and act to make a positive difference to
                            the lives of others and to the environment.

    Risk-takers             They approach unfamiliar situations and uncertainty with courage and forethought, and
                            have the independence of spirit to explore new roles, ideas and strategies. They are
                            brave and articulate in defending their beliefs.

    Balanced                They understand the importance of intellectual, physical and emotional balance to
                            achieve personal well-being for themselves and others.

    Reflective              They give thoughtful consideration to their own learning and experience. They are able
                            to assess and understand their strengths and limitations in order to support their
                            learning and personal development.

      Do these ten traits sound like characteristics you would like to develop during your
      final years in high school?

The Curriculum
The diploma is displayed in the shape of a hexagon with six academic areas surrounding the
core. Subjects are studied concurrently and students are exposed to the two great traditions of
learning: the humanities and the sciences.
Diploma candidates are required to select one subject from each of the six subject groups. Three
are taken at higher level (HL), the others at standard level (SL). HL courses represent around
240 teaching hours, SL courses cover about 150 hours. By arranging work in this fashion,
students are able to explore some subjects in depth and some more broadly over the two-year
period; this is a deliberate compromise between the early specialization preferred in some
national systems and the breadth found in others.

                                             Group 1
                                           Language A

                Group 2                                                      Group 3

              Language B                       TOK                        Individuals and

                                         Extended Essay

                Group 4                                                      Group 5

              Experimental                                              Mathematics and
               Sciences                                                 Computer Science
                                              Group 6

                                              The Arts

               NOTE: A student who elects not to take a class from Group 6 has the option
               to take a second class from groups 2,3, or 4.

Distribution requirements ensure that the science-oriented student is challenged to learn a
foreign language and that the natural linguist becomes familiar with laboratory procedures. While
overall balance is maintained, flexibility in choosing higher level concentrations allows the
student to pursue areas of personal interest and to meet special requirements for university
One of the unique characteristics of the IB Diploma Program is that it allows students to focus
on their strengths and interests through Higher Level study, but requires them to develop their
weaknesses as well.

IB Courses at ACS
If you elect to apply for the IB diploma, review the list of available classes at ACS. As you
determine your course selections, it may be helpful to ask teachers about the difference between
Standard Level and Higher Level in their subjects.

                                           GROUP 1: LANGUAGE A
                     English SL                          English HL
                                           GROUP 2: LANGUAGE B
                     Arabic ab initio SL (ASL 4-5)
                     Arabic B SL (ANL 11-12)
                     French ab initio SL (levels 1-2)
                                                         French B HL
                     French B SL (levels 4-5)
                     Spanish ab initio SL (levels 1-2)
                                                         Spanish B HL
                     Spanish B SL (levels 4-5)
                                    GROUP 3: INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETY
                     Geography SL
                     History SL                          History HL
                     Economics SL                        Economics HL
                                    GROUP 4: EXPERIMENTAL SCIENCES
                     Physics SL
                     Chemistry SL                        Chemistry HL
                                                         Biology HL
                           GROUP 5: MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTER SCIENCE
                     Math Studies SL
                     Math SL                             Math HL
                                             GROUP 6: THE ARTS
                     Theater Arts SL
                     Visual Arts SL                      Visual Arts HL

     Can you find at least three subjects you would like to study at the higher level and
     three that you could choose to study at the standard level?

Unique Characteristics of the IB Diploma
The program offers special features in addition to the traditional strengths of a liberal arts
curriculum. These are the three items seen in the core of the hexagon. These are the central,
unifying features of the diploma and should never be seen as just three additional requirements.
More detail about these can be found later in this planner.

Theory of Knowledge (TOK) is a required interdisciplinary course intended to stimulate
critical reflection upon the knowledge and experience gained inside and outside the classroom.
TOK challenges students to question the bases of knowledge, to be aware of subjective and
ideological biases, and to develop a personal mode of thought based on analysis of evidence
expressed in rational argument. The key element in the IBO’s educational philosophy, Theory of
Knowledge seeks to develop a coherent approach to learning which transcends and unifies the
academic subjects and encourages appreciation of other cultural perspectives.

