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.