Assumptions About The Viva

I’ve heard candidates confidently assume and then assert that…

  • …new academics make terrible examiners and should be avoided!
  • …short vivas are best!
  • …corrections mean you’ve failed!
  • …the viva is a trial by fire!
  • …you can’t really prepare for the viva!
  • …the viva is a great big messy unknown.

Are these true? For the most part, no, I don’t think so. But they’re common assumptions that people make.

Challenge any and all assumptions about the viva. Check with graduates’ experience and reasons, not just surface beliefs. Check with regulations and academic practices. Don’t just accept something scary and then worry. Check your assumptions.

What do you think about the viva? How do you know that’s right? Are you sure it’s right?