Diploma candidates must meet two additional requirements: they must research and write an Extended Essay in any subject within the IB curriculum, and must participate in the school's CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) program. The Extended Essay is an original and independent piece of research and writing by the student, under direct supervision of a qualified teacher of the school.
The Extended Essay is a required 4000-word project that is started in February of the junior year with the selection of a subject, topic, question, and an advisor. The subject is chosen by the student and may be any topic within the IB curriculum. Students and advisors meet to refine the topic chosen. During the summer the students should do their primary research, contact their advisor at least once, and prepare a first draft. In the fall of the senior year students consult with their advisors and refine the paper. The final paper is due early January of the senior year.
Seniors are very busy in the fall with internal assessments in all of their subjects, college applications and essays, and scholarship applications. Putting off the essay until September or even later is usually reflected in a lower quality of the essay and can affect the subsequent reward of bonus points towards the diploma. IBO selected people grade the extended essay.