Game Show

Your starter for ten: is the viva like a game show?

…No! But the questions that people ask about the viva betray some of their ideas about it.

  • How many questions can you get wrong?
  • Do you fail if you say I don’t know too often?
  • How many questions do you have to answer well?

I worry that the viva-as-game-show meme runs deeper. The viva is not built around short, closed questions. It’s not only about factual recall. Take a look at any list of common viva questions or topics. Most are open questions where contestants candidates have to think and discuss rather than produce a fact.

There could be some comfort in the predictable format of a game show but it’s far better that you’re having a conversation about your specialist subject.

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