When is the best time to start viva prep? I don’t know, at least not for you.
I don’t know how long your thesis is, whether or not you have a partner or kids, whether or not you have a job, whether or not you’re applying for jobs. I don’t know how much you’ve thought about your prep already, how often you have presented at conferences, how comfortable you feel about answering questions about your research.
So I don’t know when you need to start preparing.
However, I do have some thoughts that might help you:
- Take at least two weeks off after submission before you read your thesis again. You can then approach it with a fresh perspective.
- Give yourself at least two weeks to prepare. You will feel better if you can take your time a little and spread out the work.
- Block out a rough period in your diary when you think you will be preparing for the viva. It helps to visualise a project.
- Think about what you want to do and estimate how long it might take. Then add 20%.
- Look at the time period you blocked out and the tasks you want to do. Explore how you will break that up.
- Ensure you make some time to practise answering questions alongside all the writing and thinking prep.
And: don’t stress about preparation. Think a little about what you need, take steps toward getting it done.