     In Theory of Knowledge class, students discuss questions such as, “Are reason and
     emotion equally necessary in justifying moral decisions?” and “Context is everything.
     Does this mean there is no such thing as truth?” Does addressing such questions in
     detail appeal to you?

Creativity, Action, Service is known by its acronym CAS and is a fundamental part of the
diploma curriculum. The CAS requirement (150 hours) takes seriously the importance of life
outside the world of scholarship, providing a refreshing counterbalance to the academic self-
absorption some may feel within a demanding school program. Participation in theater
productions, sports and community service activities encourages young people to share their
energies and special talents while developing awareness, concern and the ability to work
cooperatively with others. The goal of educating the whole person and fostering a more
compassionate citizenry comes alive in an immediate way when students reach beyond
themselves and their books.

     Have you been able to meet the ACS service requirement in grades 9 and 10?

Diploma candidates are required to undertake original research and write an Extended Essay of
some 4000 words. This project (40 hours) offers the opportunity to investigate a topic of special
interest and acquaints students with the kind of independent research and writing skills expected
at university.

     The Extended Essay allows students to perform independent research in the subject
     they are most interested in. Do you think you could come up with a specific topic and
     research question to investigate?

Assessing Student Work
The IB Diploma Program should never be looked at as just six exams taken at the end of senior
year. Unlike many other programs, the IB requires a variety of assessments. With classroom
teachers and international examiners working in partnership, the emphasis is on ensuring that
students have ample opportunity to demonstrate what they know and are able to communicate.
Conventional external examination techniques are chosen from a range of options: oral and
written, long and short responses, data-based questions, essays, multiple-choice questions. These
are complemented by internal assessment of coursework by the teachers responsible for
evaluating students over the two-year period. In some subjects, the final exam in May of the
second year of study may be worth only 50% of the overall grade.
Responsibility for all academic judgments about the quality of candidates’ work rests with more
than 3500 examiners worldwide led by chief examiners with international authority. The variety
of assessment methods used value both the content and the process of academic achievement
and take into account different learning styles and cultural patterns.

The Grading System
The grading system used by the International Baccalaureate Organization is criterion-referenced.
This means that each student’s performance is measured against well-defined levels of
achievement consistent from one examination session to the next. Grades are not simply
awarded “on a curve” to a certain percentage of candidates but rather reflect attainment of
knowledge and skills relative to set standards equally applied to all schools. Validity, reliability and
fairness are the watchwords of the IBO’s international assessment strategy. Each of the six IB
subjects which contribute toward the individual candidate’s IB diploma is assessed on a scale of
1 to 7. The descriptions for each of these grades are as follows:

   1    Very Poor
   2    Poor
   3     Mediocre
   4    Satisfactory
   5    Good
   6    Very Good
   7    Excellent

The above grading system gives a maximum total of 42 points for the six subjects. The Theory
of Knowledge course and the Extended Essay together carry 3 bonus points, bringing the
maximum total to 45 points.
Apart from various specific failing conditions, a candidate needs 24 points to acquire a diploma,
with at least 12 points coming from the three higher level courses.

Award of Bonus Points
The total number of bonus points awarded is determined by the combination of the
performance levels achieved by the candidate in both the Extended Essay and Theory of
Knowledge, according to the matrix below:

                                             THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

                                 Excellent    Good       Satisfactory   Mediocre   Elementary
                                    (A)        (B)            (C)         (D)          (E)

                                    3           3             2            2            1

                                    3           2             1            1            0

                                    2           1             1            0            0

                                    2           1             0            0            0

                                    1           0             0            0       Fail Diploma

The most common reason worldwide for students failing to achieve the diploma is not satisfying
the requirements for CAS. Due to our well-developed service program at ACS, this should never
be a problem here.
Some examples of student grades and the awarding of diplomas are outlined on the following

Examples of Student Grades and Award of the Diploma

       STUDENT A                STUDENT B                       STUDENT C                 STUDENT D

 English A1 HL        6   English A1 HL          3        English A1 HL         3   English A1 SL          5

 Spanish B SL         5   French B HL            2        French B HL           6   French B HL            6

 Economics HL         4   Economics HL           5        Economics HL          3   Economics SL           6

 Biology HL           3   Geography SL           5        Geography SL          3   Biology HL             6

