What Are the Easiest and Hardest Extended Essay Subjects?

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As a seasoned IB writer who has helped many students through their IB route, I’ve seen my fair share of problems and successes with the extended essay (EE). Picking the right subject for your EE can make a big difference in how well you do and how much you enjoy the experience. Let’s examine what makes some subjects easier and what might make others harder.

What Are the Extended Essay Requirements?

Before we get into the best EE subjects that are the easiest to work on, let’s discuss the basics. This aspect is crucial if you want to understand which factors determine the difficulty of one or another course.

The extended essay is one of the most essential parts of the IB Diploma. It allows you to learn a lot about something that interests you. It takes hard work, the ability to think critically, and a lot of creativity. From what I’ve seen, the first step to success is understanding the EE’s basic needs.

This critical part of the IB program pushes you to learn skills like a college researcher. You have to write a paper with a strict word count, which is a big task that requires both intellectual interest and a well-organized approach. You can prepare for college study by writing an extended essay and going into a topic of your choice in great detail.

The extended essay has strict standards graded in multiple ways, not just on the paper’s topic. You need to develop a research question that is both interesting and possible. This question tells you what to look into and helps you build your theory. The IB standards also stress the importance of a structured and organized investigation method. Your essay should show a strong personal connection to the topic. This result can come in many ways, such as through your thoughts, experiences, or comments.

As someone who has helped many students through their IB assessments, I’ve seen that those who understand the basics of these standards from the start tend to find it easier to deal with problems. They know that the extended essay isn’t just schoolwork; it’s a task that prepares them for the more severe work they’ll be doing in college.

What Factors Influence the Difficulty of Extended Essay Subjects?

A big problem for many IB students when writing an extended essay is picking the right subject. As a teacher and writer for the IB for many years, I’ve seen how subject choice can significantly affect the essay’s difficulty. Many things affect this level of complexity, so it’s not just random.

Interests of the Student

Your interest in and understanding of the subject are the most critical factors. Finding a topic you are interested in makes the study process more fun. Many IB students often find the EE less stressful and more rewarding when they choose areas they are genuinely interested in. This emotional link and motivation help you get deeper insights and think more deeply about the topic, which are both very important when assessing the extended essay.

hardest ee subjects

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Access to Resources

The available tools are also essential. There may be a lot of books, journals, online tools, and primary data sources that you can use for some topics. Many areas in World Studies or Environmental Systems and Societies, for example, have a lot of data that can be found in online databases and studies. On the other hand, researching things that need special tools or rare texts can be very hard. These things can make the research process more difficult and sometimes narrow the scope of your study. If you choose the hardest extended essay subject, prepare for the limited availability of resources.

The Complexity of the Topic

Also, your chosen topic can make the extended essay much harder if it is too broad or complicated. Some areas might need complex data analysis methods, background studies, or tricky ways to set up experiments. For instance, topics in the natural sciences often need careful experimentation and careful data analysis, which can be hard to do if you haven’t done it before. On the other hand, classes like IB Literature or World Studies might give you more freedom in approaching and using your study, making writing and researching easier.

What Is the Easiest EE Subject to Work On?

I’ve noticed that some subjects are easier than others. Resources are easy to find, research isn’t as hard, and students can investigate their interests and passions.

Group 1. Studies in Language and Literature

Group 1 Extended Essays involve looking at works from a literary point of view. These essays give students with a wide range of literary hobbies many choices. I think this group is more manageable because there are so many tools. Critical analyses of literature and scholarly pieces on most well-known works are easy to find. So, failing an extended essay on these subjects is nearly impossible. Students can learn about many different things, from character studies and subject analyses to various types of stories and how to tell them. Also, because literary analysis is subjective, it often lets you see things in a broader way, which can be easier to handle than the need for scientific accuracy.

Group 3. Social Sciences

Students who want easy-to-understand issues that can be used in real life choose Group 3 subjects like Psychology, Business Management, and Economics. These topics let you use ideas and case studies that have already been developed, which makes the research process easier. For example, an EE in Economics might use open data and well-known models to examine how a specific strategy affects local economies. Putting what you’ve learned in the classroom to use in real life makes the study more exciting and gives students a chance to look into essential problems that are happening now. This aspect is critical in EE assessment.

