1.1 Guide to the guide

1.1.4 Grade boundaries and the TOK/EE Matrix

Your extended essay will be marked by an external examiner, who is knowledgeable in the subject area of your essay. The IB examiner will award your essay 'marks' according to the assessment criteria (see Page 1.1.3). How do these marks translate into a letter grade? How will this letter grade determine your number of bonus points for your IB Diploma? 

Grade boundaries for extended essay

Your extended essay marks are turned into letter grades using 'grade boundaries'.  We won't know the boundaries until the first batch of extended essays is marked in 2018. But the following can be used as an educated guess of what they might be. The grade boundaries apply across all subjects.

Grade Marks
A 27-34
B 21-26
C 14-20
D 7-13
E 0-6


TOK / EE Matrix

Both your TOK and EE grades determine the number of 'additional points' that you can earn for your IB Diploma. If you do not submit your extended essay on time (NS = Not Submitted), or you do not submit your TOK essay on time you will not be awarded your IB Diploma. If you are awarded an 'E' for either the EE or TOK, you will not be awarded your IB Diploma.

  TOK - A TOK - B TOK - C TOK - D TOK - E TOK - NS
EE -A 3 3 2 2 fail fail
EE - B 3 2 2 1 fail fail
EE - C 2 2 1 0 fail fail
EE - D 2 1 0 0 fail fail
EE - E fail fail fail fail fail fail
EE - NS fail fail fail fail fail fail

Figure 1.1.4a - Go for excellence!
Receiving an 'A' for EE is a great way to earn 2 or 3 bonus points for your IB Diploma.


  • Practice using the assessment criteria by marking sample essays from former students. See the final section with students samples for samples in your subject. 
  • Deadlines are important. If you miss the deadline for the extended essay, your DP Coordinator will declare your work 'Not Submitted' (NS), which means that you cannot be awarded the IB Diploma. Submitting something is better than submitting nothing.