Extended Essay and Internal Assessment Stress Management

Precious Amuwha, a junior working on her IAs

The Extended Essay and Internal Assessments are substantial research essays that are completed during a Student’s Junior and Senior years. The Extended Essay is a 4000 word long research paper, and the Extended Essay process starts in Junior year. It can be written in any subject the student takes as a part of their core curriculum. The Internal Assessments are assessments that are assessed internally (assessed by staff here at GLKUAIS) and can take in the form of substantial research papers, in the case of History, or oral exams, for languages. As students generally have to write one Extended Essay and do about 6 Internal Assessments in their two years, there is a lot of stress involved.

Everything is happening all at once, and it’s really overwhelming

— Precious Amuwha

Many Juniors have expressed this stressor, nearly everyone who responded to the survey stated that they were stressed about the EE and IAs processes. They expressed that the were worried about choosing IA topics, whether there would be enough to write about, inability to find or choose a topic, etc. As the Seniors have already gone through and almost completed this EE/IA process, I surveyed them to address the concerns juniors had. For IA topic selection, they suggested looking at topics that piqued your interest or curriculum topics that you struggled with. The seniors suggested researching topics that interest you or those that you have a hard time with, which can help prepare you for exams, and they also mentioned the importance of consulting with your teacher about the topics to figure out if they are viable or not. Others were concerned that the topic they choose did not have enough substance. Seniors recommended to consult teachers and the internet to see if there is enough to write about.

Time and Stress management were the largest concerns. Junior Hannah Bernardi, when asked what she was most worried about, said she was concerned about “Time management [and] motivation.” Indeed this sentiment is corroborated by nearly all of other juniors surveyed. Seniors recommended a plethora of strategies and tips to help with time management, motivation, and stress. Many recommended scheduling out specific times to work on the essays. Senior Aaron Blalecki suggests to “organize your responsibilities in a calendar” and to take periodic breaks. Catrina Isabelle Cagalawan suggests using a system of 45 minutes working followed with a 15 minute break. Everyone suggested to start as soon as possible and to not leave the requirements to the last second.