 Mathematics SL       4   Physics SL             4        Chemistry SL          4   Mathematics HL         7

 Visual Arts SL       5   Mathematics SL         4        Mathematics SL        4   Theater Arts SL        6

 TOK                  B   TOK                    A        TOK                   B   TOK                   E

 Extended Essay       B   Extended Essay         B        Extended Essay        C   Extended Essay        E

 CAS completed            CAS completed                   CAS completed             CAS completed

         29 points               26 points                       24 points                 36 points

    Diploma awarded       Diploma failed due to low          Diploma awarded.       Diploma failed due to EE
                                 HL points                                              and TOK grades
                                                           Note the point from EE
                                                           and TOK was needed.

University Recognition
IB graduates gain admission to selective colleges and universities throughout the world. Students
with strong IB examination results may also receive advanced standing or course credit,
depending upon the policy of the institution they are attending. In addition, formal agreements
exist between the IBO and many ministries of education.
IB graduates get their results, if they have their PIN, the first week of July 2009/2010. The PIN
will be emailed to students before the May exams.
If students want their scores to go directly from IBO to their university of choice, they must ask
the IB Coordinator well before the examination period. The deadlines for various countries’
universities are different. If you would like your results forwarded to a North American
university, you will need to inform the IB Office before graduation. Students should also leave a
mailing address for their diploma with the IB Coordinator.

Application for the Diploma Program
At ACS, students must apply in March of their Grade 10 year to be accepted into the Diploma
Program. The application form is available at the IB Coordinator’s office before course
Once the application is received, a committee of high school teachers provides feedback to the
IB Coordinator regarding the applicant’s suitability for the program. The Coordinator will then
schedule meetings with each applicant prior to making a decision.

Students on Probation
The IB Diploma Program is a rigorous program, and one that requires independence and self-
motivation. It is your responsibility as a student to meet all the requirements for the program. At
ACS we take this seriously and we expect that once admitted into the program, you will not
require constant reminders to meet diploma expectations.
Occasionally students may be placed on conditional acceptance into the IB Diploma Program.
In these cases, the Coordinator will meet with the student and parents and outline the conditions
of the probationary period.
In rare instances students fail to meet requirements during the Diploma Program. This may
include a poor record of CAS hours, failure to meet Extended Essay deadlines, or a violation of
the IB code for academic honesty. Examples of the contracts for these situations are provided
on the next pages.

Notification of Conditional Acceptance

30 March 2008
Re: IB Contract

…………… has been notified of the IB Review Committee’s decision to not approve her application for the IB
Diploma Program. The committee based its decision on the reflection of classroom behavior and outcomes. The
committee outlines …………… needs to improve as an independent thinker and to enhance his/her ability to
link concepts. It is the combination of these factors that leads the committee to believe …………… will not
succeed in the IB courses.
Despite the committee’s concerns, …………… has elected to pursue the IB Diploma Program. He/she is aware
of the areas for improvement outlined by the committee and plans to work on these factors.
As part of the decision to go against the committee’s recommendation, he/she must fulfill the following
expectations to stay in the IB Diploma Program:
    1.   Maintain a C or higher in all classes. The grade for each class will be reviewed at the end of each
         quarter. If the mark is not a C or higher, then the student will be removed from the class.
    2.   Enroll in a Directed Studies class both semesters of Grade 11. The need to take Directed Studies in
         Grade 12 will be reviewed at the time of course selections for Grade 12.
    3.   Complete all class assessments and IB deadlines on time.

The committee wishes …………… the best in his/her efforts to succeed with the IB Diploma Program. Please
utilize the feedback from the committee and stay focused.


Amit Khanna
IB Coordinator, American Community School of Abu Dhabi
Cc: Dr Michelle Remington, Mr. Jim Barekman


I understand the reason for the IB Review Committee’s recommendation. I have read and understand the
expectations I must meet to stay in the IB Diploma Program. If I do not fulfill the tasks, then I know that I will
be removed from the IB Diploma Program and my course selections will be changed.