Group 6. The Arts

Students can express their creativity through the arts, which includes Music, Theater Studies, and Visual Arts. That’s why many people think these are some of the easiest subjects for an extended essay. Students can choose from various topics, from analyzing a single artist’s work to learning about different art trends. It gives students the freedom to make the course fit their interests. Also, because creative analysis is interpretive, it lets you express yourself and gain insight, making the writing process more fun and less rigid than with more quantitative subjects.

What Are the Hardest EE Subjects?

Even though choosing the easiest extended essay subject might be appealing, it’s also essential to know which options could be more difficult. From my many years of experience, I’ve seen that some groups in the IB program have a reputation for being especially hard.

Group 2. Language Acquisition

For Group 2 extended essays, students must learn a second language, which can be challenging for many. For these kinds of writings, you need to know a lot about the language and the cultural details hidden in it. Students can choose to study a language’s writing, film, or media, requiring them to think critically about the language. The hard part is finding the right words and phrases to explain complicated ideas in a language different from your first. It’s also important to be very aware of cultural settings.

Group 4. Experimental Sciences

Biology, Chemistry, and Physics are some of the most challenging subjects in Group 4. Exact experiments, thorough scientific paperwork, and statistical analysis are usually needed regarding these options.

For example, a Chemistry EE might include lab work with strict safety rules and complicated chemical processes that must be handled and understood carefully. Because empirical proof is needed, students must plan, do exact experiments, and analyze the results. Due to the difficulty of the tasks and the high standards for science writing, Group 4 is a strong option for submitting an extended essay.

Group 5. Mathematics

Many people think that Mathematics is one of the hardest EE subjects because it requires a lot of abstract thinking and strict rational reasoning. In a Mathematics extended essay, you might talk about a specific theory, how it can be used, or even devise a way to solve a problem. It requires a deep knowledge of mathematical ideas and the skill to use them correctly and artistically.

Students must understand complex subjects and explain complicated ideas clearly and precisely. They often do this by making proofs or building models. Many students find Group 5 especially hard because they need to communicate and understand Math at this level of complexity.

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How Do You Choose the Best EE Subject for You?

As an experienced IB writer who has helped many students, I know that the best EE subject fits your academic skills and interests. Here’s a plan to help you make this critical decision.

First, think about the things you are best at and enjoy the most. Your interest in a subject will keep you going during the long months of study and writing. Thinking about what you want to happen is also a good idea. For instance, picking a Group 4 topic might help you gain experience if you’re going to work in science.

Essential things to think about when choosing your EE subject:

  • Interests and drives. Do you want to know about the subject? If you’re going to spend a lot of time on something, make sure it makes you happy.
  • Resource availability. Can you easily access the tools you need? Consider using internet sources, labs, and libraries. Also, make proper IB references.
  • The expertise of the advisor. Is there a teacher who knows much about your field and is ready to help you?
  • Scope for research. Are there enough topics in the subject to find your unique angle?
  • Your skill set. Do the skills you already have match up with what the subject requires?

Getting advice and talking to your teachers can help you understand how complicated different topics are. They can help you determine if your possible topics are possible based on the tools and knowledge at your school. Looking at great extended essays that other students have written can also help you understand what is expected of you and what has worked in the past.

Final Thoughts

In the end, the best EE subject is the one that fits your personality and intellectual skills. Make a wise choice, and remember that a well-done EE can be a fun experience that significantly affects your IB score. Always try to choose a topic that fits the IB requirements and interests you. It will make the study and writing process more fun and informative. Also, when you need help with extended essay writing, you can get in touch with our IB writers at IBStudentHelp.com.

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky

Nick Radlinsky is a devoted educator, marketing specialist, and management expert with more than 15 years of experience in the education sector. After obtaining his business degree in 2016, Nick embarked on a quest to achieve his PhD, driven by his commitment to enhancing education for students worldwide. His vast experience, starting in 2008, has established him as a reputable authority in the field.

Nick's article, featured in Routledge's "Entrepreneurship in Central and Eastern Europe: Development through Internationalization," highlights his sharp insights and unwavering dedication to advancing the educational landscape. Inspired by his personal motto, "Make education better," Nick's mission is to streamline students' lives and foster efficient learning. His inventive ideas and leadership have contributed to the transformation of numerous educational experiences, distinguishing him as a true innovator in his field.

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