When it comes to asking for help from your supervisor a lot of focus is given to mock vivas. While these can be valuable, there are other questions you could ask that will help a lot. Here are five valuable questions to ask your supervisor:
- What do you need to know about your examiners’ work? You may know a lot, or have ideas, but it’s good to get another perspective.
- Are there any parts of your research they think your examiners could challenge? That doesn’t mean something is wrong, but it’s good to get thinking.
- What do they see your most important contribution as being? Again, you’ll have your own thoughts, but their opinion counts.
- What are the most recent papers or developments in your field? Explore what you might have missed while writing up your thesis.
- What do they do when they examine a thesis? Find out if there is a process that is common in your field, or at least get some ideas of how examiners think about the viva.
Your supervisor’s help doesn’t stop at submission. You might have to pick your moment or negotiate a good meeting time to discuss some of these topics, but they could all help a lot with your viva preparation. Think about it, then ask for what will help you the most.