What If Something Goes Wrong?

Let’s be clear: it’s unlikely that something will “go wrong” in your viva.

Unlikely doesn’t matter though if you’re really worried now.

Unlikely really doesn’t matter if it’s happening on the day.

So what do you do?

  • Stop.
  • Take a breath.
  • Take a sip of water.
  • Ask a question.
  • Ask for a break.
  • Ask for time to think.
  • Think about what you can do. If you have an independent chair, talk to them.
  • If you don’t, talk to your internal.

Whatever it is, there’s a process. Just stop first. Then see what’s next. A pause might be enough to make you feel like you’re making too much of the situation. It may not be as wrong as you think.

But again, let’s be clear: it’s unlikely that something will go wrong in your viva. It’s unlikely because your examiners are up to the job and following an established process.

It’s unlikely because you are ready by that point. Your research is done, your thesis is done and you are ready and up to the task of discussing your work.

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