   ________________________________________                            _________________________
                  Student’s signature                                               Date

   ________________________________________                            _________________________
                   Parent’s signature                                               Date

Notification of IB probation

June 3, 2008

Dear ……………,
In the past few days, you have received messages from both Mrs. Russell and me regarding your failure to
complete the tasks required of a first-year IB diploma student at ACS. As we have both stated in these messages,
the Extended Essay and CAS cannot be considered as peripheral aspects of the diploma — they make up the
core. We have also reminded you that participation in the IB diploma is not required of any ACS student, and
that it requires motivation, initiative and adherence of deadlines.
With the failure to document and complete your CAS hours, you are officially placed on probation for the IB
Diploma Program. You need to complete specific guidelines to remain in the program. If you do not meet these
expectations, your status as an IB diploma candidate will be removed. Here are your requirements to stay in the
Diploma Program:
    1.   Submit prior to the end of your Grade 11 school year all the documentation of CAS activities
         completed so far and the required CAS essay.
    2.   Submit to your Extended Essay adviser any work you have completed on that task.
    3.   Complete 35 CAS hours over the summer break. The evaluation forms for these hours are due by
         August 20, 2008. However, due to your not having submitted the requisite forms prior to these
         activities, please understand that your summer hours will not necessarily be accepted toward the IB
    4.   Complete a clear and detailed outline of your Extended Essay to your adviser and to me by August 20,
If you do not complete any of the tasks listed above, you will no longer by an IB diploma candidate. A meeting
will be arranged for the second week of school in August 2008, to determine whether you have fulfilled the
necessary tasks. If you are able to fulfill these requirements we will place you on a second contract outlining
regular checks on your CAS and Extended Essay progress. If the discussions in the meetings in August indicate
you have not fulfilled the tasks, you will be removed from the IB Diploma Program.


Amit Khanna
IB Coordinator, American Community School of Abu Dhabi
Cc: Dr Michelle Remington, Ms. Anne Russell, Mr. Jim Barekman

I have read the probation letter and understand the expectations as outlined. If I do not complete the
expectations or violate IB policies in the future, I understand I will be removed from the IB Diploma Program.

   ________________________________________                         _________________________
                  Student’s signature                                            Date

   ________________________________________                         _________________________
                  Parent’s signature                                             Date

Year 1 at a Glance

      AUGUST              SEPTEMBER              OCTOBER               NOVEMBER             DECEMBER

 Submit summer          Mid-quarter CAS       Geography SL          Mid-quarter CAS
 CAS hours              report                exam registration     report
                                              IB Retreat            Start thinking EE
                                              Saturday, Oct. 18     topics

     JANUARY               FEBRUARY                MARCH                  APRIL                 MAY

 EE initial topic and   Confirmation of EE    CAS mid-quarter       EE first outline +   TOK presentations
 adviser choice         topic and adviser +   report                department           World Lit drafts
 English Individual     bibliography          History and Geog      discussions
                                                                                         EE second outline
 Oral Presentation      Math SL and HL        IA
                        Portfolio #1                                                     CAS Year 1 report
                                              EE + bibliography
                                              notes                                      Geog SL exam

Year 2 at a Glance

      AUGUST              SEPTEMBER               OCTOBER              NOVEMBER             DECEMBER

 Submit summer          Mid-quarter CAS       May exam              Mid-quarter CAS      Work on final EE
 CAS hours +            report                registration + fees   report               submission + begin
 summer EE              EE rough draft        Math SL and HL                             review for May
 contract meetings                            Portfolio #2                               exams
                        Exam registration
                        letters sent home     Group 4 Project
                                              EE draft due

     JANUARY               FEBRUARY                MARCH                   APRIL                 MAY

 TOK essay              EE presentations +    Science lab           Visual Arts          IB exams
 EE revisions           final submission      portfolio             examiner visit
                        World Lit             completion
 World Lit
 conferences            assignments           Language orals
                        CAS final essay
                        Economics IA
                        English Individual
                        Oral Commentary
                        Mock exams

The Exams
The May exams can be a stressful period in the life of IB students. Time management is critical,
so each student will be given an individual exam schedule in advance, as shown in the example
below. In addition, ACS has a release policy for absence from classes during the exam period.

