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How long is the IB Extended Essay?

The IB extended essay is designed to ensure that students learn critical learning skills and can organize their thoughts correctly. The idea is to help students build their skills and empower them to solve more complex real-life problems. However, most students tend to wonder how long the extended essay should be. SO! let’s figure out how many words is an extended essay.

Does the extended essay have to be exactly 4000 words?

An extended essay needs to be a maximum of 4000 words. While there is no prescribed minimum word count for the extended essay, it is ideally recommended that you write at least 3000 words. Anything short of that gives the impression that you didn’t examine the topic in as much detail as you should have, which comes off as negative. So you need to explore the IB EE topic thoroughly and focus on delving as deep as you can into the details.


For your ease, one page is approximately 250-275 words, so for 4000 words, IB EE’s page limit will be around 14-15 pages of content. If you want to write a good IB extended essay, make sure to follow the main parts as we will explain in the next section.

Section-wise breakdown

Here is a section-wise breakdown of the extended essay word count per section to help you structure the essay well.


This is where you set the tone for the entire essay making the examiner aware about what exactly they are going to know about in the essay. Not just that, but you also spike their interest here. So you need to make sure that this is very well planned because it is surely the first impression. The introduction part of an extended essay should be around 250 words approximately. You need to use this word count to ensure that you add value to what you are writing and make it as interesting as possible. You need to make sure that it is as intriguing as possible.


This is the section where you write about how and where you got all the information that you used for this essay. Not only do you need to highlight what these sources are, but you also need to talk about why you are using them. Alongside that, you need to hint to their limitations and weaknesses as well. These sources need to be authentic for your research to add much value as possible to the research.

Furthermore, it would be best if you also highlighted the tools that you will be using in this research for purposes of analysis. The approximate word count for the methodology section of IB EE needs to be around 350 words.

Main Body

This is the main part of the research where you analyze everything and discuss it too. You also use all the tools in this section. In this part, you analyze most of the parts and shed light on all the extra research you have done. The idea is to answer the research question as clearly as you can in this part. It sets the context for the work you are doing. If you are doing some financial analysis too, then this is the part where you need to highlight all of that.

In case you do not want to fail the extended essay, make sure to work on this part as it will be under the main focus of a supervisor and IBO.

Remember that this is the section that helps you get the major chunk of the marks, so make sure to make this the most well-researched and well-written part of the essay. The approximate word count for the body section of the extended essay needs to be around 2800 words. With this kind of an expansive limit, you can go into as much detail as you want and can expand too.


This is the part where you close the essay and coherently analyze your thoughts, putting them all in flow. The idea is to summarize the main points and answer the research question concisely. Give several useful insights in this part. Also, highlight the shortcomings of your research. Finally, show what our research is and what you tried to answer here. This section should add a lot of value to your research. The approximate word count for the conclusion section of IB extended essay is 600 words.

Bibliography and Appendices

The bibliography section can be around three to four pages; the same goes for the appendices section. However, these sections don’t add to the word count. So that is not something you should be worried about.

Now you know how many pages is each part of an extended essay

Now that you know all about the IB extended essay minimum and maximum word count, according to the latest IB extended essay criteria. Now you can start with your planning. Given that you have ample words to play around with, you need to make sure you use them in the best way possible.

Try to make your extended essay as expansive and as analytical as possible. Moreover, be prepared to leave enough time to write your IB EE, as it will give you time to complete your research accordingly. This will help you secure a good grade.

Good luck with your writings. If you need assistance writing your IB extended essay, feel free to contact our team or press the link below.


Vasy Kafidoff

Vasy Kafioff is a family man, a travel maniac and co-founder of Writing Metier. He has been living for half a year in Spain, so from now on he is “una persona muuuy tranquila”. As a business owner, he has an opportunity to work from any part of the world, not forgetting to share his experience with readers. Needless to say, it’s never boring!

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