Back to Guide to the Extended Essay

Supervision of the Extended Essay

It is the school's responsibility to ensure that each student submitting an extended essay is supervised by a teacher at the school where the student is registered for Diploma Programme examinations. The teacher must have appropriate qualifications and/or experience in the subject chosen by the student, and must be familiar with the Diploma Programme.The teacher who is supervising a students work on his or her extended essay, known as "the supervisor", must not be related to the student.

It is required that the supervisor:

It is strongly recommended that the supervisor:

The student may work with or consult external sources, but it remains the responsibility of the supervisor within the school to complete all the requirements described above.


The viva voce (concluding interview)

The viva voce is a short interview between the student and the supervisor, and is a recommended conclusion to the extended essay process. Students who do not attend the vivo voce may be disadvantaged.

The viva voce serves the following purposes.

The viva voce should last between 10 and 15 minutes. This is included in the recommended amount of time the supervisor should spend with the student. The following are examples of questions that can be asked, which should be adapted to the particular essay and student.

"I am not clear what you mean on page XXX. You quote Y: could you explain a little more about what this tells us?"


In conducting the viva voce and writing the report, supervisors should bear in mind the following.



International Baccalaureate Organization. (2007). Responsibilities of the supervisor. In IBO Extended essay guide, First examinations 2009,  (pp. 8-9). New York: International Baccalaureate 


International Baccalaureate Organization. (2007). The viva voce. In IBO Extended essay guide, First examinations 2009,  (pp. 20-21). New York: International Baccalaureate