How Long Does It Take To Write An Extended Essay? (Answered)

September 3, 2022

how long does it take to write an extended essay time

An extended essay is an individual assignment that requires you to conduct research on a topic of your interest and present your findings in at most 4,000 words. But how long does it take to write an extended essay?

You’ll have 40 hours of writing for an extended essay. IB distributes these hours throughout the year, so you have ample time in between to research and write. The most important thing to do is to start early, as you can’t afford to fall a victim last minute rush.

The most important thing when it comes to writing an IB EE fast is to ensure you pick a topic that you’re interested in, you have knowledge about, and you can explore within the scope of the assignment.

How Many Hours Does It Take to Write an IB Extended Essay?

How Many Hours Does It Take to Write an Extended Essay?

IB teachers know that extended essays are quit involving.

You have to pick a topic, develop a research question, conduct independent research, and put together all your findings in a 4,000 words long essay.

Owing to the series of steps involved and the complexity of the writing process, IB gives you up to a year to write just one extended essay throughout the course.

To be clear, you don’t have to spend an entire year working on the IB extended essay. You can get it done in as few as 14 days.

One of the ways to write the EE fast is to hire our extended essay writers to help you streamline the writing process. Our team consists of professionals with over 5 years of experience in writing extended essays and related assignments.

Another option is to write the extended essay yourself.

If you’re fast enough, or you want to give more priority to your extended essay before going to another assignment, you can complete the research and writing in 5 days give or take.

If you’re slow, or you take breaks in between researching and writing the first draft, you can write the extended essay in 10 to 15 days.

How You Can Tackle an IB Extended Essay

The best way to complete an IB Extended Essay in time is to break the assignment into small manageable elements while keeping the stated deadline in mind.

The strategy applies whether you take 5 days or 10 months to complete and submit your EE.

  • Stage 1: Pick a topic depending on the subject and then gather relevant primary and secondary sources.
  • Stage 2: Write an annotated bibliography for the EEmaking sure your description for each source is relevant, accurate, and concise
  • Stage 3: Take a day break, then come back and create a research proposal for the project
  • Stage 4: Create an outline and make some notes from your sources to make your essay easy to write once you start writing your EE
  • Stage 5: Now write your IB Extended EssayMake sure you start writing early so you gave enough time to revise and submit the assignment before time.

Factors that Determine How Long It Takes to Write an Extended Essay

The following are the factors that determine how long it will take you to work on your IB Extended Essay from start to finish.

1. Choice of Subject

Some subjects are easy to cover. Others are more involving in terms of research, experiments, and writing.

For example, an extended essay in History takes less time to complete compared to Chemistry Extended Essay.

2. Complexity of Your Chosen Topic

It’s hard to know how complex a topic is by just looking at it. You have to read the extended essay prompt to know exactly what the assignment requires.

Additionally, it’s important to spend some time researching the topic to understand how complex it is.

By knowing how complex your selected topic is, it will be easier for you to determine how much time you’re likely to spend researching and writing the extended essay.

3. Deadline Assigned to the Assignment

The EE General Timeline states that you have 10 months to research and write your extended essay. So start working on early to avoid the last minute rush.

Write the first 1,500 words immediately after the third EE reflection session with your supervisor, and 3,000 words benchmarked after the fifth meeting.

You’ll have about 1,000 words left, which you should complete before the sixth meeting with your supervisor.

Tips for Writing an IB Extended Essay Fast 

1. Choose the Right Topic

Skip this step if your teacher has already given you a topic to work on. If they haven’t choose an interesting topic that meets the following criteria:

  • Choose a specific topic. It should not be too broad or too narrow. And it shouldn’t be obvious or already discussed
  • It should be a topic you can cover in 4,000 words
  • The topic should have enough information from primary and secondary sources and allow you to demonstrate your thoughts in a way that brings out originality

2. Start Early

Start working on your IB Extended Essay soon after your supervisor approves your research proposal.

Do your research before the first locked reflection session and start benchmarking your first 1,500 words long before your fourth meeting your supervisor.

3. Don’t Exceed the Word Count 

An IB Extended Essay should not exceed 4,000 words.

This doesn’t include words on the Title Page, Table of Content, Bibliography and Appendices.


Now you know how long it takes to write an IB Extended Essay, it should be easy for you to prepare early and write the assignment very well.

About the author 

Antony W is a professional writer and coach at Help for Assessment. He spends countless hours every day researching and writing great content filled with expert advice on how to write engaging essays, research papers, and assignments.

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