Too many viva fears are rooted in the mistaken belief that examiners are somehow the enemy. I’ve written before about what examiners aren’t, but what are they?
- Examiners Are Human: if they think you’re nervous, they’ll respond kindly. They know that anxiety is about the importance of the day.
- Examiners Are (usually) PhDs: your examiners know what the viva means. They know what matters, and they have an idea of the work you must have put in to get to that day.
- Examiners Are Interested: you’re the only person in that room who has to be there. Examiners are asked and can say no – if they’re doing it, it’s because they’re interested.
That last point gets forgotten sometimes. Your examiners are academics interested in your work. They’ll be ready for your viva. They’ll read your thesis carefully, weigh it up, and come with questions in mind.
Would you have it any other way?