Hypothetical questions are a pain for PhD candidates thinking about their vivas.
If. If this happens, I’ll be stuck. If that happens, I won’t know what to do.
Except it’s not just if. There’s always a then. In worry, a candidate might not see it, but it’s always there. There is always a course of action. It might not be something you prefer. It might be tricky. It might be uncomfortable.
There is always something you can do.
- If you find a typo, then you can correct it.
- If you are forgetful, then you can write notes.
- If you are worried about how to answer questions, then you can have a mock viva.
- If you are concerned about your examiners, then you can research them.
- If you aren’t sure about whether or not something is a normal part of the process, then you can check.
There are always hypothetical questions, and they always have actionable answers.