       International Baccalaureate
       Examination Schedule

       Candidate:       MAY 2008 - 002391 006
       Name:            Littlelamb, Mary Hadda
       Category:        DIPLOMA

       Please check the information on this schedule carefully.
       Any rescheduling agreed with the IBO will not be shown below.
       '*' signifies a possible examination conflict for this candidate
       Produced on 28-Jan-2008 at 02:59:50.

       Date                     Minutes          Paper             Subject
       05-May-2008 AM           90               P1                ENGLISH A1 SL
       07-May-2008 PM           90               P1                MATHEMATICS SL
       08-May-2008 AM           90               P2                MATHEMATICS SL
       12-May-2008 AM           90               P2                ENGLISH A1 SL
       13-May-2008 AM           90               P1                SPANISH B HL
       13-May-2008 AM           90               P2                SPANISH B HL
       13-May-2008 PM           60               P1                ECONOMICS HL
       13-May-2008 PM           60               P2                ECONOMICS HL
       14-May-2008 AM           120              P3                ECONOMICS HL
       14-May-2008 PM           60               PM                BIOLOGY HL
       14-May-2008 PM           135              P2                BIOLOGY HL
       15-May-2008 AM           75               P3                BIOLOGY HL
       20-May-2008 PM           45               PM                PHYSICS SL
       20-May-2008 PM           75               P2                PHYSICS SL
       21-May-2008 AM           60               P3                PHYSICS SL

                                   May 2009 Examination Schedule
              Morning examinations must start after 0700 and finish by 1300 hours local time.
            Afternoon examinations must start after 12 noon and finish by 1800 hours local time.

    DATE                     MORNING                 TIME                  AFTERNOON                TIME

Monday       English A1 HL paper 1                 2h
4 May        English A1 SL paper 1                 1h 30m

Tuesday                                                       History HL paper 1                   1h
5 May                                                         History HL paper 2                   1h 30m
                                                              History SL paper 1                   1h
                                                              History SL paper 2                   1h 30m

Wednesday    History HL paper 3                    2h 30m     Biology HL paper 1                   1h
6 May                                                         Biology HL paper 2                   2h 15m

Thursday     Biology HL paper 3                    1h 15m     Mathematics HL paper 1               2h
7 May                                                         Mathematics SL paper 1               1h 30m
                                                              Mathematical studies SL paper 1      1h 30m

Friday       Mathematics HL paper 2                2h
8 May        Mathematics SL paper 2                1h 30m
             Mathematical studies SL paper 2       1h 30m

Monday       English A1 HL paper 2                 2h         Economics HL paper 1                 1h
11 May       English A1 SL paper 2                 1h 30m     Economics HL paper 2                 1h
                                                              Economics SL paper 1                 1h

Tuesday      Economics SL paper 2                  2h         Physics SL paper 1                   45m
12 May       Economics HL paper 3                  2h         Physics SL paper 2                   1h 15m

Wednesday    Physics SL paper 3                    1h
13 May

Thursday     Arabic B HL paper 1                   1h 30m     Mathematics HL paper 3               1h
14 May       Arabic B HL paper 2                   1h 30m
             Arabic B SL paper 1                   1h 30m
             Arabic B SL paper 2                   1h 30m
             Arabic ab initio SL paper 1           1h 30m
             Arabic ab initio SL paper 2           1h 30m

Monday       Spanish B HL paper 1                  1h 30m     Chemistry HL paper 1                 1h
18 May       Spanish B HL paper 2                  1h 30m     Chemistry HL paper 2                 2h 15m
             Spanish B SL paper 1                  1h 30m     Chemistry SL paper 1                 45m
             Spanish B SL paper 2                  1h 30m     Chemistry SL paper 2                 1h 15m
             Spanish ab initio SL paper 1          1h 30m
             Spanish ab initio SL paper 2          1h 30m

Tuesday      Chemistry HL paper 3                  1h 15m     Geography SL paper 1                 1h 30m
19 May       Chemistry SL paper 3                  1h

Wednesday    Geography SL paper 2                  1h 30m
20 May

Thursday     French B HL paper 1                   1h 30m
21 May       French B HL paper 2                   1h 30m
             French B SL paper 1                   1h 30m
             French B SL paper 2                   1h 30m
             French ab initio SL paper 1           1h 30m
             French ab initio SL paper 2           1h 30m

ACS Release Policy for IB Exams

Seniors with 4 or more IB exams
These students are officially excused from classes one school day prior to the beginning of the
exam session.
Any student in History SL or Geography SL is responsible to make arrangements with the
teacher for material covered during the exam sessions.
These students will not be required to return to classes after they complete the IB exams unless
they have a non-IB course to complete.
These students are required to return to campus for activities related to non-IB courses and

Seniors with 3 or fewer IB exams
These students are officially excused two class periods preceding the IB exam and the day of the
exam itself. 
These students will attend classes when they are not excused for an exam.

