Extended Essay in Business

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November 2009 extended essay reports

BUSINESS AND MANAGEMENT Overall grade boundaries
Grade: Mark range: E 0-7 D 8 - 15 C 16 - 22 B 23 - 28 A 29 - 36

The range and suitability of the work submitted
The range and suitability varied both between centres and within centres. Some candidates produced excellent, very interesting, well researched pieces in terms of sources and the use of critical thinking/evaluative skills, combined with well substantiated conclusions and recommendations. The difference in performance between the first language to non-first language English speakers was apparent. While such a range is somewhat expected, there were some noticeable reasons for candidates not performing perhaps as well as they should/could. The most noticeable issue was the fact that candidates in some centres based their research on primary sources only or mainly. The focus has been changed to ‘Candidates should use as the basis of their extended essay secondary data supported, where appropriate by primary research’. The new focus was agreed by senior examiners in order to distinguish the EE from the IA. Hence, the expectation now is that the candidates produce a more academic research with the main focus on secondary data. It was disappointing to see that in some centres the new emphasis was not followed despite a clear interest and knowledge of the candidates. Basing the essay on a primary research only affected candidates’ performance to various extents in different criteria – C, D, and K. Please note that under the new focus, it is expected that the candidates use a variety of secondary sources and do not use solely or mainly text books/theoretical internet sites as their secondary sources. Some examples of possible sources are given in the new guide Several essays were backward looking and resulted in a very descriptive research. In some centres, the research questions were very similar and identical models were used and applied in a very similar way even. This could also prevent candidates from displaying a more personal insight with individual flair.

Candidate performance against each criterion
A: research question A good number of candidates had chosen a research question which was sharply focused, making effective treatment possible within the word limit. Some research questions were too broad and lacked focus, making them difficult to be treated effectively.

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© International Baccalaureate Organization 2009

November 2009 extended essay reports

Group 3 Business and Management

Some titles were very backward looking and descriptive. The candidates simply described what organisation X has done and/or glorified a decision taken by the management. The better research questions were forward looking and/or backward looking ones that enabled analysis and evaluation. Very few titles were entirely inappropriate and resulted in generalised descriptions of an event only loosely related to business and management. B: introduction A good number of the candidates were successful in demonstrating the context of the research question. Moreover, these candidates in the introductions clearly explained the significance of the topic and why it was worthy of investigation. Many candidates achieved the top mark for this criterion. Still, a noticeable number of candidates did not substantiate the need for their research. Some used personal interest. Perhaps the significance of the research for the organisation should have been the focus. C: investigation The excellent/good essays had consulted a good range of appropriate sources and collected sufficient data. Many candidates also did not search for or used conflicting data/ evidence. As mentioned above the inappropriate focus used by many candidates resulted in less than highly desirable performance here. Primary researches were credited if they actually added value to the secondary research. Consequently, many candidates were not able to reach the top bands as ‘a...
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