While most essays have a word count in the 3,900 range, it is perfectly acceptable to submit an essay that is 3,500 words.
They just want to see that you can work on and complete a big project.
You'll want to write about a topic or subject you're fairly familiar with.
NOTE: As of May 2010, an 'Elementary' on both TOK and Extended essay is an automatic fail, but you may still pass with an 'Elementary' on either one, just not both.
An 'Elementary' on either is a so called 'failing condition' which requires a minimum 28 points rather than the usual 24 to obtain your diploma.
However, you can make a very good essay, provided you allot yourself enough time to write about something you are interested in.
The IBO knows that you are between 16 and 18 years old and thus does not require a perfect essay or a groundbreaking new discovery.For instance, if you've nailed the process of writing labs, do a science investigation.It'll be just like a big lab write-up, and writing the method, materials, qualitative/quantitative observations are all part of the word count, and take up a significant amount of words.To get a diploma, you need to complete the TOK Essay and the Extended Essay.At best, you can achieve 3 bonus points towards your IB diploma, so don't ignore your schoolwork, as your courses are worth much more.Find out if there are competitions or scholarship opportunities in which you can enter your essay.Why not kill two birds with one stone and head off to university with a scholarship?However, some topics - mathematics among them - may require only 2,000 words to fully investigate them.Keep legible, consistent and accurate notes that include bibliographic information.If you don't win, at least you'll get feedback, something the IBO neglects to give.Everyone wants to write a good Extended Essay, but just remember that it's really not as overwhelming as it sounds.