All students in Year 2 IB courses
One week prior to the exam session will be a review week. No homework will be administered,
and class time will be dedicated to reviewing concepts on the IB exams.
Teachers will continue to follow their regular class schedule throughout the exam session.
Students that wish to visit teachers should check their class schedule for available times and make
an appointment.
Students have the option to take the ACS Semester Final.
Students taking the IB exam are exempt from the ACS Semester Final for that course.
If a student elects to complete the final, the teacher must be informed by the same date teachers
notify the office of seniors exempt from the final.
Students that declare an intention to take the final but do not attend will receive a 0. The score
will be calculated as part of the ACS grade.

Juniors taking an IB exam
These students are officially excused two class periods preceding the IB exam and the day of the
exam itself. These students will attend classes when they are not excused for the exam.


Aims and Objectives
The Extended Essay is an in-depth study of a focused topic within a specific academic subject
area. You will choose the topic, and you need to take account of your interests and abilities.
The aims of the Extended Essay are to provide you with the opportunity to:
   •    pursue independent research on a focused topic
   •    develop research and communication skills
   •    develop the skills of creative and critical thinking
   •    engage in a systematic process of research appropriate to the subject
   •    experience the excitement of intellectual discovery.

As you are engaging in independent research, you will largely complete your research and the
writing up of your essay under your own steam in your own time. However, you will be given
support in two ways.
First, you will be given some general assistance in the basics of doing individual research during
the IB Retreat. The Extended Essay timeline on the following pages outlines the stages of this
general support structure. It is important that you meet the deadlines of the process, which are
designed to assist you in spreading the workload sensibly.

Second, you will choose an Extended Essay supervisor to offer you advice and support. You can,
of course, also ask the IB Coordinator for assistance.
The full responsibility for completing every stage of the essay lies with you; however, you will be
guided by your supervisor, the deadlines we set, and the information in this handbook.

       Please note that missing Extended Essay deadlines will result in your being
       placed on probation as a diploma student. Furthermore, you will not be
       registered for the May exams as a diploma student unless you have met all
       the deadlines.

Important information concerning the Extended Essay is contained in the rest of this
handbook. It is vital that you understand the process properly, so please read this document
carefully and keep it for later reference.

Extended Essay Subjects
Your Extended Essay should be in a subject in which you have a high level of personal interest
and understanding. While the subject chosen does not have to be one of the subjects you are
studying for your diploma, it is quite risky to write an essay in a subject which you have not
studied. Only subjects offered at ACS are are listed below.
The subjects in which you may write an Extended Essay at ACS are:

                GROUP                                         SUBJECTS

                Group 1 (literary essay)                      English

                Group 2 (written in the language studied)     French
                The essay can address language, culture       Spanish
                and society, literature or a combination.     Arabic

                Groups 3–6                                    Geography
                                                              Visual Arts

Note: The IB allows some other subjects, but we cannot guarantee we will be able to provide a
suitable supervisor.

The Research and Writing Process
Different subjects require different approaches to research. Your supervisor can help with
detailed advice on the methods and skills of research appropriate to your subject, and help you
to formulate your plan. However, a systematic process is essential to generate and gather
information and ideas that can be used to develop a convincing answer to your research
The following diagram provides a model for the Extended Essay process, including the forms to
be filled at each stage.

 Choose your subject area and supervisor                                  As early as possible!
                                                                          (December–January of Year 1)
 Choose a topic or some possible topics                                   Form 1 (beginning Jan. of Year 1)
 Find out about available resources; define and refine what you know
 about the topic; do some background reading
 Develop an action plan — imagine your outcome and work
 backwards to define intermediate steps.
 Formulate the research question/issue                                    Form 2 (beginning Feb. of Year 1)
 Question the question — look again at information you have
 collected; look for more information. If you won’t be able to find the
 information or generate the date you need, change the research
 Start making a bibliography
 Revise question/issue if necessary
 Read, research and record
 Think — assemble and collate your information. Revise your essay
 plan, if necessary.
 Write an outline                                                         Form 3 (April of Year 1)
 Prepare and give your presentation to department
 Seek feedback; check and redraft outline. Write second outline.
 Write your first draft                                                   Summer between years 1 and 2
 Submit the first draft
 Write your final draft and abstract                                      November–December of Year 2
 Revise and polish essay and abstract
 Submit before or on the due date                                         January of Year 2
 Attend the viva voce with your supervisor

Responsibilities of Student and Supervisor
The student is ultimately responsible for ensuring that his or her Extended Essay is authentic,
with the work or ideas of others fully and correctly acknowledged.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of a supervisor to confirm that, for each student he or she
has supervised, to the best of his or her knowledge, the version of the Extended Essay
submitted for assessment is the authentic work of the student.
Since your supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the Extended Essay is your own work,
through monitoring your progress, it is important that you meet with your supervisor regularly to
show your progress. Making these appointments is your responsibility.
We will also put your final essay through Turnitin.
You must hand in a second copy of your final essay to your supervisor, and an electronic copy
which will be kept on file at the school.

Academic Honesty
Both plagiarism and collusion are forms of malpractice that incur a penalty. The same piece of
work, or two versions of the same work, cannot be submitted to meet the requirements of both
the Extended Essay and another assessment component of a subject contributing to the diploma
or an additional certificate.
Collusion (knowingly allowing your work to be submitted for assessment by another candidate)
and plagiarism (submitting for assessment of the unacknowledged work, thoughts or ideas of
another person as the candidate's own) are both academically dishonest, and can lead to severe
penalties, such as failing your diploma.
In order to avoid charges of plagiarism, you must always ensure that you acknowledge fully and
in detail the words and/or ideas of another person. If you are unsure about how or whether to
acknowledge something, seek the advice of your supervisor or the IB Coordinator.

The Marking of the Extended Essay
All Extended Essays are externally assessed by examiners appointed by the IB, and are marked
on a scale from 0 to 36.
Criterion levels will be awarded to each Extended Essay using a best-match model. For each
criterion, examiners are instructed to identify the level descriptor that is most appropriate (i.e.,
the best match) for the Extended Essay under consideration, rather than to progress upwards
through the levels until the essay fails to meet one or more aspects of the descriptor.
The assessment criteria, which are the same for all Extended Essays, but may be interpreted
somewhat differently depending on the subject, are listed in detail in the Extended Essay Guide.
You are strongly encouraged to read your essay’s first draft in conjunction with the assessment
criteria and the descriptions in the subject sections of the Guide as to how they are interpreted in
your subject. Check that you meet them all as well as possible. Try to allocate marks on each of
them, and revise in the light of any criteria that you think you are not meeting well.
The ten criteria are:

   A    Research question
   B    Introduction
   C    Investigation
   D    Knowledge and understanding of the topic studied
   E    Reasoned argument
   F    Application of analytical and evaluative skills appropriate to the subject
   G    Use of language appropriate to the subject
   H    Conclusion
   I    Formal presentation
   J    Abstract
   K    Holistic judgment

Note that quite a number of these criteria have formal requirements that are relatively easy to
meet, but which carry heavy penalties for failure to meet them. Examples are the word limits on
the length of the essay and on the abstract, or the three requirements of the abstract. An
examiner’s report says, “If candidates … were simply to follow the very clear and simple
guidelines, marks would not be needlessly lost.”

Overall Assessment
The total score determines in which of the grade bands (A to E) the Extended Essay is placed.
This band, in conjunction with the band for Theory of Knowledge, determines how many of
the 3 bonus diploma points are awarded for these two requirements. (See page 7.)

                                 American Community School
                                 Extended Essay Form 1
                                    Subject and Supervisor

                To be submitted to the IB Coordinator by January 8, 2009

Name ________________________________________

In which subject do you intend to write your Extended Essay? Explain why you have chosen
this subject.

List some possible topics that you have considered for your Extended Essay. Explain why
those topics interest you.

What key resources would help you to determine a research question (people to talk to, books
to consult, etc.)?

Approach the teacher you have in mind as a supervisor and set a specific time to meet him/
her to discuss your initial ideas. If the teacher is willing to supervise your Extended Essay,
ask him/her to sign this form.

 ____________________________________               _______________________________
            Supervisor’s signature                        Supervisor’s name (print)

I have read and understood the conditions regarding the Extended Essay and academic
honesty in this handbook, and I agree to abide by them.

           Student’s signature ________________________________________

                                American Community School
                                Extended Essay Form 2
                                 Topic and Research Question

               To be submitted to the IB Coordinator by February 5, 2009

Name _______________________________                   Subject _________________________

Proposed topic and title (this cannot simply be the general subject area)

Briefly explain why you have chosen the topic.

Briefly outline your research plans.

Briefly state your research question or the central problem you plan to investigate.

 ____________________________________                 _______________________________
           Supervisor’s signature                         Supervisor’s name (print)

   If there are any changes to the above information, you will have to complete a
   new form after discussions with the IB Coordinator and your supervisor.

                                             [ 23 ]
                                 Extended Essay Deadlines

  I agree that I will complete each of the following requirements by the stated date.

                                         Submit Form 1: Initial choice of Extended Essay topic
 January 8, 2009
                                         and supervisor
 February 4, 2009                        Attend Extended Essay presentations by Year 2 students
 February 5, 2009                        Submit Form 2: Final research question
                                         Submit a list of potential sources to my supervisor.
 February 19, 2009
                                         (For science, initial planning must be completed.)
                                         Do some reading on my topic; submit an annotated
 March 24, 2009                          bibliography. I understand that failure to complete all
                                         deadlines so far will result in a report to parents.
                                         Put together a list of further reading I need to do
                                         Keep a record of experimental methods and results
 April 16, 2009
                                         which I have carried out (if appropriate)
                                         Write an outline for my essay
                                         Submit Form 3: Initial outline
                                         Meet with supervisor and selected department members
 Week of April 20, 2009
                                         to present my outline
 Summer 2009                             Work on my Extended Essay
                                         Complete work on my essay to the degree agreed upon
 Week ending August 27, 2009
                                         with my supervisor
                                         Submit the first draft to my supervisor. I understand that
 October 19, 2009                        failure to do this will jeopardize my registration as an IB
                                         diploma candidate.
                                         Complete my final draft and abstract and submit these to
 January 2010                            my supervisor. Prepare an Extended Essay presentation
                                         for Year 1 students.
                                         Be ready for the Extended Essay formal requirements
 February 2010                           meeting (viva voce). Submit my Extended Essay —
                                         bound and ready to post — to the IB Coordinator.

I have studied the IB Extended Essay Guide to become familiar with the advice on topics,
research questions and approaches for my subject, the criteria that will be used to mark the
essay and the way they are interpreted in my subject.

           Student’s signature ________________________________________

                                              [ 24 ]
                                 American Community School
                                 Extended Essay Form 3
                                       Initial Outline

                 To be submitted to the IB Coordinator by April 16, 2009

Name _______________________________                 Supervisor ______________________


Research Question

Please attach to this form evidence of the work you have done on your Extended Essay so far.
This must include:

                                               A list of the reading you have done so
        Annotated bibliography                 far (including any notes you have taken)
                                               and the reading that you plan to do

                                               A copy of the notes you have taken
        Experimental notebook                  concerning the methods and results of
                                               any practical research you have carried
        (if appropriate)                       out or intend to carry out, with your
                                               timetable for future research

                                               A record of the work you have done on
                                               the essay draft, including the headings
                                               you will use to structure the essay and
        Detailed plan for your essay
                                               an outline of the content of each
                                               This plan should run to 500–1000

                                            [ 25 ]
           IB Deadlines for Exams May 2010

Subject   Task     Time            Start Date   Deadline   Comments

                          [ 26 ]
American Community School of Abu Dhabi
            P.O. Box 42114
              Abu Dhabi
         United Arab Emirates